Monday Morning Offering: October 5

  Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

Been thinking about my homily yesterday, Lord:
the preacher often needs to listen carefully
to precisely what he preaches!

Whether I pay close attention or not, Lord, 
there's not a moment in my day when I'm not thinking,
when I don't have thoughts of some kind or shape or form
in my mind and my imagination...

Even asleep, I have dreams, Lord,
- and I know you don't hold me accountable for those!
My thoughts
(the hundreds, maybe thousands of thoughts
that pass through my mind every day)
my thoughts come and go 
and link from one to another so quickly
that sometimes I don't know the beginning of one
from the end of another...
I probably have too many thoughts to keep track of, Lord
but I think I can quickly list some of my thoughts 
that you find less than pleasing...
This morning, then, 
I offer for your mercy and your healing, Lord,
my misdirected, uninspired,
less-than-pleasing thoughts...
I offer for  your mercy and your healing
my jealous thoughts,
green with envy,
my resentful thoughts,
grudged deep within my heart... 
I offer for your mercy and your healing
my proud thoughts, 
my overblown self-estimation,
my quiet gloating over others's faults, 
their failings and misfortune... 
I offer for your mercy and your healing
my judgmental thoughts, 
my verdicts handed down in the courtroom of my mind
where I am prosecutor, judge and jury... 

I offer for your mercy and your healing
my selfish thoughts,
my entitled and self-indulgent thoughts,
blinding me to others' needs
and how I might reach out to them...
I offer for your mercy and your healing
my lustful thoughts,
stealing for my own imagined pleasure
beauty you've created, 
love that isn't mine...
I offer for your mercy and your healing
my greedy thoughts,
desiring, collecting, hoarding
much more than I need
while others go without...

I offer for your mercy and your healing
my hateful thoughts,
disdaining, dismissing, discarding those
I disagree with, am at odds with,
those who've hurt, rejected or offended me...

I offer for your mercy and your healing
my wasted thoughts, my foolish thoughts,
my childish thoughts, my angry thoughts,
my careless thoughts, my selfish thoughts
and any thought of mine, leading me away
from you, Lord, and from my neighbor..
Lord, that's my litany of less than pleasing thoughts:
I want my thoughts to please you, Lord,
but they wander, they stray,
they leave the path I want to walk,
the road I'm called to travel,
routing me in directions I'd never planned to go...

But these are my thoughts, Lord:
they belong to me and I must own them.
My thoughts have patterns and habits
and, it seems sometimes, a mind of their own.
But they're the thoughts of my mind, Lord,
and the mind my thoughts possess 
is the mind I've loaned, supplied and given them...

And so I need your help...

My less than pleasing thoughts can shape
a less than pleasing heart 
and a less than pleasing heart can yield
a less than pleasing life...

Send me your Spirit, Lord, to sweep and broom,
to chase the less than pleasing from my mind,
and from my heart and words and deeds...
Speak your word 
and plant within my thoughts the seeds of all that's
sweet and savory, humble and forgiving, 
merciful, understanding, pure and true, 
selfless and giving, and generously compassionate...

And help me nurture what you plant, Lord,
until your thoughts are my thoughts, 
your heart is my heart 
and your ways are my ways... 

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
help me know the thoughts I need to sweep away
and open me to thoughts that will truly bring me peace...


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