NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 5/24

I've been working with the scriptures for well over 50 years and yet, still, I come across passages and verses that strike me as if I'd never seen them before.  The first reading at Mass this morning provided just such an occasion.

Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
(James 5:9)
O Lord, O Lord!
I complain about others all the time!
I criticize, I whine and I grouse.
I stew, I accuse and I dissent.
I charge, I gripe and I grumble.

And all this, Lord, 
    sometimes - out loud -
but even more often 
    - quietly, silently -
in my thoughts, resentments and grudges,
    in my mind and, sadly - in my heart...
My complaining wears on my kindness,
    it erodes any gentleness within me,
        it hardens my heart
           and closes me in on myself...

And you, Lord?
You have never once complained about me.
You have never once complained
    about those who suffer my complaints...

You did not complain about those
    who judged you, struck you, crucified you,
who stood at the foot of your cross
    and mocked you...
Not a word of complaint came from your lips,
    much less from you sacred heart
but instead you offered a prayer for them
    a prayer you offer for us, too:
        "Father, forgive them,
            they know not what they do..."
Heal my complaining heart, Lord,
    in your mercy and kindness, heal me...
Help me see how often I complain
    about those whom you love so deeply...
Heal me, Lord,
    and make of my stony heart
        a heart of mercy and love...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
    and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
    and asleep, rest in your peace...


Heal Me, O Lord!  by Don Moen

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Heal me O Lord 
And I will be healed 
Save me and I will be saved 
Heal me O Lord 
And I will be healed 
For You are the One I praise 
You are the One I praise




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