Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer

  • Hope—Openness For Surprise (Part One) by Brother David Steindl-Rast
    From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer A Passion For The Possible In moments when we are truly alive, we experience life as gift.  We also experience life as surprise.  Faith is the heart’s response to life as gift.  The heart’s response to life as surprise is hope, as we shall see.  The more the insight that life is freely given takes hold of us, the more our life will be a life of faith, a life of trust in the Giver.  Of course, that trust itself is gift: God gives us faith to [...]
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ADVENT PRAYER: Monday Of Advent II by Martin Shannon

From My Soul Waits Psalm 34 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (v. 1) The psalmist’s joy is so full that he is determined to do two things: praise God at all times, and get as many others as possible to join in.  Then, once he has the attention of [...]


  • The Perfect Registration by Thomas H. Troeger
    From: Music As Prayer I have always enjoyed hearing organists search for the perfect registration when they sit down to practice a piece of music.  Sometimes I am playing my flute with them; other times they are playing with a choir or entirely alone.  Often, they will talk to themselves, as if [...]


  • Introduction—What Has No Name by Pat Schneider
    From How The Light Gets In Beyond the name there lies what has no name (Jorge Luis Borges) Those colors which have no name are the real foundation of everything. (Vincent van Gogh) I sit writing these words in an old library in Berkeley, California.  Around me, Gothic windows let in California [...]

Psalm meditations

  • Psalm 1:6 by Alan J. Hommerding
    From Everyday Psalms The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. We might think that the opposite of “wicked” is “good.”  But the scriptures offer us a different option: righteousness.  Acting righteously, in right relationship with the will of God and rightly toward others, is an active way of living, not merely a passive state of goodness.  How often is our passivity really the wickedness of inaction?  The scriptures have [...]


  • Psalm 21 by W. Robert Godfrey
    From Learning to Love the Psalms Although Book Two of the Psalter focuses in important ways on Israel’s king in his kingdom, we have already seen that the subject of the king is by no means absent from Book One.  Psalm 21 is obvious proof of the importance of the king in this first part of the Psalter.  Here is a psalm that glorifies Israel’s king while always recognizing that all that he has comes from his God. This psalm again gives us insight into its meaning through its form.  At the [...]


  • On Traveling Light by Philip Harnden
    From Journeys of Simplicity Twelve hundred years ago in China a middle-aged man named P’ang Yün loaded everything he owned onto a boat and sank it all in the Tung’t’ing Lake.  After that, we are told, “He lived like a single leaf.” See him there in the early morning, treading water in the middle of the lake, watching the last bubbles rise from the depths.  The air crisp and quiet.  The lake misty and as still as sky.  Then turning, stroking toward the shore. Justine Dalencourt, a [...]

Spiritual formation

  • God’s Hand Present Everywhere, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
    From The Joy of Full Surrender All creatures are living in the hand of God.  The senses perceive only the physical causes, but faith sees God’s hand in all things.  Faith believes that Jesus Christ lives in all things, that his divine operation continues to the end of time, and that every passing moment and the tiniest atom contain a portion of this hidden life and mysterious action.  The physical creation is a veil concealing the profound mysteries of the divine work.  After the [...]

True Devotion to the Holy Spirit

  • God’s Gift To You by Luis M. Martinez
    From True Devotion to the Holy Spirit Not only to possess us does the Holy Spirit live in us, but also to be possessed by us, to be ours.  For love must possess, as well as be possessed.  He is the Gift of God Most High – Donum Dei Altissimi.  Now, the gift that belonged to the giver becomes the possession of the one who receives it.  The Gift of God is ours through the stupendous prodigy of love. Almost every time that sacred scripture speaks to the mission of the Holy Spirit in our [...]

Advent poetry

Prayers for the season

  • Second Sunday Of Advent by Martin Shannon
    From My Soul Waits Psalm 66 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me. (v. 16) The Hebrew inscription of this psalm reads: “To the choirmaster – a song – a psalm.”  Most of the early Greek manuscripts (known as the Septuagint) add another word: anastaseos, meaning, “of the resurrection.”  This tells us that, by the second, or even late in the first century, Psalm 66 was probably sung by Christians at Easter, the feast of the Lord’s [...]

A Quote From Thomas Merton

When men are merely submerged in a mass of impersonal human beings pushed around by automatic forces, they lose their true humanity, their integrity, their ability to love, their capacity for self-determination.  When society is made up of men who no know interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority.  But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, the society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate.

Psalm 34

34: I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.


2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.


3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.


4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.


5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.


6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.


7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.


8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.


10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.


11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.


12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?


13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.


14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.


15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.


16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the Earth.


17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.


18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.


19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.


20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.


21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.


22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.