Meditations Based on the Lord’s Prayer

  • The Father Evelyn Underhill
    The crowds who followed Christ hoping for healing or counsel did not ask him to teach them how to pray; nor did he give this prayer to them.  It is not for those who want religion to be helpful, who seek after signs; those who expect it to solve their political problems and cure their diseases, but are not prepared to share its cost.  He gave it to those whom he was going to incorporate into his rescuing system, use in his ministry; the sons of the Kingdom, self-given to the creative purposes [...]
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BLESSING: My Prayer, by Helen Steiner Rice

From A Collection of Blessings Bless me, Heavenly Father— Forgive my erring ways. Grant me strength to serve thee; Put purpose in my days. Give me understanding, Enough to make me kind, So I may judge all people With my heart and not my mind. Teach me to be patient in everything I do, Content to trust your wisdom And to follow after you. Help me when I falter, and hear me when I pray, And receive me in thy kingdom To dwell with thee [...]

Blessings

  • Traditional Celtic Blessing
    From A Forgiving Heart This soul did little good to me, O Lord, but this soul was yours. So to this soul I say: I bless the day you were born. I bless your growing up. I bless you, even in your dark deeds. And I bless you, soul, at your end. Travel to the God who transforms. Travel to the Arms so wide. Travel to the Spirit all [...]

Easter reflections

  • Go!, by Mark G. Boyer
      Scripture:Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  And Jesus came and said to them, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:16, 18a, 19-20)   Reflection: At the end of Matthew’s gospel [...]

Easter stories

  • The Church Of The Washing Of The Feet Alan Paton
    From Ah, But Your Land Is Beautiful The Reverend Isaiah Buti, pastor of the Holy Chuch of Zion in Bochabela, entered the room of the acting chief justice, if not with awe, then certainly with deference.  And certainly with respect too, for not only did Judge Olivier occupy one of the highest seats in the land, but he was held in high esteem by the black people of Bloemfontein.  Was he not the man who had tried to prevent Parliament from removing colored voters from the common roll? The room [...]

Psalms

  • So spoke the disciples to Jesus.  In making this request, they confessed that they were not able to pray on their own, that they had to learn to pray.  The phrase, “learning to pray,” sounds strange to us.  If the heart does not overflow and begin to pray by itself, we say, it will never “learn” to pray.  But it is a dangerous error, surely very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself.  For then we confuse wishes, hopes, sighs, [...]

Sermons

  • Created For Glory L. R. Tarsitano
    The First Sunday after Easter “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the Earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:6-7) God addressed these words through his Prophet Isaiah to Jacob, to the head and personification of his Chosen People Israel. Jacob, you will recall, was given the name [...]

Easter poetry

  • We Take The Sky Susanna Childress

    POETRY: We Take The Sky, by Susanna Childress

    We take the sky, as if red is something we could own, something we might find in the stillest moments, as if the earth is humane and wouldn’t break our bones. (None of His were broken. Not one.) Red is in the land too, is in the way we look at each other, the hardness of our sleep, the need to fall down, to tell of the pox that swept Aunt Jess, the drink that ushers Father, the path that never leads to wealth or rest or health—but the one we always take. Shalom, we say. Buena suerte. We [...]
  • Second Sunday After Easter John Keble

    POETRY: Second Sunday After Easter, by John Keble

    He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High; which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.  (Numbers 24:16-17) O for a sculptor’s hand, That thou might’st take thy stand, Thy wild hair floating [...]
  • That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection Gerard Manley Hopkins

    POETRY: That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air- Built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches. Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle ín long lashes lace, lance, and pair. Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed dough, crust, dust; stanches, [...]
  • Easter Monday Christina Rossetti

    POETRY: Easter Monday, by Christina Rossetti

    Out in the rain a world is growing green, On half the trees quick buds are seen Where glued-up buds have been. Out in the rain God’s Acre stretches green, Its harvest quick tho’ still unseen: For there the Life hath been. If Christ hath died His brethren well may die, Sing in the gate of death, lay by This life without a sigh: For Christ hath died and good it is to die; To sleep whenso He lays us by, Then wake without a sigh. Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again: [...]

Christina Rossetti

Gerard Manley Hopkins

  • Binsey Poplars Gerard Manley Hopkins
    felled 1879 My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled, Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun, All felled, felled, are all felled; Of a fresh and following folded rank Not spared, not one That dandled a sandalled Shadow that swam or sank On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding [...]

Mary Oliver

  • Making The House Ready For The Lord Mary Oliver
    Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but still nothing is as shining as it should be for you. Under the sink, for example, is an uproar of mice—it is the season of their many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves and through the walls the squirrels have gnawed their ragged [...]

Virtue

  • The Better Angels Of Our Nature John Bradshaw
    From Reclaiming Virtue The mysterious complexity of our life is not to be embraced by maxims, to lace ourselves up in formulas of that sort is to repress all the divine promptings and inspirations that spring from growing insight and sympathy from a life vivid and intense enough to have created a wide fellow-feeling with all that is human. (George Eliot) Magnificent moral moments often move us to tears.  They can make chills run down our spine; sometimes they inspire us to change.  Why is [...]

Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.

2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue.

10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

A Quote From Thomas Merton

Sheep’s wool and cotton from the field shall warm me enough that I may live in your service; I will give the rest to your poor.

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