PRAYER: Chapter One (Part Two)—In The Light Of God’s Word by Marie Paul Curley

April 23, 2018

From Soul of Christ “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way to the place where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going.  How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will know my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.” [...]

PRAYER: The Miracle Of Easter from The Gelasian Sacramentary

April 23, 2018

The moment we have longed for has come; the night of our desires is here.  What greater occupation could there be than for us to proclaim the power of your resurrection!  This was the night when you shattered the gates of hell, and you took up the victory banner of Heaven.  This was the night when you set us among the stars. When your mother Mary gave birth to you, she was overwhelmed with joy at your beauty.  Now we are overwhelmed with joy at your power.  The blood which flowed from your side has washed away our sins.  Your body rising from the tomb has promised us eternal life.  Eternal are the blessings which in your love you have poured upon us. [...]

PRAYER: Blessing Of Seeds And Rain

April 22, 2018

From: Catholic Rural Life It is not far-fetched to say that our health, our very lives, depend on the sprouting of seeds. The planting of seeds and nurturing through harvest, we receive God’s choicest blessings when we break from our labors and enjoy a simple meal. Saving some of the new seeds allows us to continue this miraculous cycle of nature. Besides planting in the good earth, seeds cannot grow without fresh water. The cycle of rain blesses us, and water stored in the ground is our true treasure. Let us seek God’s guidance in finding ways to better utilize seeds and water so that farming can become more sustainable for all who find their vocation on the land. Opening Prayer God, who created everything and everyone, we ask you to [...]

PRAYER: Chapter One (Part One)—Soul Of Christ, Sanctify Me by Marie Paul Curley

April 16, 2018

From Soul of Christ The beautiful Anima Christi prayer begins with a deeply personal petition that immediately draws us into a genuine encounter with Christ.  In fact, each of the first six petitions of this prayer focus our attention on a specific aspect of Christ’s humanity, similar to our recalling the cherished qualities of a friend or loved one.  This first line delves into the deep desire of Christ’s soul to encounter us and be united with us. Soul of Christ… “Soul of Christ” is a unique, familiar way to address Jesus, and it sets a personal tone for the entire prayer.  This might not be obvious at first glance, because “soul” is a term with many nuances.  From a Roman Catholic perspective, the soul is understood [...]

PRAYER: Easter by Adam of St. Victor

April 16, 2018

I see flames of orange, yellow, and red shooting upwards to the sky, piercing the whole clouds. I see the clouds themselves chasing the flames upwards, and I feel the air itself reaching for the heavens. Down below I see great, grey rocks beating against the earth, as if they were pushing their way down to hell. At your resurrection that which is light and good rises up with you, and that which is heavy and evil is pushed downwards. At your resurrection goodness breaks from evil, life breaks free from death. [...]

PRAYER: Invitation by Marie Paul Curley

April 9, 2018

From Soul of Christ The Anima Christi or Soul of Christ prayer has long been popular with Roman Catholics.  It dates back to the early fourteenth century, 150 years before Saint Ignatius of Loyola recommended it in his Spirit Exercises, thus ensuring that this beautiful prayer would not be lost over time. What is the ageless appeal of the Soul of Christ prayer?  Its warmth and familiarity with Jesus ease me into praying, especially if I feel dry or distracted.  Right away, it leads me into my relationship with Christ.  But the Soul of Christ is not just intensely personal.  This timeless prayer also connects us with the great mysteries of our faith in a personal way that both comforts and challenges us.  When I pray, “Body of [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For Easter by Lancelot Andrewes

April 9, 2018

Oracles of Prophets, melody of Psalms, instruction of Proverbs, experience of Histories. God is the Lord who hath shewed us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, yea even unto the horns of the altar. O by thy Resurrection raise us up unto newness of life, helping us to shew forth a conversation meet for repentance. The God of peace, who did bring again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ, make us perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Soul Of Christ (Anima Christi) by Marie Paul Curley

April 2, 2018

From Soul of Christ Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Anima Christi, santifica me. Body of Christ, save me. Corpus Christi, salva me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Sanguis Christi, inebria me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Aqua lateris Christi, lava me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Passio Christi, conforta me. O Good Jesus, hear me. O bone Iesu, exaudi me. Within your wounds, hide me. Intra tua vulnera, absconde me. Permit me not to be separated from you. Ne permittas me separari a te. From the malignant enemy, defend me. Ab hoste maligno, defende me. In the hour of my death, call me. In hora mortis, meae voca me. And bid me come to you, Et iube me venire ad te, That with your saints I may praise you, Ut cum sanctis tuis laudem [...]

PRAYER: Easter by Bernard of Clairvaux

April 2, 2018

Lord, you have passed over into new life, and you now invite us to pass over also.  In these past days we have grieved at your suffering and mourned at your death.  We have given ourselves over to repentance and prayer, to abstinence and gravity.  Now at Easter you tell us that we have died to sin.  Yet, if this is true, how can we remain on Earth?  How can we pass over to your risen life, while we are still in this world?  Will we not be just as meddlesome, just as lazy, just as selfish as before?  Will we not still be bad-tempered and stubborn, enmeshed in all the vices of the past?  We pray that as we pass over with you, our faces will never look back.  Instead, let us, like you, make Heaven on Earth. [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer For Holy Week by Christine Sine

March 26, 2018

God, as we walk through Holy Week Toward the Cross, May we remember the wonder of who you are. Beyond sin, Your love is inexhaustible. Beyond brokenness, Your forgiveness is incomprehensible. Beyond betrayal, Your grace is poured out eternally. Beyond death, Your life is unimaginable. Beyond human understanding, Your ways are always higher than ours. [...]

PRAYER: Fullness And Emptiness—Alive by Brother David Steindl-Rast

March 19, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer This book explores ways of coming more fully alive.  Self-fulfillment is a value of which we are conscious today.  But we sometimes fail to notice that people who live fulfilled lives are surprisingly selfless.  At moments when we experience life in fullness, we are, if not selfless, at least self-forgetful.  Don’t we all know this from experience? The fullness for which the human heart longs is always available.  But we cannot lay hold of it.  We cannot grasp it.  Fullness flows into us in the measure in which we become empty.  T. S. Eliot states: In order to possess what you do not possess you must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not you must go [...]

PRAYER: Lenten Contrition from The Exeter Book

March 19, 2018

Give me, O Lord, patience and sense of purpose in each of the things which you send to beset me.  You know the many wicked deeds which burden my heart.  But out of compassion you set aside all blame, and receive me as your own.  Please protect me through the dangers and confusion of my transient life on Earth, ensuring that in all things I strive for eternal life in Heaven.  I know that I am very slow to make amends for my sins, despite the many favors you grant me.  Fix my trust, my timid hopes, upon yourself, so that I may stand on a secure foundation.  Lift up my thoughts with your wisdom.  Take me out of this world as soon as I am fit to be received into the next. Stand by me, Lord, and hold me upright when the gales of sin blow [...]

PRAYER: Love—A “Yes” To Belonging (Part Five) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

March 12, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer Home Peace is the fruit of love.  The “yes” to our belonging to God’s great household is the seed from which peace unfolds.  D. H. Lawrence suggests this in a poem which he entitled “PAX,” the Latin word for “peace.”  There is a close link between the Roman concept of pax and pietas.  This poem hinges on the link between the two. All that matters is to be at one with the living God To be a creature in the house of the God of Life. Like a cat asleep on a chair at peace, in peace and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress, at home, at home in the house of the living, sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire. Sleeping on the hearth of the living world, [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Against Violence by Cecil Kerr

March 12, 2018

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that through your death on the Cross you disarmed the powers of evil. Help us, we pray you, to enter into your victory and to stand in your authority against all evil. Send forth your light and your truth, O Lord. Bring to light the deeds of darkness and let plans of violence and murder be revealed. By the power of your Holy Spirit convict those who have allowed their minds to be dominated by evil. Lead them, O Lord, to true repentance that they may receive your new life and rejoice in your forgiving love. [...]

PRAYER: Love—A “Yes” To Belonging (Part Four) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

March 5, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer A Heart Turned to God Let us make sure we mean what we say: Contemplation in Action, not contemplation during action.  This may be a fine point, but it will help us define still more clearly what we mean.  My mother knits all kinds of sweaters for her children and grandchildren and for her great-grandchild.  And while she is doing so, she likes to pray the rosary.  Now, that is contemplation during action.  During her knitting, my mother savors God’s faithfulness, mystery by mystery, and her faith is nourished by that food.  She enters the world of prayer most typical of faith.  We called it Living by the Word.  But she is also entering love’s world of prayer, simply by knitting lovingly, [...]

PRAYER: Lent by Bernard of Clairvaux

March 5, 2018

Let me hold fast to you, beautiful Lord, whom the angels themselves yearn to look upon. Wherever you go, I will follow you. If you pass through fire, I will not flinch, I fear no evil when you are with me. You carry my griefs, because you grieve for my sake. You passed through the narrow doorway from death to life, to make it wide enough for all to follow. Nothing can ever now separate me from your love. [...]

PRAYER: Love—A “Yes” To Belonging (Part Three) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

February 26, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer Thou Shalt Love In love?  Here we come back to Johnny and Betsy, to the experience of falling in love.  Now we see what falling in love is meant to do for us in life’s plan.  It is to open our eyes.  Love makes blind, one says.  True enough.  A pleasantly selective blindness strikes us when we fall in love.  But in a different respect love opens our eyes.  We suddenly see the bliss of belonging.  And, deep down, that sense of belonging is all-embracing.  On the surface, it may focus only on the limited object of our infatuation, that charming creature with freckles.  But it is as if a window had been opened onto one little corner of a wide landscape.  This is a start.  If we keep [...]

PRAYER: Love—A “Yes” To Belonging (Part Two) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

February 19, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer My and Mine We can test this understanding of love against the precept to love our enemies.  Now things look different.  The notion of romantic love just wouldn’t fit.  But we and our enemies certainly belong together – obviously not in the same way as friends belong together, but it is a belonging, nevertheless.  Moreover, by choosing our friends, we choose our enemies.  If we have no enemies, maybe we have never had the courage to take sides.  The command to love our enemies implies that we must have enemies.  How else could we love them?  God certainly has enemies.  “As it is written: Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated,” (Malachi 1:2f; Romans 9:13).  Yet, the same God is [...]

PRAYER: Six Short Prayers For The Lenten Period

February 19, 2018

From The Methodist Church Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen. As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen. Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen. Lord may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen. Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realize my need of you. Amen. Lord, you’ve guided us through [...]

PRAYER: Love—A “Yes” To Belonging (Part One) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

February 12, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer Belonging In the two preceding chapters we have seen that faith and hope are always there when one is grateful.  We saw that one must have trust in the giver before one can give thanks.  But trust of this kind is the very core of faith.  And we recognized also that one must be open for surprise before one can be grateful.  Deep down, every gift is a surprise.  But openness for surprise is the essence of hope.  Faith and hope, in this sense, are two aspects of the divine life within us.  The third one, often mentioned in the same breath, is love.  It, too, is intimately tied in with giving thanks.  The ties between love and gratefulness are what we shall explore in this chapter. In getting at [...]

PRAYER: The Prayer Of Saint Ephrem The Syrian

February 12, 2018

(To be used daily through Lent.) O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk; But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. [...]

PRAYER: An Epiphany Prayer

February 5, 2018

From The Voice  Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in Jesus the Christ, we who once were not your people but whom you chose to adopt as your people. As ancient Israel confessed long ago, we realize that it was not because of our own righteousness, or our own superior wisdom, or strength, or power, or numbers. It was simply because you loved us, and chose to show us that love in Jesus. As you have accepted us when we did not deserve your love, will you help us to accept those whom we find it hard to love? Forgive us, O Lord, for any attitude that we harbor that on any level sees ourselves as better or more righteous than others.  Will you help us to remove the barriers of prejudice and to tear down the walls of bigotry, [...]

PRAYER: Hope—Openness For Surprise (Part Seven) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

January 29, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer The Surpassing Surprise Beauty is useless, superfluous, like all great things in life.  Is not the universe itself a totally superfluous firework of divine glory, and therefore so priceless?  Useful things have a price.  But who can assess the value of a poem in dollars and cents?  Who can put a price tag on a kiss?  If God’s glory is really all that matters, then the totally useless is not to be relegated to moments of spare time once in a month of Sundays.  We may have to learn that the useless deserves prime time.  The superfluous comes first in attention anyway.  To acknowledge this truth might mean a far more drastic transformation by divine glory than we were prepared to undergo.  It [...]

PRAYER: Epiphany, Year B (Week 4): Litany For Unclean Spirits by Fran Pratt

January 29, 2018

From the website: Fran Pratt  This litany is inspired by the account of Christ casting out unclean spirits in the Gospel lectionary passage for the week: Mark 1:21-28. God we know that you have given us power And authority  To deal with unclean spirits decisively. Hallelujah. We know that you have given us freedom To be our truest selves, To face our shadow side, To live in victory. Help us to deal with unclean spirits, as we encounter them: Racism Prejudice Patriarchy Inequality Hatred Addiction Violence. Whether the unclean spirits reside in others Or in our own selves, We become aware, We exercise power in love. We commit ourselves to being people who walk in the footsteps of Christ Who tell the truth, Who create peace, Who rout out [...]

UNITY: God’s Prayers, or Smelly feet

January 28, 2018

The purpose of the church has always been misunderstood by man. Seriously misunderstood. Perhaps because Jesus ministered to us, individually and generally, we have assumed that the church takes his place and is the means for God to minister to us. We can go there to receive the sacraments, if they are available. We can go there for fellowship. We can go there to polish our self-esteem. We go there. Because the church is ours.  It belongs to us. It exists for us. When has anyone ever stepped over his church’s threshold, gotten down on his knees, and asked, What can I do for you, Father? Anyone? Ever? You see, we are supposed to be the answer to God’s prayers. It’s fine if, when we are at church, we pray for something [...]

PRAYER: Hope—Openness For Surprise (Part Six) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

January 22, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer A Fascinating Aura Of Awe Silence and hope.  They do belong together.  Only in the silence of hope can we find our deepest communion.  “We are all one silence,” says Thomas Merton, “and a diversity of voices.”  How can we keep our ears attuned to the silence of our common hope when the divergent voices of our hopes distract us?  How can we tune in to their ultimate harmony, audible only to the ears of the heart?  Only by being still.  Only by nurturing in our heart a stillness that grows big enough to embrace even contradictory hopes, a stillness strong enough to go beyond all hopes in hope. Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion” opens with an interplay between the two halves of a [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For The Third Week Of Epiphany

January 22, 2018

From The Church of England Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the Earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. [...]

PRAYER: Hope—Openness For Surprise (Part Five) by Brother David Steindl-Rast

January 15, 2018

From: Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer Pure Hope Hope, as passion for the possible, gives us a realistic alertness for practical possibilities.  It gives us a youthfulness that sees the possible limited merely by an ever receding horizon.  The princely spirit of hope initiates and determines our moral engagement.  For it is rooted in the heart, where each of us is most intimately united with all others – and so responsible for all.  Everything depends, of course, on how pure our hope is, how deeply it is rooted in the heart.  There is ample room for self-deception here.  So how can we check ourselves. Maybe we could subject our hope to a simple test.  It’s not a foolproof test.  Nor is it very precise.  But it may give us a [...]

PRAYER: Epiphany

January 15, 2018

From First Vespers of Christmas in the Greek Church What gift shall we bring to Thee, O Christ, since Thou as man on Earth hast shown Thyself for us, since every creature made by Thee brings to Thee its thanksgiving?  The angels bring their song, the Heavens bring their star, the Magi bring their gifts, the Shepherds bring their awe, Earth gives a cave, the wilderness a manger: and we the Virgin Mother bring.  God before all worlds, have mercy upon us! [...]