Morning Prayer for August

Pots of flowers – watercolor F. McDonald

Almighty and eternal Father

We come to you in praise and thanksgiving

In your goodness you have given us all that we need.

When that wasn’t enough to draw our hearts back to You

You gave us your Son Jesus to show us the way home.

We have nothing but ourselves to give back to You.

We offer You all that we are, all that we have, and all that we will do.

Please show us the path You have laid out before us.

Bless all those here assembled and all our families and friends.

When we at last have reached the end of our journey and accomplished the work You gave us to do

Conduct us into the light of Your Presence.

We ask this through Your Son Jesus, the Lord.

Amen

Messianic Psalm

An exercise of writing our own psalm during our study of the Psalms.

The Lord is robed in beauty, majesty and mystery.

Holy and Powerful is His Name.

By His Word of Love all that exists came to be.

The Lord looked with love on all that He created,

And the Lord was pleased and called it Good.

The Lord chose a people who would be special to Himself,

Among all the peoples of the earth.

He nurtured the people, protected them and taught them.

His special people would carry His message of love to all the earth.

And through the Lord’s people all earth would be blessed.

In the fullness of time, the Lord,

Leaving behind His robes of glory.

Came to live among us as our Brother.

He took on our human form with all its sorrows.

He became our Teacher and the Healer of our wounds.

With His mighty power the Lord leads us.

He feeds us with His Life and shelters us with His Love.

We have nothing to fear with our Shepherd at our side.

There is no god like our God in all the earth.

May all mankind praise His Holy Name.

May all the earth worship our Savior Jesus Christ.

To our God give glory forever and ever.

Let me never be separated from You as long as I live,

And may I live with You forever.

From the time of Abraham, God has chosen a special people to love and to share His message of hope and peace. He formed this people, instructed them, and carefully led them on a path of His choosing. When they had been enslaved in Egypt, the Lord sent a prophet Moses to bring them to the Promised Land, to teach them again the ways of God. Throughout the centuries God watched over them, always bringing them back when they wandered away from His love. When the time was right, God came to earth to live among us, shedding His robes of glory to show us in person the way to live. He wants to be our Friend, to live with us forever.

“Stay here and watch with me an hour.

For I feel so alone, so fearful of what is to come.”

But even then we failed Him,

Our Redeemer, the God who loves us.

He gave everything to save us.

He continues to call us back to Him.

He never gives up on us.

We are not worthy of so great a love.

May your praise be always on my lips,

Your joy in my heart, and

Your love in my soul forever.

Writing my own Psalm

This is another attempt at writing my own psalm.

Blessed be the Lord who has given me this new day.

May His name be praised in all the earth!

Like a lamb who wanders from the flock,

I wandered far from you, O Lord.

Enemies surrounded me on all sides,

But the Lord found me and rescued me.

He lifted me close to His heart and carried me.

He brought me back to His Pasture and keeps me safe.

Forgive me, Lord, for wandering away,

I know that I have sinned against Your Spirit,

And You alone have I hurt.

Help me, O Lord, to always follow you.

Let your steadfast love surround me all of my life.

You are the Rock and the Shield in whom I trust.

I will love you with all my heart.

I will sing your goodness and mercy all my days.

Let me dwell with You forever.

Hymn – Christ Be Our Light addition

Reflection for Hymn to Christ for chapter on Phillipians as part of our WCSS chapter study on Phillipians

The church is dark. No one is there. The only lights are a candle burning near the Tabernacle and a soft spotlight on the crucifix. It is quiet. I am alone looking at Him, trying to understand. I see no hint from his facial features. Why was He willing to suffer so for me? What have I done to merit this great act of His? Even my creation had nothing to do with me. I couldn’t not will it; I could not sustain my life without His willing it. What mystery lies behind His great sacrifice? What is it that we do not know about God, about our creation which might provide an answer?

His face seems so restful, so reposed. It is the image of the end of His suffering as He lies dead. Soon he will be taken down from this instrument of torture and placed in a cold, dark and quiet tomb. He will be alone. Does He know this? Does He feel the cold of the stone on His body? Does He wait for the right time to rise?

How can I speak with Him? How can I say how grateful I am to Him for his sacrifice? What can I do to repay Him for all He has done for me? Everything that I would do would really be a gift from Him to me? I have nothing that He did not give me. Even my very breath does not belong to me. Maybe my love is all I have to give?

————————————–

In the darkness and the quiet

With only candles to light my way

I come to you, O Lord.

I see your face so still

I see your outstretched arms

I see the wounds upon your body

I put them there.

And yet you still love me

How can this be?

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One of my favorite hymns – this should be sung to the tune of Christ, Be our Light

I was alone, lost and unhappy

Searching for truth, looking for life

Full of despair, I felt forgotten

Would I find You again?

Shepherd of souls, 

Search for the lost,

Search for the lonely.

Shepherd of souls

Bring us all home to you again.

A Holy Spirit moment?

Last night, after a long and sometimes frustrating day, I was turning out the lights in the living room preparing to go to bed. The TV was still on in the front room where Larry had been watching. I heard the voice of Chuck Schummer droning on, complaining as he often does. I could feel the bile rising, a sure sign that I was getting angry and about to say something hateful. Instead I whispered a little prayer: Please, don’t let me be hateful” and the feeling dissipated immediately. I continued what I was doing and went to bed.  Thinking about this event this morning and wondering about it. Was that a sign that the Holy Spirit is always watching over us, always ready to help?

Then this morning I was lying in bed praying the rosary just thinking about things. About my grandfather who though he died more than 60 years ago has been present in my life in very specific moments. I was thinking of the women at the tomb, how brave they were. They were willing to be accosted by the Roman soldiers who had been guarding the tomb, though it appears that they were gone by the time the women arrived. But then when an angel tells them that Jesus is risen, they run away in fear? It is a conundrum.

Such disparate thoughts and yet as I continued to lay there I realized that the very air is alive and sparkling with love. How could it not be?

Prayer to our merciful God

O merciful and loving God:

Open my lips that I may speak your praise,

Open my eyes that I may see your Face,

Open my ears that I may hear your Voice,

Open my mind that I may know You,

Open my heart that I may love You for all eternity.

Take all that I am and lead me in the path that You have prepared for me.

I ask this through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer to know God’s Will

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself.

Believing that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

I believe that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road,

though I may not know it.

I will trust you always,

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Prayer to remember

Suscipe – A Prayer of Self-Offering by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Receive, Lord, my entire freedom.
Accept the whole of my memory,
my intellect and my will.

Whatever I have or possess,
it was you who gave it to me;
I restore it to you in full,
and I surrender it completely
to the guidance of your will.

Give me only love of you
together with your grace,
and I am rich enough
and ask for nothing more.

Amen

A different kind of examen

I have been wanting to do this at night. This might be right for me.

An Annunciation Examen

1) The Angel Gabriel visited Mary of Nazareth with a message of Good News.

  • The Lord sends messengers to us each day.
  • Who has been Gabriel to you today?
  • What was their message?

2) The Angel says: “The Lord is with you.”

  • When did you experience and sense God’s presence in your life today?

3) The Angel says: “Do not be afraid.”

  • Has there been angst or undue worry? What was it?
  • Offer it to God. Ask him to replace your fear with peace.

4) The Angel says: “You have found favor with God.”

  • Today, did I do or say something unbecoming of God’s favor toward me as His beloved son or daughter?

5) The Angel says: “The Holy Spirit will come.”

  • Acknowledge how the Holy Spirit was present to you throughout the day.
  • What fruit of the Spirit did I manifest?
  • What gift of the Spirit do I most need right now?
  • Ask for His guidance tomorrow in all that you do.

6) The Angel says, “Nothing is impossible for God.”

  • Today, did I doubt God’s providence? Repent. Celebrate what God has done for you today, the possible and impossible.

7) Mary says, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your will.”

  • How have I been a servant today?
  • How do I expect God to use me tomorrow?
  • What is God’s will for me right now? This week? Next month? Ask Him to reveal His will.

Prayer heard when going to Communion

Last week while walking up toward Communion, a prayer rose in my heart: “With gratitude in my heart and praise upon my lips, I offer myself to You.” I don’t know where the words came from – unless from the deepest part of me. And I wonder is that really my prayer?