Monday, July 25, 2016

Just be honest with God (Fr. James Martin)

   Don’t worry about how you should pray. 
Don’t should all over yourself, 
especially when it comes to the spiritual life. 
First, breathe.   
            And imagine God with you. 
Then just be honest with God. 
Tell God about your life. 
Maybe look back over the day, 
and see if you can find God. 
Or just sit and let God listen to you. 
And love you. 
--Fr. James Martin, Evening Prayer, 
posted on Facebook, September 4, 2013

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I pray because... (C. S. Lewis)

   I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping.  It does not change God – it changes me.   
--Attributed to  
C.S. Lewis 
in Shadowlands 

  Image source  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday Gospel Reflection, July 24, 2016: Knock and the door will be opened...

What does true communication with God look like?

   For the patriarch Abraham, communication with God was straightforward, if not always easy.  In the Book of Genesis, the Lord remains standing before Abraham, offering Abraham the opportunity to pose questions and even challenge the notion of God’s divine judgment of the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah:  Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?  Abraham asks the Lord.  Abraham seeks to understand what God’s justice looks like; he can speak directly with the Lord, hoping to understand God’s will, God's plan.  Like the speaker in Psalm 138, Abraham can call on the Lord, confident that God will answer him. Openness, trust, and a desire to know God's will are all fundamental components of prayer.

   Jesus likewise gives his disciples a better understanding of communication with God in Luke’s Gospel, as he teaches them to pray even as they struggle to understand God’s will in their lives.  If they ask, they shall receive, he tells them; they must persist in trusting in God’s justice and mercy, even when they are wicked.  Constant effort at communication with God – in the form of prayer – is our gateway to covenant, connecting us to God, allowing the door to be opened as we recognize our need for God in our lives and promise to offer mercy and justice – forgiving everyone in debt to us – as God has forgiven us our own debts. 

   It is through such faith in the power of God to forgive and show mercy, Paul tells the Colossians, that we can ultimately attain salvation; thanks to baptism, in which we were buried with him as we turned away from sin, we will also be raised with Christ who has forgiven us all our transgressions.  Baptism is the door that opens the way to salvation; prayer is our ongoing opportunity to know God and to discern God’s will, so that we may do justice and show mercy in turn, confident that God has heard the words of our mouths, and will answer.  

This post is based on OLMC's Scripture class.
Image source:  Wordle

Monday, July 18, 2016

Martha's Hands, Mary's Mind (C. R. Hallack)

  Lord of all pots and pans and things, since I’ve no time to be  
A saint by doing lovely things, or watching late with Thee,  
Or dreaming in the dawn-light, or storming Heaven’s gates,  
Make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates.  
Although I must have Martha’s hands, I have a Mary mind,  
And when I black the boots and shoes, Thy sandals, Lord, I find.  
I think of how they trod the earth, what time I scrub the floor:  
Accept this meditation, Lord, I haven’t time for more.  
Warm all the kitchen with Thy love, and light it with Thy peace;  
Forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease.  
Thou who didst love to give men food, in room or by the sea,  
Accept this service that I do – I do it unto Thee.  

--Cecily Rosemary Hallack (1898-1938)