A Prayer from Deitrich Bonhoeffer: I Cannot Do This Alone link
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray and to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness, but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me….
Restore me to liberty, and enable me to live now that I may answer before you and before men.
Lord whatever this day may bring, Your name be praised.
A Prayer by Henri Nouwen link
Speak gently in my silence.
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings
and the loud inner noises of my fears
keep pulling me away from you,
help me to trust that you are still there
even when I am unable to hear you.
Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying:
“Come to me, you who are overburdened, and I will give you rest . . .
for I am gentle and humble of heart.” Let that loving voice be my guide.
A Prayer by Henri Nouwen link
Help me keep my eyes on you. You are the incarnation of Divine Love,
you are the expression of God’s infinite compassion, you are the visible manifestation of the Father’s holiness.
You are beauty, goodness, gentleness, forgiveness, and mercy. In you all can be found. Outside of you nothing can be found.
Why should I look elsewhere or go elsewhere? You have the words of eternal life, you are food and drink,
you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You are the light that shines in the darkness, the lamp on the lampstand, the house on the hilltop.
You are the perfect Icon of God. In and through you I can see the Heavenly Father, and with you I can find my way to him.
O Holy One, Beautiful One, Glorious One, be my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Guide, my Consoler,
my Comforter, my Hope, my Joy, and my Peace.
To you, I want to give all that I am. Let me be generous, not stingy or hesitant.
Let me give you all—all that I have, think, do, and feel. It is yours, O Lord.
Please accept it and make it fully your own.
Thanks, Dee; I found this very encouraging, and at a time when I need that.
I am so glad. I, too, found it quite moving.
People are social beings, and tend to value and find meaning in what their neighbors value and find meaning in. I think Fr. Nouwen’s exhortations are useful not only for individuals, but also for groups.
Do congregations tend to self-assess by metrics of “what we are achieving”, or “reputation”, or “how much God has blessed us in terms of visible facilities”? I think they do.
I take comfort in the thought that at Jesus’ death, he was seemingly a failure, was maligned by many of his countrymen (and by most of the ones who ‘mattered’), and had few possessions. But God had other ideas, and accomplished a great redemption through this apparent failure.
Again, thank you, Dee.
Nouwen gives a good talk.
The biggest take-away for me was actually at the beginning of his homily.
Time is the most precious commodity in all of the human experience.
Think about it.
Thanks Dee, beautiful , common men who represented Christ well, men Who wanted to go deeper in their walk with Christ. What I love about both of these men was their honesty that they were helpless in the face of sin without Christ’s power in their life. Isn’t true of all of us? (the hymn I need thee every hour comes to mind )