A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Day 14: Give Up, Take On, Pray

       When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don't say to yourself "All is lost. I have to start all over again." This is not true. What you have gained you have gained....When you return to the the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.  ~ Henri Nouwen 1932-1996*

            We all have or will have or know those who have those moments in life - the loss of someone integral to your everyday life, a job loss, significant health challenges, or whatever causes you to fall into hopelessness. There is a time and a need to grieve these losses and be surrounded by those who care for you and who give you hope. Take the time it takes yet do not grieve for the sake of grief. Find the help you need when you realize that you have fallen into despair. Life is precious and short; live on this earth for those who cannot, and get back to the road of this life even if you are limping and bruised. The sun will shine again when you let it.

Dear God of my broken heart,
       I have had the times when it is all I can do to open my eyes and face another day and when I longed to hide myself in the black of night that matched the darkness of my grief. Give me the eyes to see when another is in the merciless grip of pain and sorrow and let me be a quiet comforting presence of hope. For today I will give up living in the shadow of yesterday and take on living in the light of today. I pray for the peace to walk down my road, give encouragement to others, and live my life giving thanks for each breath I am given. amen.

*A Dutch-born Catholic Priest with a doctorate in Psychology, Henri Nouwen was a prolific writer on the subject of spirituality. He wrestled with clinical depression throughout his life and it informed his abilities for his writing, teaching, and pastoral care. After teaching appointments with The Menninger Clinic, University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School, he accepted the position of Pastor for a L'Arche Community for the developmentally disabled near Toronto, Canada. His books such as Wounded Healer, The Way of the Heart, and The Return of the Prodigal Son remain widely read and deeply held by people of all faith expressions.

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