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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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

The rule of love for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbour; act as if you did...When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you'll find yourself disliking him more. Do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less...   
                            ~ C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity

         Of course, there's a slight catch - Lewis tells us further that doing a good turn to just obey the laws of charity or only to impress God isn't what the rule of love is all about.  We are to treat others as equals in the sight of God. Will we fall head over heels with everyone - no!  But we can care for them anyway and begin to love - or at least like - the doing a little more even if they don't love/like us back or drip gratitude all over our good deeds. It might help if I keep in mind that the only person I can change is me.

*Eternal Spirit, 
Earth-Maker, Pain-Bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, 
Loving God, in whom is heaven...
      It is always easier to do good things for people I love and like. It is downright difficult and even unpleasant to attempt to do nice things for someone I dislike and all the harder if the dislike is intense!  Sigh....Ok, it's Lent, a time to try on new behaviors, new ways of living into the love of Christ.  SO, for today, I'll take a deep breath and give up looking down on people I have decided for some reason that I don't like.  I'll take on looking at all people through a different lens, seeing them as children of God just as I am.  At the very least a kind word with no desire for or expectation of return would be a start.  I'll pray for the tranquility to leave the details of who is right/wrong/good/bad to God. All I need to do is love others as if they are myself - that is, myself and another as equal in the eyes of You, our Eternal God. I will need some help with this so You and I will be talking. amen.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) held the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University in England and is considered a significant Christian writer of his time. An author of more than 30 books, he is probably best known today for The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters.

*The beginning of an alternative to the Lord's Prayer in A New Zealand Prayer Book

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