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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Prayers in Easter: The Butler Did It



God and one woman 
            make a majority.                             ~ Josephine Butler*  [1828-1906]


       God of Women and Men and our Children, God of Earth and God of Heaven, God of all that is, Seen and Unseen,

         Your Servant Josephine led the way in her own time to courageously and relentlessly advocate on behalf of women as fully human persons. From campaigning for higher education, pushing legislation to increase the age of sexual consent, and to succeed in having laws repealed that diminished and exploited women, especially those engaging in prostitution, Mrs. Butler was a force beyond our comprehension for her time. Help us realize that we must continue her valiant efforts. Let us not avert our eyes to the very real, very prevalent issues of sexual violence in our own times ~ in the worst parts of the world, and in the nicest parts of our comfortable lives. Rape as a political weapon, human trafficking for greed and lust, domestic violence, child pornography and prostitution ~ all are symptoms of a dissolving social ethic that only benefits the few who have power, and all thrive when we, good people, look away. Help us, Lord, to do the work You have given us to do and actively see to it that all Your children are safe and loved.  amen. 

 *A feminist from an early age, Josephine Butler became more involved in serious social issues about women after being devastated by the death of her young daughter. Early on she was co-founder of the North of England Council for Promoting the Higher Education of Women and, although a dedicated and committed Christian married to a Church of England clergyman, she also became a resolute advocate for the welfare of prostitutes. She believed that the double standard of sexual morality led to the exploitation of women with no consequences for men. Josephine was tireless in her efforts to have the Contagious Disease Acts repealed. They were intended to thwart the spread of venereal diseases yet only women were being victimized by the requirements which often led to their imprisonment if infected, but men were not. In a public meeting she referred to some of the practices authorized by the Acts as "surgical rape" ~ a shocking remark that resulted in her desired outcome, the Acts were repealed in  England, Ireland, and British Raj India.  Josephine also successfully undertook to have the age of sexual consent raised from 13 to 16 to reduce child prostitution.
       At a time when women didn't have the vote, Mrs. Butler's efforts were compelling and considerable. Honored on the Church of England Calendar of Lesser Festivals, she is also portrayed in a window in the Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool with Queen Victoria and other notable women of the time. A College at the University of Durham is named for her and she has been remembered and honored in many other ways and places in England. It is past time for her to be known much farther afield as her influence continues to this day. 














Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers in Easter: The Doctor is In



       To show the love that we have for Him, we ought to serve and love every rational creature and extend our charity to good and bad -- as much to one who does us ill service and criticizes us as to one who serves us. For, His charity extends over just men and sinners~St. Catherine of Siena*   [1347-1380]


Our Risen Lord Christ, 
       We need Your help to live into Catherine's description of Your Great Commandment. Keep us conscious of the lives we touch and the impact we have whether intended or not. When we love and forgive with You in our hearts, it is the right place, and the right time, to remember the Salvation You give to us all.  amen.


*Catherine was a Third Order member of the Dominicans (a lay person, not a vowed member of the community but an adherent to its principles and rules), a Scholastic Philosopher, and Theologian. Named a Doctor of the Church (one who has shown significant importance in theology and doctrine) by Pope Paul VI in 1970 along with Teresa of Avila, the first two women so named to one of the Roman Church's highest honors. Only 33 at her death, Catherine's profound spiritual writings and tremendous political influence were highly exceptional for her times and she remains greatly respected today.

















Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Prayers in Easter: On Your Mark...

Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 2 or 2:7-10, Ephesians 4:7-8,11-16, Mark 1:1-15 or Mark 16:15-20 

St. Mark

Jesus said to them: 

And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, that they may inherit the spiritual and imperishable glory of righteousness that is in heaven.*




       Whether or not the above is an actual part of the Gospel of Mark** and whether or not Jesus said those exact words is irrelevant. As we begin the 2nd week in Easter, we need to find ways to remember all that Easter is about - not just now, but every day.  All we have to do is ask.

Risen Lord,
     As this new week begins, we need a little extra grace to keep You, and the reason You suffered, died, was buried, and resurrected, alive in our consciousness. As the ordinary of life rolls on it is easy to lose track of what being a Christian is all about. In this Easter season, as we celebrate Your glorious resurrection, help us reinforce our spiritual foundation so that even when we are distracted, we won't stray for too long.  Let us run a good race to restore, keep, and live into our faith.  Ready?  On your Mark, get set...   amen. 


*Part of one possible ending for the Gospel of Mark from an ancient authority. 

**The Gospel of Mark is thought to be the earliest of the four canonical Gospels despite its second place in the New Testament. It has the flavor of a Reader's Digest Condensed/No Frills Book as it chronicles the highlights of the life of Jesus without much of the detail of the others. Biblical scholars disagree on a variety of aspects of this Gospel, especially the ending, and the identity and biography of the attributed author, Mark. Whoever and whatever, the words tell the story of the One we choose to follow. The details in and about the Gospel of Mark make for interesting reading and engaging conversations.  

St. Mark is remembered on liturgical calendars of many Christian denominations on April 25.

Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Prayers of the People, Seeing is Believing... but... : 2nd Sunday of Easter

Second Sunday of Easter, April 27, 2014, Readings: Acts 2:14-41, Ps 16, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31


   Thomas, the one who wouldn't believe without tangible proof, gets much of the attention here. And yet we seem to forget that the rest of the disciples also dismissed the accounts of Jesus being alive. Thomas only said what they had been thinking before they themselves saw Jesus. How much convincing would you have needed? How much do you still need? 
    On this Low Sunday (after the build-up and then the "high" of Easter Day), are you ready to live into and proclaim the Good News? 

Let Us, God's People, Pray

Leader:   ~ Risen Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!  How often have we walked through the penitence of Lent, the celebrations and passion of Holy Week, and Your miraculous Resurrection, and taken it all for granted because it happens for us every year?  Let us now truly REJOICE, as if for the first time, with the knowledge that You have suffered, died, and Resurrected for each of US. Thomas saw and believed, let us simply believe
                    You pour Your Eternal Spirit upon us
Repsonse:   Your Presence fills us with gladness


~ Risen Jesus, our Lord and Messiah! The wars and conflicts continue from Your own earthly life. The great and powerful leaders are much the same. Grant us courage to renew our faith in the eternal rather than the temporal, while we work to challenge our leaders to provide a just, merciful, and equitable life for all of Your people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions


                      You pour Your Eternal Spirit upon us
                      Your Presence fills us with gladness

~ Risen Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!  Give refuge to those who are very ill, frightened, or worried and to those who give them care. Soothe their hearts and hold them all in Your healing embrace. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                      You pour Your Eternal Spirit upon us
                      Your Presence fills us with gladness

~ Risen Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!  Our joy at Your resurrection is tempered with our grief at the loss of those we love.  We cling to our faith that they are with You in the miracle of their own resurrections into Your eternal promise.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                      You pour Your Eternal Spirit upon us
                      Your Presence fills us with gladness

~ Risen Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!  Refresh those who guide us in Your Church and renew their delight in preaching the Good News of the miracle of our salvation by You and the message of Your pure love for us all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                      You pour Your Eternal Spirit upon us
                      Your Presence fills us with gladness


The Celebrant adds: Jesus, our Living and Eternal Hope, all praise, and honor, and glory is Yours who was freed from death to free us from sin.  Help us follow Your path of life and know the fullness of joy in Your Presence.  We ask this through our Loving Creator, who with You and the Glorious Spirit reign, one God, forever and for eternity.  Amen.




Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Prayers for Easter: He's what? Oh, right, sure..., Easter Saturday

Readings: Acts 4:13-21, Psalm 118:14-18 or 118:19-24, Mark 16:9-15,20


But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table...  
                                               [Mark 16:11-13, 14a]

O Jesus,
      Some days I question everything. I can definitely understand why the disciples didn't believe the reports they heard that You had been seen alive. We're all a skeptical lot. Even though You told them, even though they loved and trusted You, still, it was beyond their experience and their realm of possibility. And now, today, more than 2000 years later I believe it when I read it - after all, these accounts have lasted for all this time. But I need help sometimes. While I can imagine You sitting at my table, when my heart hurts or my head isn't on straight, imagining doesn't always relieve me. Today, I'm fine, my faith is strong and so is my willingness to proclaim the Good News. Tomorrow or next week? Please, in those times, remind me to read again, to believe, and to proclaim that You are risen! Indeed! amen.


Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Prayers for Easter: Gone Fishin', Easter Friday

Readings: Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 116:1-8 or 118:19-24, John 21:1-14

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."    [John 21:10-12]

 A glorious morning for fishermen. This time a week ago it was fear, horror, and devastating grief. And now, the One who was lost is miraculously preparing breakfast on the beach. What would you give for one more breakfast with....

Dearest Fisher of People,
        Fishing advice and breakfast after You've come back from the dead - what an amazing way to care for Your friends!  And, as just one of the guys You show us how easy it is to be with You whether casually on the beach, walking down the road, or just having dinner. A moment of ease before our real work begins anew. Thank You for reminding us that we can always rest and share breakfast or lunch or any moment with You, and be renewed for the work You have given us to do. Please, help us experience Your peace inwardly so that we may bring it to all we do and all those we meet.  amen.




Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers for Easter, Now Appearing... : Easter Thursday

Readings:  Acts 3:11-26, Psalm 8 or 114 or 118:19-24, Luke 24:36b-48

Has it only been one week since we remembered the Last Supper, the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter? We stripped the altar, left in silence and, some, waited in vigil and prayed with Jesus. Now we are hearing about You meeting with the disciples after Your resurrection. What was that first moment like?


Dear Jesus,
     Time goes so quickly I can barely keep track of it.  It doesn't seem possible that it has been a full week since we were reading about the Last Supper with all of its complexities. And, of course, the Resurrection is the most significant event for any Christian. But in reading about Your appearances to the disciples, I want to know what those moments were truly like in their time. It's hard for me to capture the essence of that immediacy of Your presence. I can imagine it, I can think about it, I can picture it, but I don't quite know how to experience it. Each day that passes takes my attention farther away from all that I felt just days ago in Holy Week. Of course I must pay attention to my every day life, but I also want to keep You as the focus in each day. Help me experience You. Keep me from being swept up in the insignificant.
       Dear Jesus, with You in my waking, in my walking, and in my sleeping, all that I am and all that I do will be a reflection of that experience.  Give my soul Your perfect health and guide my heart toward Your perfect love.  All this I ask through God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. amen.








Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prayers for Easter, Go for a walk?: Easter Wednesday

Readings:  Acts 3:1-10, Psalm 105:1-8 or 118:19-24, Luke 24:13-35

Road to Emmaus by Daniel Bonnell
And [Peter] took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (Acts 3:7-8)
                                 *****
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. (Luke 24:28-31)


Dear Jesus, our Risen Lord,
    How many times have I walked downcast on a lonely road of life, feeling alone and sad and never recognized that You were with me?   How many other times have I been elated, happy, (momentarily) care-free and never recognized that You were with me?  And here I am, right now, praying to You as if You were 'way out there somewhere when You are with me, right here, right now.  Can we go for a walk?  I have a lot to talk to You about.....amen.



Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Prayers for Easter, Lost and Found: Easter Tuesday

The Gospel of John 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, `I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

O My God in Heaven,
       I can feel Mary's despair, I've known it so deeply it is yet in my bones. But I am heartened by Jesus' return to her, to all of us. The Living Hope that is the Son of God is mine, an eternal gift from You. Help me to transform my grief into joy in the knowledge that all whom I have lost are found again, alive in Your eternity, and when my earthly days are complete, I will be with them and with You forever. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord. O My God in Heaven, thank You. amen.  




Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Prayers for Easter, All Your Eggs in One Basket?: Easter Monday

Readings: Acts 2:14,22-32, Psalm 16:8-11 or 118:19-24, Matthew 28:9-15


Now what? 
          What a week!  From big celebrations to fear, torture, death, and then RESURRECTION!  So all our work of Lent and Easter are over and we can get back to normal while we finish up the peeps, jelly beans, and what's left of the chocolate bunnies, right? 


  
Holiest Risen Lord!
          Where do we go from here?  Life seemed so much simpler when Easter was just a day for a big dinner like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Suddenly I feel as though I have more to do, more to be. It's a huge responsibility, following You. People might get the wrong impression of You if I do something that isn't Christ-like and actually I'm not sure I'm up to the task.  But okay, it's a new week, it's a new season, maybe even it's a new me as in "new creation."  I'll give it a go. All of my (faith) eggs are in one basket, Yours. I believe that You are all I need but I could use some help here, please. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, You know how I feel. amen.












Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Prayers of the People: Easter Day!


April 20, 2014, Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Ps 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; Mt 28-1-10

           
        But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.




O Triumphant, Radiant, Lord Most High,
          The dazzling splendor of Your Resurrection has illuminated our sight, amplified our hearing, and enraptured our souls. There are no words ecstatic or jubilant enough to express our profound joy in this moment. Our forty long days of waiting have finally ended, the somber darkness of the crucifixion has lifted, Your conquest over earthly death is complete and we are redeemed by You!

Leader:           Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
Response:      Jesus is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

O Triumphant, Radiant, Lord Most High,
            Your entire ministry was fraught with political manipulation by those whose minds and hearts were small and feared the power of Your prophetic witness for peace. Let us, with joy and purpose, take up Your mantle with enthusiasm and determination to arouse compassion, peace, cooperation, justice, and mercy in our political leadership. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                         Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                         Jesus is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

O Triumphant, Radiant, Lord Most High,
              Always and especially in this glorious moment, lavish Your grace and healing on those we love who are ailing in body, mind, or spirit, and on those who give them daily care. Enfold them in comfort and dissuade their fear and discouragement.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                         Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                         Jesus is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!
                    
O Triumphant, Radiant, Lord Most High,
                Your resurrection has destroyed the power of death.  Let us learn to rejoice in spite of our mourning for those we have lost who are now enveloped in Your eternal glory.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                         Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                         Jesus is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

O Triumphant, Radiant, Lord Most High,
                Embolden the leaders of Your Church to be as the earthquake that moved the stone to reveal the emptiness of The Tomb. Enjoin us again to set our minds on all that is in God above and not on the emptiness of the earthly life that entombs us here below. Release us from all that binds us to the temporary and shallow instead of to Your eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                               Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
                               Jesus is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!


The Celebrant adds: Glorious Jesus, the Christ of our imagining, the Christ of our wonder and of our desire, You have defied the limits of a temporal death, risen to the heights of eternal glory, and claimed salvation for each of our souls. Let us claim life in You on this day that the Lord has made for us.  Let us truly rejoice and be glad in it!  Hallelujah, the Lord is Risen!  The Lord is risen, indeed!  Hallelujah!







Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Holy Saturday in Holy Week

Readings: Job 14:1-14 or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66 or
John 19:38-42




Jesus, our Holy Redeemer,
          The silence of the Tomb engulfs us.  We are still and hear only the beating of our sorrowful hearts. The night is long and dark and cold. We will be with You. Be with us, Lord, we are at last awake to hear Your call.  Embrace us in the mercy of Your redemption, and when we have returned our souls to You, take us with You into the Kingdom of Your Glory. Amen. 










Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Urban Stations, Good Friday

                On this Good Friday, April 18, 2014, in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, members of seven congregations of various denominations will gather to walk the city streets in procession using places at 8 different stops as the Stations of the Cross. These prayers by this writer are being used for each of the 8 Stations that form part of the overall Service.
               If you cannot join us or have never experienced the Stations of the Cross, pray with us on a virtual walk through the last hours of the earthly life of Jesus. 


Participating Churches in Wilmington, Delaware:
*The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew
*Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Church
*Wilmington Friends Meeting
*Old Asbury Church
*Bethel AME Church
*Ezion Mt. Carmel Church
*First & Central Presbyterian Church

1st Station:  Jesus is condemned to die

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
How quickly this week has turned from exultation to murderous rebuke.  Let us bear the slanders and endure the anger, as You have, for those who are so quick to condemn a human life to death. Give us strength to pray for those who truly do not understand all that they inflict upon others, as well as for those who do. Grant us the courage to withhold our own judgment and condemnation and, in all humility, take this long walk with You and for You.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

2nd Station: Jesus takes up his cross

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
You are no more truly human than at this moment, dragging a massive piece of rough-hewn timber laid across Your body, through the mean streets, amidst the jeers and tears of bystanders.  Fill us with Your acceptance and willingness to bear any burdens that life gives. Help our understanding that You ask no more of us than You have done for us.  Let us remember that our load is always lightened by our trust in You.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
You buckle under the strain of the enormous burden this world has placed on Your shoulders.  For all that we do that weighs so heavily on You, we beg Your forgiveness. Grant us the fortitude to face our own sinfulness and the determination to overcome the weaknesses that turn us away from Your love. As You rise up in obedience to the call of God, let us follow Your example to stand again and move forward toward You after every fall and every stumble.  

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

4th Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
O Mother of us all – to meet Your Son in such a plight as this – our hearts weep for Mother and Son in their mutual sorrow.  Change us, Dear Jesus, that we might never abandon those we love in time of need out of selfishness or inconvenience.  Let us see You with a mother’s heart and love You with a father’s joy and strive to love each other as You love us all even through the pain and the suffering that we have laid upon You.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.


5th Station: The Cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
Behold Simon, who is not one of us, pressed into taking Your Cross onto his own shoulders.  How often have we let others share our burdens or offered to share another’s, especially someone different from ourselves?  We bless Simon for helping You. And we give thanks to You for the example so that we might be Simon for someone else, without judgment, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or beliefs.  Let us walk together and share the weight of the cross with You.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

6th Station: Jesus and the women of Jerusalem

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
Our mourning is often for ourselves and the pain we feel for another’s anguish. These women mourn for You and You care for them in the midst of all You suffer, knowing that their lives will not be easier.  Help us to look beyond ourselves and into the faces of others with love rather than pity, with hope rather than despair, with justice tempered with mercy, and with true contrition for our own sins of commission and omission.   

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

7th Station: The Crucifixion

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
A once living tree now makes the beams of a horrible death.  With Your own agony and the torment of Your appeals, You show us how to give our lives entirely to God.  And as Your life ebbs with excruciating slowness, Your compassion for us all and one who hangs next to You is overwhelming.  Grant us such compassion that we might not return injury for insult but rather reflect Your love and peace in the actions of our lives.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.

8th Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

O Dearest Lord Jesus,
The silence of the Tomb engulfs us.  We are still and hear only the beating of our sorrowful hearts. The night is long and dark and cold. We will be with You. Be with us, Lord, we are at last awake to hear Your call.  Embrace us in the mercy of Your redemption, and when we have returned our souls to You, take us with You into the Kingdom of Your Glory.

Oh Jesus, our Savior
Your cross redeems us all.


















Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Thursday in Holy Week

Readings: Ex 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14; Ps 116:1, 10-17; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-7, 31b-35


              For the Passover, God, through Moses and Aaron, promised protection to all whose homes displayed the blood of a sacrificed lamb and proclaimed it a day of remembrance forever.
         On this night, Jesus knew his earthly life was coming to an end. In his Last Supper with the Disciples, he gave us the mystery of the sacrament of His Body and Blood ~ the Eucharist ~ as a New Covenant with God, a perpetual remembrance of Him as the blood sacrifice for the redemption of us. On this night, Jesus surprised his Disciples by washing their feet, as a servant would do, to show them humility. And on this night, he told them that Judas would betray him, and, that Peter would deny him 3 times.

               The name for this day varies with Christian worship traditions: Holy Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, or even Thursday of Mysteries. The Anglican/Episcopal tradition calls it Maundy Thursday which some think may come from the Latin mendicare for beg or, from mandatum for mandate or command.
              On this night, Jesus said, I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
           
Jesus, Lamb of God,
         We always remember Your sacrifice when we gather together for the Holy Eucharist. Tonight in our time, we will also remember You in the Garden of Gethsemane with the disciples who could not stay awake with You for even one hour. I do understand them a little. I always get sleepy when I'm afraid and I'm sure I'd have been afraid that night, it all must have seemed so strange and mysterious to them. Even this night after a busy day with all manner of must do now things going on, it's hard to imagine having to find a way to stay awake all night, in fear, outside, to watch someone else pray for something you aren't even sure of. Would I have had the prayer words I'd need?  Do I have them now? Jesus, help me stay awake with you even for a few minutes. Let me find the words to say. I could begin with, "Lord Jesus, my Savior, thank You for all You have done for me and for all of us. Help me to be a reflection of Your love and humility in this world so that I may rightly be known as a disciple, as a Christian." And maybe, for another few minutes, I can just breathe in praying Lord Jesus, Son of God, and breathe out praying, Have mercy on me, a sinner.  amen. 

















Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Wednesday in Holy Week

Readings: Is 50: 4-9a, Ps70, Heb 12:1-3, Jn 13:21-32

                 On this Wednesday, Judas Iscariot has conspired with the Sanhedrin to support their efforts to trap Jesus. He is paid the sum of 30 pieces of silver, enough to purchase a slave or a good potter's field. How much money is enough to sell someone's life to an enemy - what if the seller is a trusted friend? But of course, Jesus knew it would be Judas...
                Paul's letter to the Hebrews says: Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. When I have felt the world is against me or life is just too hard or I just cannot cope with one more thing to go wrong - did I ever once think of the suffering of Jesus at the hands of others? Have I ever thought of Judas if I did someone a wrong turn to benefit myself, even if only in a small way?  Perhaps Jesus is too big in my mind to compare myself to and perhaps Judas is too bad...  
            On this Wednesday in our time some churches mark this evening - or some others will on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday - with a service called "Tenebrae."  The name comes from the Latin and means shadows or darkness.  The service consists of readings and chanted/sung Psalms while candles are extinguished in sets between readings and chants until the church is completely darkened. Often at the end, in the dark, a sudden loud noise - a gong, slamming a large book, or stamping of feet - is heard as a symbol of the earthquake that signaled the death of Jesus. Holy Wednesday in Holy Week, hearkens back to the penitence of Ash Wednesday just a few weeks ago while the solemnity of the mood deepens.


O Jesus ~ our Ever-Present Light in the Darkness,
         Whether we are in a church, at home, or somewhere else, if we are taking this time to follow Your Passion through this week, we feel the gathering gloom of death approaching. This night of Tenebrae, as the light will fade into dark, all will be still in our hearts. In Your time, You could hear the barking of the dogs across the Kidron Valley as the evening turned to night, along with the growling of camels, and the hee-hawing of donkeys. In our time we hear the traffic going by, tv blaring, and the electronic buzz, clink and chinkle of video games. 
         O Jesus, our Light and Redeemer of us ALL ~ this night reminds us of the story of Judas conspiring with the Sanhedrin and selling you out. This night makes us wonder how he could have done that to You. This night makes us shudder about ways we might have betrayed another for our own benefit even if only in lesser ways. This night calls us to ponder forgiveness  ~ You have forgiven us for all of our sins and trespasses. But have we ever forgiven Judas, the only Apostle never called "saint", the only original Disciple to have died a remorseful death at his own hand, the only one Satan entered to do the bidding that fulfilled the prophecy of our coming Messiah?  Who is a Judas in our own lives that we have not forgiven? Can we take a first step, this night, and breathe the life of forgiveness into Judas Iscariot? Certainly Jesus has. Then, with Your love and help, perhaps we can look at forgiving the Judas closer to home.  amen.

Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.





Monday, April 14, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Tuesday in Holy Week

Reading: Isaiah 49: 1-7;1 Cor: 1:18-31; Ps 71:1-14, John 12:20-36
                       On this Tuesday, disciples Philip and Andrew told Jesus some visiting Greeks wanted to see him and he replied in part, cryptically, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit..."
        When he met with the Greeks he told them, "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."  When the voice came some of the people only heard thunder while others thought it was an angel speaking to Jesus. Jesus told them that the voice was for them to hear, not him.  Some  questioned Jesus about who he was and what was this all about.  He told them the light would be around a little bit longer and to walk in the light because if you walk in the dark you won't see where you're going. If you believe in the light, he told them, "you may become children of the light."  And with that, he went off and hid.

Dear Jesus, our Prophet and our Lord,
         What must your words sound like to those who haven't read The Book or just don't know how things turn out?  I'm confused by those words sometimes and I have read it. On this Tuesday in Your lifetime, You told everyone what was happening in what seems like very plain words yet the message is not quite plain enough for us to grasp well. On this Tuesday in our lifetime it was a day like any other ~ a little shopping for paper cups, plates, and napkins for the upcoming party; pumped gas for the car and tried to remember what else was on the list. Your list was clear enough in one sense - walk in the light ~ Your light ~ and our faith may lead us to be Your children of Your light. It all sounds so easy and so hard at the same time. 
          Help me be one of Yours who hears the voice of God instead of the thundering rumblings of the naysayers and woebegones around me. Give me the courage to stay with the light and not wander off into the darkness of a life with no purpose beyond the correct paper plates.  And then on that Tuesday, You hid away...as I should do sometimes to spend time with You and learn how to be more than just a single grain. amen.
 





Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Monday in Holy Week

      Reading: John 12:1-11
  Monday, after all of the joy and excitement of Palm Sunday, sees Jesus back in the town of Bethany.  On the previous Saturday, Jesus came to raise his friend Lazarus from the dead after Lazarus had been dead in the tomb for three days, and his sisters Mary and Martha, were in anguish.  Jesus returns to a dinner by Martha to see Lazarus and enjoy a meal among his closest friends. Mary decides to welcome him - in a traditional way - by cleaning and anointing His feet with the exquisite  ointment known as Nard. Then she dries His feet with her hair.  

              One of the disclples, Judas Iscariot, makes a snide comment about the expensive perfumed ointment that Mary used saying that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor.  Jesus, supportive of Mary's actions, told Judas that Mary had purchased the jar of Nard in preparation for Jesus' own death and burial and that, "You always have the poor with you but you do not always have me."

               Meanwhile, a great crowd was assembling to see Jesus and Lazarus.  The chief priests were not at all pleased at this development, especially after throngs of excited people along the entry route into Jerusalem the day before. They decided that they would put both Jesus and Lazarus to death as all that was being said and the miracle of raising of Lazarus were turning Jews away as they began to believe in Jesus. They felt threatened by this new, powerful prophet. The clock is ticking...

Sweet Jesus,
         On this Monday in Holy Week, the Gospel speaks of You relaxing at dinner with friends and being pampered as we go about the busy-ness of everyday life.  How unaware are we, as were the disciples on that day, of the significance of this week in our own lives as Christians? 
        The Sanhedrin were plotting against You, and we are making lists of necessities for Easter Day, including bunny-shaped chocolates and marshmallow peeps in brightly colored baskets with plastic grass and hard-boiled eggs dyed in multiple colors. Where else in the world on this day are executions being planned and carried out against innocent people?   How  many unknown women, men, and their children will be brutalized for their religious beliefs, their race, gender, ethnicity, who they love, or simply because they seem to be a threat to some group in power? 
        Grace us with Your spirit Lord, let us, Christians, Your followers, hear and pay attention to that still small voice inside that tells us to take a moment today to stop, reflect, and pray.  Remind us to give thanksgiving for the ordinary parts of a day that make up an extraordinary life for the many of us that don't have to fear murderous persecution. Have we realized today why it is that we're privileged to be gathering fun fillings for an "Easter Basket"?  It's only Monday and much is yet to come this very week.  amen.






Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Day 34: Give Up, Take On, Pray

          Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practice this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise.   
                                                        ― Anthony de Mello* 1931-1987


If you knew that this would be the very last time we would speak to each other, would our conversation be different?  Would we play pretend or would we speak the truth? We have those moments every day with store clerks, shoppers, commuters on the train, people on elevators, those we sit next to at a play or sporting event. What feelings, thoughts, awareness arises if you realize we are all dying. Let's all LIVE while we may and as honestly as we can!

Dear Lord of Life:
     You have given each of us this precious gift of breath; what are we doing with it?  Is it wasted on the young, regretted by the old, dismissed by those in-between who are too busy to recognize it for what it is?  For today, I will give up taking breathing for granted and take on the understanding that even if the next breath isn't my last it will be for someone. I'll pray for the fullness of breath that inhales Your love, patience, and understanding and with each exhale to disperse anger, frustration, and bitterness. Today may be the last chance we'll have together and any beyond it will truly be a gift. Let's not waste it by being dishonest, uncaring, whiny, and/or thoughtless.  amen.   




*Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest from India and a psychotherapist who wrote a number of books and made videos on spirituality with an eastern flavor. His first published book Sadhana: A Way to God contained spiritual exercises influenced by Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Long after his sudden death, then Cardinal-Prefect Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI convened a commission to study de Mello's work and seemed to find some of his writings and lectures theologically problematic.  There was a temporary ban on them for Roman Catholics which has been lifted. Millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, however, have found great wisdom and transformational thought in de Mello's writings, many more of which were published posthumously. 


Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers for Lent, Day 33: Give Up, Take On, Pray

        Racism, prejudice and discrimination still exist in the world, and the Jews have endured the longest continuous manifestation of this racism. I have written that we, as Palestinians, should face Israel candidly and say that we are appalled by the Holocaust, that we should open our hearts "and with a new, magnanimous attitude we should say to the Jews, 'We will accept you and share the land with you. You have suffered for so long. Come share our land. This is God's land. We will live in it together as brothers and sisters.'"  
                   ~ Naim Stifan Ateek* 1937-

             After the discoveries and acknowledgement of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, a homeland for the Jews was sympathetically promoted for Palestine as "A Land Without People for People Without A Land" except the flaw in the ointment of the great repatriation was there were people already there, a few Jewish people and also non-Jewish people - Muslims, Christians, and non-believers. The debates, the wars, the persecutions, the walls, the guns, the bombs, the bloodshed continue and escalate on a daily basis....and yet, Who does any of the Earth really belong to? We cannot take the land with us when we die but so many are willing to die - or to kill - to prove it.

God of Heaven and of Earth, and of all the Universes known and unknown:
           We grieve for the pain and suffering, the torment and anger on all sides of this and every other feud over who can, must, should, shouldn't, can't live here or there. Deep as the core of this earth, the anguish belongs to everyone. We are all Your people - please, we implore, we beseech, we beg You - show Your care for Your children and help us learn to care for each other and to live together in peace, safety, and freedom.  Open our eyes, our hearts, and our souls to see ourselves in each other's faces and especially in the faces of all of our children. 
          For today I must give up worrying more about fixing blame and take on learning more about the history of all sides of a conflict whether in the Middle East, my country, my city, or even my family. I pray for the courage to support those who abhor violence and who will encourage dialogue to promote understanding among us all. I entreat You through the Saving Love of Jesus the Christ and the Wisdom of Your Holy Spirit who live and reign with You as one, the God of Abraham, for now, for tomorrow, for eternity. amen.


*The Rev Dr Naim Ateek is a Palestinian priest in the Anglican Church and founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. A former Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Dr. Ateek is a much sought after lecturer at home and abroad and receives support across all denominations and faith traditions including those of the Jewish faith.  As a well-respected author of a number of books and articles on Palestinian Liberation Theology, Dr. Ateek has been the recipient of many honors and awards for his work.


Please feel free to request a prayer to be composed for a particular concern or topic for posting in this space. You may leave your request in the comments section or contact me directly at Leeosophy@gmail.com All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. Requestors will remain anonymous.