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.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meditation Moments: Ellington and Welles


Rod's Prayer for Us

I am leaving you well and whole.  
That is my parting gift to you.*

Lord, Dear Lord of love, God Almighty, God Above,
Please look down and see my people through.
       Come Sunday ~ Duke Ellington**  [1899-1974]


Dear Rod:
       We rest easier in our hearts today knowing your words, your voice remain even as your earthly presence has been reborn as eternal and unbounded. You know that the celebration of you, through the jazz vespers you designed, was as glorious an hour as any of us have ever spent and we know you speak to us from each phrase, each note, each breath - the most joyful noise resounding beyond the barriers of earth and ether, hearts and souls. 
       The prayers, the Scripture (from The Message, of course), and mostly the music and the lyrics have given us the clearest blueprint for all of us to follow til we meet again. Knowing that you put this together in the very last days, as you knew you were leaving this life, is the purest, most ideal, truly inspirational model of how to live and die with the utmost grace, dignity, and peace. 
       Thank you, my friend. All of us who knew and loved you will carry your love for us forever and give it away as often as we can to as many as we can, as you did.  AMEN and HALLELUJAH!

A few of the selections from the Jazz Vespers at the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew & Matthew in Wilmington, DE on Saturday, June 28, 2014 designed by and in memory of our dearest brother in Christ, The Rev Rod Welles:

Come Sunday by Duke Ellington
Hold to God's Unchanging Hands, music by Paul Halley

Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 (The Message):
Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.

1John 4:7-13 (The Message)

John 14:12-17. 25-27 (The Message)
.....*vv 25-27 speak clearly to me of Rod's directive to us all:
                             I am telling you these things while I am still living with you.
                             The Friend, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send at my 
                              request, will make everything plain to you, reminding you of
                              all the things I have told you.  I am leaving you well and 
                              whole.  That is my parting gift to you.              [emphasis added]

I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me, a Negro Spiritual
In That Great Gittin' Up Mornin', A Negro Spiritual
Take the 'A' Train, Billy Strayhorn/Duke Ellington 
       and so much more...


**Duke Ellington, American composer, musician, and jazz orchestra leader for more than 50 years is an icon of American music.  If you need to know more, just listen.

I cannot post the video here but use the link below or go to YouTube and search for Duke Ellington, Come Sunday and click on the link for the version by Kathleen Battle and Brandon Marsalis, oh my!

Come Sunday - Kathleen Battle & Brandon Marsalis
Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Meditation Moments: Permanently Temporary

photo by Christina Brennan Lee
Buddhist Temple Grounds - Kamakura, Japan

The plants and flowers
I raised about my hut
I now surrender
To the will
Of the wind 

             ― Ryōkan* [1758-1831]






Esteemed Mikado of the Cosmos ~
     I, Your humble human creature, still find myself clinging to the notion that I have control of my life and even my property. Except that the more I try to divest myself of stuff, the more stuff I seem to accumulate (after all, I have room now since I got rid of the other stuff). And then there was that tree that fell in the storm. 
    In terms of my life, well, there's no problem there - I could say that everything I plan happens exactly as I want, except You know better. All that is great, ordinary, or awful in living is really only temporary. 
    The wind blows, the roof leaks, the new car gets old,    ......s/he dies. 
    Help me, Most Supreme of us All, to surrender my illusion of control and find tranquility in the now moment of life. Grant me the insight to know that whatever else was, is, or will be, Your love is eternal, sustaining, and the only part of the Cosmos that is permanent.  amen.
  
  

*Ryōkan was a Japanese zen buddhist monk, poet, calligrapher, and for most of his life, a hermit.  Known for his eccentricities and humor, as much as for his poems, it is in his work that the essence of zen life is presented.    
        




Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.


Meditation Moments: Prepare to be Amazed

Amazement
watercolor by Jamie Winter

      Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.       Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. 
          ― Abraham Joshua Heschel* [1907-1972]





God of gods, Lord of kings, Revealer of mysteries ~
          Being amazed when I get up in the morning isn't usually first on my list of things to do although some mornings it's amazing I've gotten that far. But before I know it the day has gone and I've missed it. The way I'm going, my whole life will be gone and I really don't want to wait until that specific moment to discover what true amazement is all about.
          God of Creation, too much time has passed and I want to experience this life and all that is in it as an act of radical amazement. You have hung the heavens, filled the seas, and planted the earth. Help me see, feel, hear, taste, touch, and know the spirituality of wonder in every possible moment...in the moments that are joyful, in the moments when I am lost, and in the moments that are so ordinary they seem to meld into the next without notice. Grant me, each day, the vision to see the splendor, the ability to savor each breath, and the insight to expand my consciousness of amazement as my spirit absorbs and lives into the essence of You. amen.



*Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Polish born American philosopher, theologian, rabbi and is considered one of the leaders of his disciplines in the 20th century. He authored many books and was a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  A strong advocate of the American Civil Rights movement, Heschel lost close family members in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.



Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meditation Moments: Finding the Then in Now


      

      When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good... nothing is too difficult for children.    
                     ― Madeleine L'Engle* [1918-2007]




Ruler of the Universe We Know, and All the Ones We Don't ~
          It's amazing to watch children at play. They see the wonder, the color, the surprise, and have the imagination to find excitement in a beautifully creative understanding of life. They accept revelation, move boundaries, and effortlessly disentangle enigmas. They ask why a thousand times without caring how many times they get the same answer and never stop looking for another.
          Lord, when did my world become so limited, fixed, and absolute? How did I lose my curiosity and agree to be constrained by imposed and unexplored assumptions?  Please help me find the child in me that my education, life experience, and trying to prove my worth to others has set aside. Open my eyes to possibilities, potential, insight, and a new experience of You. Let me learn how to play again and to expand my inner vision to rediscover delight, joy, laughter, and un-seriousness in my relationship with You. Grant me the gift to know now what I knew then and the non-sense to live it.  amen.



*Madeleine L'Engle,  an author of many books and articles, among other accolades she was a Newbery award winner for her junior novel A Wrinkle in Time. L'Engle was a strong Episcopalian, and later in life she was a "writer-in-residence" at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City where she is now buried. Because of some of her theological views such as universal salvation and a limit to divine punishment, many Christian libraries and bookstores refused to carry her books while at the same time she was criticized by secular reviewers as being "too religious." On writing for children, she often said that children could understand very complex topics better than adults and she emphasized the importance of being childlike and not childish.  



Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meditation Moments: 3 hours? Oh sure...

I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.
             — Martin Luther*  [1483-1546]


Oh sure, God - not a problem, I'll just kick that off every morning! Can I just tell You how much I have to do every day? I'll bet Martin Luther didn't have to shop for groceries or prepare meals! And all the places I have to go? All the expectations others have of me? The pressure to get everything done on time and correctly, the phone calls, email, voicemail, bill paying, mowing the lawn, the laundry, text messages, travel reservations, doctor appointments.
       If I had the time I could go on and on for hours about how much time I do NOT have for prayer.....um, er, well, on the other hand, I guess I could just turn it all over to YOU...sort of like I just did. Hmm, I guess it isn't a requirement to lock myself up in a chapel on a kneeler. So, ok then, I'll just go on and on to You while I'm going around in my day. I already feel a little charged up, and wirelessly.  amen.




*Martin Luther was a German monk and theologian who is credited with the start of the Protestant Reformation. He was ultimately excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church. He challenged the authority of the Pope on several levels and disavowed the Bible as the only source of divinely-revealed knowledge. He believed in "the priesthood of all believers" for baptized people and translating the Bible into the local language made it more accessible from the academic Latin known only by clergy and the very well-educated. He married and introduced singing by the congregation. His later writings were antagonistic toward Jews and remain controversial.  Nonetheless the Lutheran Church, in its various forms, follow the basic tenets of his theology to this day. 




Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Prayers of the People: The Price of Free, 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, June 29, 2014, Readings:  Gen 22:1-18, Ps 13, Romans 6:12-23, Mt 10:37-42
...the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.     Romans 6:23b NRSV

       This week our first reading is related to one of the four "texts of terror" as author and seminary Professor Phyllis Trible describes several biblical accounts in her book of that name. Even many non-Bible readers are aware of God's call to Abraham to take his son Isaac and make him a burnt offering, to sacrifice his beloved child's life, as a test of obedience. Who hasn't wondered, and worried, if this is what it means to "obey" God? 
        It's easy, and scary, to get caught up in the language of fear but each of this week's readings reinforces the steadfast love of God which will not harm us, and the full reward of Christ by doing what we should be doing anyway, welcoming and caring for others. 
       Free gift? Well, it is free choice and, at the very least, the promise of eternity seems well worth obedience and hospitality as the price.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:   ~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, from the teachings of Christ we have learned obedience in our hearts and the release of our souls from the death grip of sin. We are thankful and humbled for Your exquisite love that sanctifies and gives us eternal life, through Jesus, Your Son and our Redeemer.

                         O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
Response:    Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, we ask you to endow the leaders of this world, our country, and our state with extra grace and strength of character to discern Your will and wisdom in all that they do for Your people.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
                       Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, grant healing and comfort to those who struggle with illness, recovery, and pain and nourish the stamina of those who support them. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
                       Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, please embrace those who bear the heavy burden of sorrow for their loss, as we lift up, with love, those who have exchanged this earthly life for peace and eternity with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
                       Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud……..

                       O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
                       Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

~ Lord of Righteousness, God of Grace, we ask that You bolster and sustain those chosen to help us navigate the time and tides of this human experience. Impart refreshment in spiritual wisdom to preach Your Word, encourage our understanding, and connect us to You in everyday living. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                       O Lord, our God, we trust in Your steadfast love
                       Our hearts rejoice in Your salvation

The Celebrant adds:  God of All that is, Seen and Unseen, create in us the desire to be the welcoming disciples of Jesus, develop in us a spiritual thirst that seeks to be quenched only in You. Grant us the willingness to spend more time with You amidst the busy-ness of daily life, so that all that we are and all that we do is a reflection of Your love and grace. We ask this through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You as our One God for all times and all places. Amen.






Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meditation Moments: Know Myself


Nothing is more helpful to reduce pride than the actual experience of self-knowledge. If we are discouraged by it, we have misunderstood its meaning.
- Thomas Keating, American Trappist monk, Founder of the Centering Prayer movement [1923- ]

The essence of knowledge is self-knowledge.
- Plato, Greek philosopher, student of Socrates 
[ca. 424 BCE - 347 BCE]

Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.
- Ramayana, Hindu Epic, Indian classic literature [ca. 5th - 4th century BCE] 

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
- Confucius, Chinese Philosopher [551 BCE - 479 BCE]

There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.
- Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, politician, printer, scientist, author, etc.  
[1706-1790]

Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves.
- Shakespeare, English playwright, poet [1564-1616]

Note to my Higher Power:  
              It seems that across the centuries and cultures, there is agreement about the importance of knowing myself. How do I really do that? Even Benjamin Franklin said that it's really hard. I already know that I can be my own best friend and my own worst enemy, well at least my harshest critic. And I do wonder, from time to time, what makes me think about things the way I do, and who and what influences me.         
             I could start thinking about basic questions such as: What gives me more energy - staying in alone, or being with a crowd? How do I get information that helps with decision making - just by my intuition or by gathering concrete information? And when I am making a decision, do I rely on what "my gut" tells me subjectively, or do I analyze the facts objectively? How much serious organization do I require in my life or am I more likely to "go with the flow"?
             Please inspire my willingness to find ways to know more about who I am and to seek helpful advice and companionship in the process. And, please remind me to take a few moments regularly to center myself in You, to breathe slowly in and out, and let myself be known better by me and by You.  amen.  



Please feel free to request a prayer or meditation to be composed for a particular person, 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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.




Friday, June 20, 2014

Prayers in Pentecost: Beauti-ful is less

Royal Albatross in Flight over the South Island of New Zealand


Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins, and here lies the ultimate act of saving, of healing...Do not confuse beauty with beautiful. 
Beautiful is a human judgment. 
Beauty is All. 
The difference is everything. 
~ Matthew Fox* [1940- ]



Holy Creator of Beauty ~
       When I am in the presence of true beauty, it lights up my soul and brightens my whole sense of what Creation is through nature, art, music, the laughter of a child, or the map of life on an aged face. And while I believe I am often surrounded by it, I realize that more often I fail to see and experience it. Instead, I'm critical and judgmental, rejecting in others the very failings I suspect are my own, damaging the essence of Creation and its creatures. I'm guilty of absorbing the artificially contrived, often unattainable, and even unhealthy standards of human beauty whether physical, intellectual, or spiritual imposed by a purely commercial culture intent on control and profit. 
        Help me, Lord, to get beyond my flawed judgement that, I must confess, can be at the very least, unkind. Please turn my heart, refresh my soul, and heal my inner vision so that I might see the world and especially Your people, through the eyes of love. Grant me a lightness of spirit and an effortless appreciation of all that exists in Your Creation. Rid me of lingering -isms, - phobias, and negativity that I may lift the spirit of another, expand my appreciation of the flora, fauna, and terra firma, and become a co-creator of true beauty until my earthly existence is completed. amen.




*Matthew Fox, is an American Episcopal priest, theologian, and author. Formerly a Roman Catholic priest of the Dominican order, Fox became an early advocate and exponent of Creation Spirituality that has drawn inspiration from Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi and others.  The movement is aligned with ecological and environmental movements and in the spirit of deep ecumenism, embraces many spiritual traditions of the world such as Buddhism, Sufism, Judaism, and Native American.  Fox has authored more than 30 books and a great deal of controversy among "traditional" religious leaders.




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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers in Pentecost: Finders Keepers




For whatsoever 
from one place doth fall, 
is with a tide 
unto another brought. 
For there is nothing lost, 
that may be found, if sought.
                                            ― Dante Alighieri* [1265-1321]




O Master of the Universe,
        I seem to lose You every now and then. You've given me the choice to be with You or not and sometimes I'm not paying attention and I wander away.  I may not have made the conscious choice to give You up, but it's clear that I can make that choice to look for You, to be with You, to live my life as You have instructed. I can't really lose You after all, I can only turn away by choice or by carelessness. But You have said that if I ask, if I knock, if I seek, all will be given, opened, and found. All I have to do is look...easy enough when all is well but when things aren't going so well I can't get out of my own way. Sometimes, I need Your help to remember where to look. I know now  where You are - will You please help me then? amen. 



*Dante Aligheri, was born in Florence, otherwise known simply as Dante, is the major Italian poet whose Divine Comedy, which includes the Inferno, has been called the greatest piece of literature in the Italian language and it remains a masterpiece of world literature.



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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Prayers after Pentecost: Seeding the Future

God created seeds, too, in all colors, shapes, and sizes
       We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.  Nothing we do is complete...No prayer fully expresses our faith...No confession brings perfection.  We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are the workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.  ~Oscar Romero* [1917-1980]      [emphasis added]


Lord of All, our Master Builder, 
       We westerners pride ourselves on accomplishment, our completion of tasks - even in our ministries. We proclaim ourselves "doers" and point to all the external activities in which we count ourselves competent, even expert. The checklists, the programs, the agendas, the plans....and then real life interrupts and some "important" projects never get finished. 
       Help us all, especially me, to remember that we can plant the seeds of Your love by a simple handshake, a smile, a kind word; and, that is often more ministry than building a church, fussing over liturgical details, or writing a check. While we can continuously renew our commitment to You within a community of like-minded people, when we live our love for You on the inside, we will wear it on the outside. In that way, You will be known to all through our love first and then through the simplicity of our actions, whether or not we are around to harvest the fruit.  amen.   
       
   

*Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, ordained in Rome and worked towards a doctorate in theology with a specialty in ascetical theology. When he returned home, he moved over time from a conservative stance to a radical supporter of Liberation Theology and supported the poor and the "disappeared".  More than 70,000 El Salvadorans were disappeared by the military leaders in 10 years and Dr Romero spoke out vociferously, even preaching to the United States to stop supporting the government because it was "killing my people."  He was murdered, shot to death while behind the altar presiding at Mass in 1980.  He has been given the title, "Servant of God" by the Vatican as a prelude to the process of canonization to sainthood.  


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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Prayers after Pentecost: Passing the Test



Here's a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:  
if you're alive, it isn't.   
~ Richard Bach* [1937- ]






Lord of Now, Lord of Forever,
       I'm alive. Now what? 
       Some days it's hard work just to be alive. Other days go by so fast I hardly realize it. And then, someone you care about is suddenly gone and life takes on new meaning, again. And just as suddenly it hits me that his mission is finished whether he was ready for it to be or we who cared about him were, it just is. It's a recent theme of mine, asking You for help with the meaning of living, and now, for help in finding my mission. I thought I knew what it was - doing good deeds, taking care of others, giving money, donating time.
      But here is yet another moment to re-evaluate and re-discover how I can live as if You were with me every moment. Maybe if I worry less about doing stuff and learning more about just being, especially with You, my mission will become clearer. Of course I'll keep doing but I'm seeing again that if I spend more of life working to love You with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and my neighbors as myself ~ as You instructed ~ that mission thing will take care of itself. Thanks for listening, again.  amen.


*Richard Bach is an author best known for classic 1970s bestsellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, and The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. His books carry a philosophical theme that our physical limits and mortality are merely appearance.  A love of flying nearly cut his mission short in 2012 as his small plane landed upside down in a field and he was badly injured.



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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers of the People: Fear is for the Birds, 2nd Sunday after Pentecots

for Sunday, June 22, 2014, Readings: Gen 21:8-21; Ps 86:1-10, 16-17; Romans 6:1-11, Mt 10:24-39

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father...So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. [Mt 10:29,31]

      In an age where obedience is an alien and archaic concept, we are yet called three times in these readings to be obedient without ever seeing the word itself. Abraham is the icon of radical obedience, following and doing on complete trust and faith in God. 
      Paul lets us know that we must die to sin to live in Christ which requires an obedience to the promises of our Baptism. Jesus tells us that we will be held greater than the beloved sparrows when we acknowledge (and obey) him above all others. To obey or not? There are significant consequences either way. But, we still have our free will. Our choice to follow Christ in all things must be voluntary.
       All we have to do is choose - intentionally, deliberately, mindfully.  So, what is there to be afraid of?

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:   ~ God of Mercy, God of Favor, You have called each of us out of a life in sin to the newness of life in Christ. Help us to attain the pure faith of Your servant Abraham and trust that You will always hear our voices, even from the wilderness we make for ourselves.
                       
                       O Lord, in Your great compassion
Response:    Hear our prayer

~ God of Mercy, God of Favor, strengthen our resolve to frequently remind the political leaders in our state, in our country, and in the world, of the imperative for the fulfillment of justice, mercy, and basic human needs. No one in Your Creation is beneath another in importance. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions  

                       O Lord, in Your great compassion
                       Hear our prayer

~ God of Mercy, God of Favor, send healing comfort to those who are wearied of illness in body, mind, or spirit, and soothe the hearts of those who attend to their needs.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, in Your great compassion
                       Hear our prayer

~ God of Mercy, God of Favor, we commend to Your loving care those we have loved who have left this mortal life, and we ask Your shelter for all who grieve. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, in Your great compassion
                       Hear our prayer

~ God of Mercy, God of Favor, lay Your hands again upon those who have been called by You to accompany us on our life-long journey to You. Impart Your wisdom and grant them strength of soul and character.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                       O Lord, in Your great compassion
                       Hear our prayer

The Celebrant adds: Wondrous God of Heaven and Earth, help us to clearly know that Your promise to care for us, is as constantly fulfilled and renewed as it was for Sarah’s Isaac, Hagar’s Ishmael, and all who are the offspring of Abraham. Mold us again in Your image that we may be Your compassion in the world. We ask this through Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer and the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter who live and reign with You as our One God in Three Persons.  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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Prayers after Pentecost: Life from now til then

          To love life is to love God...Every bit of our life is final for us, and we should treat all life as a sacred gift and responsibility. We should see our relation to life as being like an immediate relation to God. We are moved and touched by the way all living things, and not just we ourselves, spontaneously love life, affirm it and cling to it.       ~ Don Cupitt* [1934]


Dear Mystical Entity ~
        Life confronted me today in two opposing ways. One was a bouncy, vivacious toddler full of sparkle, full of life. Another was a dear friend calmly, if wistfully, dying. The first demanded my attention, with a voice to be heard through the ether, filled with energy, delight, and love. The second accepted my attention, in quiet tones, holding my hand as we reminisced and we never pretended that there will be a next time or that all will be well ~ not this time ~ but still, there was love. So, here I am, again, with a frequent and selfish prayer. I ask not to change the course of what is, but instead to have the consciousness to recognize in myself the spectrum of life from the child's joy to the accepting calm and all that is in between, all that brings me to You. Please help me remember to live in my life so that I know and love that I am living. Help me not to be oblivious to all that life is ~ the happy, the sad, the ordinary, You are in it all. Let my unconscious moments be fewer as I walk toward the inevitable when. And most of all, let me remember the precious moments of love I've received and given and know the best of Life is always in You, with love. amen. 

P.S. Many of us will grieve the loss of our friend's presence in this life.  I and others pray for a peaceful transition for this lovely person and his family.

     

An update, our dear friend left his earthly existence in radiant peace and comfort surrounded by his wife, daughter and son only an hour or so after the above was posted.  We mourn his passing, we celebrate his life, we give great thanksgivings to have known and been known by this amazing person of God.


*Don Cupitt has been an Anglican priest, philosopher of religion and scholar of Christian theology, broadcaster, author, and a professor at Cambridge University in England. Described as a radical theologian, he became well known in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand in 1984 for a BBC-TV series called the "Sea of Faith" and he still continues involvement in the network of that name.  In that series, and through the Sea of Faith Network with like-minded people, and in his writings, orthodox Christian beliefs are explored and challenged. Cupitt has self-described as a Christian non-realist meaning that he follows spiritual practice and ethical standards associated with Christianity without a belief in the actual existence of the mystical entities God and Christ.



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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Prayers in Pentecost: Paving that path



You are what you do, 
not what you say you'll do.

                            ― C.G. Jung* [1875-1961]




Dear Spirit of All Good Intention ~
          I am often guilty of following the path of least resistance, also known as the prettier and easier way to procrastinate. Equally as often, I make elaborate plans to do so many good things but then allow myself to be distracted. I jump into being overly busy at superficial pursuits or worse, slacking off altogether. As Paul says in Romans 7:19: For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Well, I'm not out there doing so much evil, I mean, I don't think I'm doing bad things so much as I'm not just doing as many good things as I could. Or, maybe, it's just that my intention is off track. I often race through a day, a week, a month thoughtlessly, without really processing WHY I'm doing things, be they good, not-so-good or just neutral.  
          Please stoke the desire within me to start and end each day with prayer. Help me to walk through each part of the day with You as my reason for being, with You as my reason for doing, with You who inspires all Good Intention. Um, do You mind if I take the walk along that pretty path while I pray?  I'll try and stay intentionally focused...amen.

*Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist and is known as the founder of analytical psychology. He developed the concept of archetypes, extroversion and introversion, and the collective unconscious. His deep and collegial friendship with Sigmund Freud lasted about 6 years until a serious disagreement broke the relationship. Jung believed, in part, that spiritual development, a journey of transformation was essential for human well-being. His study of many religions gave rise to his thought that in what he called individuation, a journey to meet the self also leads to meeting the Divine.

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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers in Pentecost: The Remember Room

          The time is ripe...not all the time, surely, but from time to time...to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. 
         The name of the room is Remember — the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.    Frederick Buechner* [1926- ] 


O Holy Comforter ~
          The calendar only highlights the dates that are burned deeply into my heart with a mix of sweetness, sadness, and even a smile. And on each of those days I open the door to my inner room of memories and sit with them as if in a familiar attic. I sift through the virtual folders and boxes that hold remnants of the most meaningful people and times of my life now past. And on each of those days I need Your presence to surround me while I winnow through the highs and the lows of all that has been. Most importantly, please be here while I caress the remembrances of the all-too-brief moments with those now gone who I have loved and who have loved me. Give me Your peace when I go from this room until it is time again to remember. Strengthen my resolve to walk more fully into today, into all that is now, and all that is yet to be. amen.     



*Carl Frederick Buechner is an American theologian, Presbyterian pastor, and author of more than 30 books in several genres such as fiction, autobiography, and sermons, and is well-known among readers of Christian meditation.  He has received the O. Henry Award and been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award among many other honors. 





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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Prayers in Pentecost: From Within to Without

Peace is not something you can force on anything or anyone... much less upon one's own mind. It is like trying to quiet the ocean by pressing upon the waves. Sanity lies in somehow opening to the chaos, allowing anxiety, moving deeply into the tumult, diving into the waves, where underneath, within, peace simply is.   ― Gerald G. May*   [1940-2005]

Lord of the Deepest Peace,
      There are so many days that I see the world around me is in such chaos - whirling in violence, poverty, and pain. I am at such a loss trying to know in which direction to turn, which good cause needs me the most. What can I possibly do to make any kind of useful difference? I am merely the tiniest pebble in the hole of a huge dyke that strains against impending disaster. And then, taking a breath, I remember  - You - and my prayer begins again. Grant me the stillness within that I can turn into focus without. My footing is more certain when the peace of heaven is in my heart and my soul takes its ease in Your comfort. From then I can move forward and the direction of my path becomes clear. Grant me the stillness within that I can turn into service without. amen.  



*Gerald Gordon May, was an American psychiatrist and theologian, and as a conscientious objector, worked as an Air Force psychiatrist in Vietnam. Later he was a staff psychiatrist in a prison mental hospital in Maryland. He later became a senior fellow at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland conducting workshops in contemplative theology and psychology. He wrote several books on the subject of combining spiritual direction with psychological therapy. 


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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prayers in Pentecost: The only thing I'm always sure of is that I'm not always sure...


The key to wisdom is this - constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth. - Peter Abelard* [1079-1142]






Well, God, 
     Doubt and Questioning has always been part of my journey to You although for my early life I kept it hidden and secret. I was told what to believe by the religious education I had as a child and there was no room for questions. I drifted away, You know, but when I came back, I was still in the really, is that what happened, okay maybe but....mode. I discovered a lot more "religious" types who only wanted to tell me how things are, what the Bible means, and any disagreement isn't tolerated.  Didn't stay with them, either.  After some more serious study I am surprised at how many questions I still have but I'm grateful to have found a community in which to ask, discuss, disagree, and decide at least about a few things. I've learned to listen, to think, to process but mostly, to pray.  I know I don't have many answers, sometimes I don't even know the questions, but one thing I know I'm sure of - Your Presence. Thank You for being here. You don't mind about the questions, right? amen.


*Peter Abelard was a French philosopher and theologian who was no stranger to controversy.  The son of a knight he gave up inheritance and a military career to pursue philosophy and traveled around France studying with the foremost philosophers of his day.  He ultimately moved to Paris and became a well-known teacher of philosophy and theology and was hired as a private tutor for the daughter of the Canon of the Cathedral of Paris. Abelard and the Canon's daughter, Heloise, fell in love, conceived a child and secretly married. The Canon had Abelard castrated and sent to a monastery; Heloise to a convent. Abelard continued to write controversial books and articles and was at various times declared heretical and also had large followings. He and Heloise famously wrote many letters to one another and at his death, she had his body buried near her convent.  She was buried with him when she died.  





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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.

Prayers of the People: 1 + 2 = ONE, Trinity Sunday, Yr A

for Trinity Sunday, June 15, 2014, Readings: Gen 1:1-2:4a; Ps 8, 2 Cor 13:11-13, Mt 28:16-20

      A central mystery of most Christian denominations, the Trinity may be the most confounding. The Trinity is/are one God in three persons, distinct from one another yet consubstantial with each other, co-equal, and co-eternal. The Fourth Lateran Council [in years 1213-1215] declared that "it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds." The Roman Catholic catechism says, "Accordingly, the whole work of creation and grace is seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that all things are 'from the Father', 'through the Son' and 'in the Holy Spirit.'" How do you explain it? If all things are possible with God....



LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:        ~ Eternal Trinity, In the beginning, You created the heavens and the earth, separated the dry land from the waters, the day from the night, provided seeds and vegetation, living creatures of every kind, and ourselves – male and female, human, in Your Image. 

                     Glory to God: Holy Creator, Redeemer, Comforter,
Response:  We praise You and highly exalt You forever.

~ Eternal Trinity, our God-given intellect, the love of Christ, and the holy courage of the Spirit, give us the ability and the call to serve all the people of God with justice, mercy, and in peace. Help us to strongly encourage the leaders of our nation and in the world, of the necessity to do likewise. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                        Glory to God: Holy Creator, Redeemer, Comforter,
                        We praise You and highly exalt You forever.

~ Eternal Trinity, bestow the grace of hope and healing upon those who are ill in mind, body, or spirit and grant those who give them care continuing strength and perseverance. We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                        Glory to God: Holy Creator, Redeemer, Comforter,
                        We praise You and highly exalt You forever.

~ Eternal Trinity, we implore You to set the Fire of Pentecost as the essential beacon before those who are lost in the icy winter of grief. Carry those who have left our earthly experience into the warmth of Holy comfort and peace in Your life everlasting.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                        Glory to God: Holy Creator, Redeemer, Comforter,
                        We praise You and highly exalt You forever.

~ Eternal Trinity, for all those You have called and blessed as guides for our souls in this life, we ask You for their peace of heart, strength of mind, and courage of conviction.  Let us hold fast together and walk through all blessings and trials as we journey toward everlasting life in Your Holy of Holies.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                        Glory to God: Holy Creator, Redeemer, Comforter,
                        We praise You and highly exalt You forever.


The Celebrant adds: Eternal Whole, One and All, anoint us with the essence of Your Presence in all that we do, and think, and pray. We beseech You through Your Son Jesus, and the comfort of Your Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You, One God, now and forever.  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. If you would like the weekly Prayers of the People prior to its appearance on the blog, please send me an email. Personal prayer requestors will remain anonymous.