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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Prayers of the People: Knowing God or No-ing God? Trinity Sunday, 1st Sunday after Pentecost Yr B

for Sunday May 31, 2015, Trinity Sunday, Yr B, Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8, Ps 29, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17

        How is a mystery explained? And if explained, it is no longer a mystery. The mystery of the Trinity is nothing if not confounding. One God/Three Persons - separate yet one, equal with different roles that are ultimately the same, belief in one is meant to be belief in all and the One that is the same but different. 
        Franciscan theologian Richard Rohr tells us that "...the Western Church overemphasized the individual "names" Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but not so much the quality of the relationships between them, which is where all the power and meaning lies!" And further, "The real and essential point is how the three "persons" relate to one another--infinite outpouring and infinite receiving..."
      Rohr tells us that "...Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist who was a major contributor to quantum physics and nuclear fission, said the universe is 'not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think...' The doctrine of the Trinity is saying the same thing: God is not only stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think...Perhaps much of the weakness of the first 2,000 years of reflection on most of our doctrines and dogmas is that we've tried to understand them with a logical or rational mind instead of through love, prayer, and participation itself..." Perhaps we are called, as one mystic suggested, to be almost a fourth person in the flow of God...[to read the piece in its entirety, click the link: Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, The Trinity]
      If rational knowing all about God becomes the substance and goal of our faith, aren't we merely reducing God to our level and then dismissively no-ing to all that God is? How more engaging to know that mystery is always unfolding?
      One of my favorite ways to attempt understanding is through a piece of a 6th century creed from Dublin known as Tírechán’s Creed ~ when speaking of God it says:

He has a Son who is co-eternal with himself;
   and similar in all respects to himself;
   and neither is the Son younger than the Father,
   nor is the Father older than the Son;
   and the Holy Spirit breathes in them.
And the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are inseparable.

   Got it now?

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, as Jesus did with Nicodemus, undo our certainty and need to know all there is about You. Grant us openness of mind, sincerity of heart, and willingness to come to You as unknowing, to allow the wind of the Spirit, the redemption of Christ, and our birth from Above, to move through us in Your many and miraculous ways.

 Mighty God in Three Persons
RESPONSE:  We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, in a world filled with the smoke of confusion, let us answer “Here we are; send us” to speak Your voice with clean lips, to bear witness for truth and justice for all Your people, in the halls of government everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, help those bowed low by illness, addiction, or loneliness to know the embrace of Your strength, and give comfort to all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, lift the hearts of those deep in the woe of grief and help us each to remember the Christ-promise of eternal life given to all who believe. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness

~ Holy, Holy, Holy - Lord, Savior, Sanctifier, for our earthly Guides who help us find our way to faith in the things of heaven, we give great thanks. Lift them on their own journeys that, together, we will rise to Your eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Mighty God in Three Persons
We worship You in the beauty of holiness


The Celebrant adds: Abba, Redeemer, Advocate, let us live each day as the heirs of Your eternal Kingdom in deep faith free from mere superficial belief. Help us to seek the constant newness of Christ revealed, and to experience the great love that brought about the salvation of this world. We ask through each and all of the Three Eternal Persons in the sacred mystery of the Holy Trinity, who are One God, and reigns forever and ever.  Amen.





Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to 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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Prayers of the People: PENTECOST! Then, There AND Here, Now

for Sunday, May 24, 2015, Pentecost Yr B, Readings: Acts 2:1-21, Ps 104:25-35, 37; Romans 8:22-27, John 15: 26-27; 16:4b-15


Fifty Days after Easter, 
Ten Days after the Ascension 
comes Pentecost, 
 the feast of Holy Spirit:  

        When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house...Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  [Acts 2:1-4]

  On the Jewish calendar, this ancient feast is Shavuot and follows 50 days after Passover. It celebrates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. It's possibly another reason the disciples were gathered together in addition to waiting for the sign promised by the resurrected Jesus 10 days before in his last in-person teachings. Given that, in the previous month and a half, they had experienced the arrest and violent execution of Jesus, his resurrection, then his ascension, and their own grief and fear at these inexplicable turn of events, here they are gathered together again without quite knowing what was next or when. It may well have been comforting to be together in the familiar structure of this ancient feast. And then suddenly a sound like a violent wind and tongues of fire resting on them gave them more than good reason to be bewildered, astonished, and amazed!
              Today it may be easy for us to be blasé, to know the story too well, to be immune to the thrill and amazement. Yet today is an excellent time to heed the words of Paul when he reminds us that we do not know how to pray as we ought but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. [Romans 8:26b] Peter reminds us in the words of the prophet Joel, that when Christ returns, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Acts 2:21]
              Today is the day to stop knowing the story. Today is the day to START feeling the Spirit – be amazed and astonished and bewildered!  We have the Spirit within us, and God’s grace, and the love and Salvation of Christ for the wanting of it! Let us rejoice and be glad and joy-filled, and alive in it! After all, what else is faith for? 



LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, bewilder our sense of the ordinary, and help us also to be amazed and astonished on this day. Let us experience again, the wonder and joy of a living and active faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
RESPONSE: Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, with the Holy Spirit upon us, let us be emboldened to stand before the leaders of this world, our nation, and our community, with the substance and grace to encourage the renewal of this earth and its people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, lighten the burden of pain for those who are weakened in body, spirit, and soul. Let their hearts be filled with the peace of knowing that You hear their every prayer. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, grant peace to all who have hope in the unseen, even in the midst of grief. Help us all to wait in faithful patience to join our loved ones who now live again in the glory of Your highest heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

~ Great and Glorious LORD our God, as the Spirit descends upon us, quicken the hearts and minds of all who lead us in Your Church, so that they may energize and excite our life in faith within the Church, and through all of every-day life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions.

Spirit of Highest Truth and Hope
Fall afresh on us

The Celebrant adds: Holy and Living God, You above all, desire our redemption and salvation, and yet all of Creation groans as if in labor. To us this day You send the Spirit to intercede, to make us strong where we are weak, to fill us with the fire of faith, and to know that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Our joyful and unending prayers ascend to Jesus our Christ and the Holy Spirit our Advocate, who together with You, live as One God, now and forever. Amen.


       Also known as the Birthday of the Church, Pentecost marks the official beginning of the ministry of the Apostles beyond their local area and into the whole world. The descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire imbued them, and each of us by extension, with extra-ordinary gifts to bring the message of Christ to everyone.
This day is known as Whitsun/Whitsunday in Ireland and the UK, a descendant of a Gaelic celebration of medieval or perhaps even more ancient times.
 




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to 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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Prayers of the People: Looking Up to Heaven, Seventh Sunday of Easter

for Sunday May 17, 2015, Easter 7,Year B, Readings: Acts 1:15-17, Ps 1, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19    


          Looking up to heaven, Jesus prayed, "I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world...When I was with them, I protected them in your name...I ask you to protect them from the evil one...Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."  
[John 17:6,12a,15b,17-18]

          In the lesson from Acts, Peter tells the crowd of believers that the time has come to find the replacement for Judas and it is determined to be between two worthy candidates. After they pray and ask God to choose, lots are cast and the lot fell on Matthias
          Then in the Gospel, we move slightly backwards in time. This reading is in the middle of what is known as the Farewell Discourse of Jesus that takes place just after the Last Supper. In this moment, Jesus is praying on our behalf, updating God on the progress of the mission so far even to say, While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. [John 17:12 ]  The one lost, of course, refers to Judas. And in this prayer, for us, Jesus asks God to protect us not just for our own sake but for the sake of the whole world. In that way, God's love will live in us and be given out to the world through us through the work of Christ's mission we have been given to do. The disciples were, and we are, sent into the world sheltered in love, by love, and for the love of God through Jesus. As he looks up to heaven, Jesus asks God to make his own joy complete in us and to sanctify - or hallow - us in the truth of God's Word.  What is your prayer to God? What part of Christ's mission will you take on today?


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, as the lot fell on Matthias, so it falls to us, to actively take our place in Your ministry and discipleship by accepting this gift with faithfulness and love.   

 O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
RESPONSE:  Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, as believers in You, let us stand together to foster justice, mercy, and freedom for all of God’s people; and give our witness to those who govern on Earth, in this Nation, and in this City. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, lift up the spirits of those who suffer through illness, depression, or life circumstance, and fortify those who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, calm the tears of the grieving that they may know our loved ones have now come to eternal life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts

~ Holy Christ of Earth and Heaven, we offer gracious thanksgiving for all who make You known to us through Your word and sacraments. Grant them the spiritual tools to inspire us all to carry You into our everyday lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O LORD, Our Strength and Our Peace
Sanctify our faith; empower our hearts


The Celebrant adds: God of Glory and Righteousness who knows our hearts and minds, please guide us to find delight in Your word, protection from evil, and the eternal happiness of walking in Your ways. We ask through Your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to 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.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Prayers of the People: Love, Act-ually? Sixth Sunday of Easter

for Sunday, May 10, 2015, 6th Sunday of Easter, Yr B, Reading: Acts: 10:44-48, Ps 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

       The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out, even on the Gentiles...Then Peter said, "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"    [Acts 10:45, 46b-47]

      Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
      [The LORD] remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, 
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God...
    In righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the peoples with equity. [Ps 98:1, 4, 10]

     Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love...This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you...And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...
[John 15:9, 12, 16b] 

               How intrusive is this message against the backdrop of mistrust, hatred of "the other," and the seemingly endless and rampant violence across the world and even into our very local communities? Them vs Us, You vs Me, This is Mine is the "old song" that never tires of repeating. And the "circumcised believers...were astounded" that the Holy Spirit was given "even to the Gentiles." Peter was clear that the water of baptism cannot be withheld from even those who are different because they "have received the Holy Spirit just as we have..." And Jesus was even more clear: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Is there any room for negotiation here? Those people are doing terrible things so how can Jesus possibly expect us to love them? Well, whether or not he expects it is irrelevant, he commands it. IF we believe in Jesus, then we must bear the fruit of God's love to all people, in all places, and every one is included. I don't know who has "received the Holy Spirit" and who hasn't. That's not my job. That's for a much higher pay grade. And some days, loving some people is really, really hard. Help!
             So, let's start by trying to love each other and abide in - or frantically cling to - the Holy Vine together [see last week's Fruit of the Vine post]. As we grow in faith as a community, perhaps we can grow in our ability to sing a new song of love to those less lovable to us than ourselves. No easy journey is promised, only complete joy if we act-ually love.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, remove our doubt; remove our fear; awaken our souls to the complete joy we will know, when we truly believe and abide in You.

 LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
RESPONSE:  Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, grant us, born of God through love of You, such strength in faith and consciousness of spirit, that we hold ourselves and all those who govern, to Your standards of righteousness and equity, on behalf of all people everywhere. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, embrace all those who are ill in body, heart, or soul, especially, on this day, if they are mothers of children or children of mothers. We pause now as we pray aloud for those in need…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, console and brighten the hearts of all who feel lost in sorrow, as You rejoice and celebrate the arrival of our loved ones, who now live again for eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love

~ Jesus, our Loving Christ, for those who have pledged their lives in service to Your Church, grant renewal of purpose and replenishment of vigor, to teach and lead us in Your word and ways. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
 
                                    LORD of Mercy and Faithfulness
                                    Help us to live in and give out Your love


The Celebrant adds: God of All and Everyone, You call each of us to love one another as Christ loves us, and to be bearers of the fruit of Your love to all the world. Grant us the inner peace and fortitude to freely give our lives to You, from this day forth and forevermore. We ask through the purest Heart of Jesus, and the Truth of the Holy Spirit, who together with You, are One God, now and forever.  Amen.




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to 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.