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, March 11, 2014

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

      

“It is true that we cannot be free from sin, but at least let our sins not be always the same.” - St. Teresa of Avila  (1515-1582)

Teresa of Avila: Mystic, Nun, Saint, Author, Theologian, Doctor of the Church, also known as Teresa of Jesus.  Along with John of the Cross, Teresa founded the Carmelite order; and her writings, especially The Interior Castle and her autobiography The Life of Teresa of Jesus, as part of the Spanish Renaissance Literature are still widely read and cherished today.  Her ecstatic experiences inform her exercise of meditation and provide us with The Way of Perfection.
Human and Saint, Teresa gives us down-to-earth yet heavenly advice and direction.

God of Heaven, Earth and every Universe, as I wake each morning my mind and heart intend for me to be a better person, live a better life, and be more faithful to You. By the end of the second cup of coffee, I've wandered off the track again. At the end of the day, I've unconsciously thought and acted in ways contrary to Your love and will for me. For today, I will give up unconsciously doing the same things in the same ways, and I will take on living with a conscious mind ~ thinking carefully and acting thoughtfully, keeping You uppermost in my mind.  I pray for the awareness of Your Presence, the memory of the sacrifice of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, now and always. 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, March 9, 2014

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

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

              Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was an extraordinary human being.  A Jesuit priest born in France and who later lived in New York, he also trained as a paleontologist and geologist and was involved with some spectacular discoveries. Yet, as with others who were ahead of their times, some of his writings were considered contrary to doctrinal teachings in the Catholic church and banned by the Vatican from publication in his lifetime.  Today he is widely praised, including by Catholic hierarchy.  Simply put, one of his beliefs - as with St. Paul - was that our everyday work in secular surroundings is every bit as important in our spiritual development as our religious activity when we offer that work to the service of God. And, furthermore, all that we do in everyday life is a necessary part of Creation. Are you ready to experience some spiritual growth in your human life?

        Creator God, I'm slowly recognizing that I am truly part of Your Holy Creation. I have had the thought that I had to give days off to a soup kitchen, spend every possible moment in Church, and be hours on my knees in prayer daily to truly be doing Your work. Today, I will give up feeling spiritually inadequate and take on my everyday activities with a new spirit of dedication - each morning when I wake, I will offer all that I do to Your service. I will pray for continuing confidence in my growing relationship with You, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as my Guides. Thank You, Lord, for this season of Lent, a purposeful time as a spiritual being to explore my human experience.  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, March 8, 2014

Prayers of the People: Resistance is Fertile ~ 1st Sunday in Lent

Readings:  Gen 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Ps 32; Rom 5:12-19; Mt 4:1-11

    Many Episcopal/Anglican parishes will open this Sunday's Liturgy (worship service) with the very formal Great Litany (a prayer in a Christian church service in which the people at the service respond to lines spoken by the person who is leading the service), most likely in Procession.  You can read it here: http://www.bcponline.org/GreatLitany/Litany2.html  Other parishes will use one of the six different forms of the Prayers of the People (PotP) from the Book of Common Prayer:  http://bcponline.org/HE/pop.htm.  Still other parishes will use their own format for the PotP such as those specifically composed below. And, as in previously posted PotP in this space, they are based on the appointed Scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, that is, a listing of readings chosen for each Sunday for each season in the Church Year.  Many Christian denominations in the US, Canada, Great Britain and elsewhere use the same readings on the same Sunday - for example: Episcopal, United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran - although there may be differences here and there.

     For this Sunday, in the Old Testament reading we are confronted with a small slice of the Adam, Eve, and the Serpent story.  God says "Don't Eat THAT" and, the serpent says, "Go ahead" and so ..., then Paul tells us in the Epistle, in effect, that it isn't all bad news. Yes, many died because of the sins of Adam and Eve, but many many more are saved because of one man's act of righteousness - Jesus, of course, is the one who has provided us with the free gift of grace.

     The Gospel reminds us of the 40 days of Jesus' temptation in the desert and his confrontation with the Devil.  How many of us would be able to resist all that was offered?  But, resistance is fertile. When we summon the strength through the grace of God to resist temptation and follow the right path, we invite the spiritual growth that gives us ever increasing strength and grace to resist more, and so, to grow into the Life in Christ that we are called.  Lent is the perfect time to examine the temptations in our lives and discover, through prayer and reflection, how we can bolster our ability to resist evils big and small.  One small step after another starts the walk...    

Let Us, God’s People, Pray

LEADER:         ~  Most Holy Creator, You give us clear instructions in Your Law that we, Your unruly children, willfully and continually disregard; yet You always forgive us when we confess our sins with true hearts.

                     Divine Ruler of the Universe,
RESPONSE:  Fortify our hearts to thwart temptation, repent, and return to You.

~ Most Holy Creator, please chasten the hearts of those who lead this world.  Give them the strength to forsake the allure and vanity of the power of power, and govern with integrity and truth.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                    Divine Ruler of the Universe,
                    Fortify our hearts to thwart temptation, repent, and return to You.

~ Most Holy Creator, sustain those who are seriously ill, filled with fear and anxiety, and for those who give them care.  Keep them from drifting into despair and turning away from Your healing mercy.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                    Divine Ruler of the Universe,
                    Fortify our hearts to thwart temptation, repent, and return to You.

~ Most Holy Creator, in the depths of grief from the loss of those we love, we more easily slide into the chilling shadows and fall away from the warmth of Your Love and Grace.  Grant us the courage to live with the living and relinquish the care of our loved ones to You.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                     Divine Ruler of the Universe,
                     Fortify our hearts to thwart temptation, repent, and return to You.

~ Most Holy Creator, we ask that those who are chosen to lead Your Church also cast off their own fears and vanities to guide us by faithful word and example as we walk together toward wholeness in You.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                      Divine Ruler of the Universe,
                      Fortify our hearts to thwart temptation, repent, and return to You

The Celebrant adds:  Most Holy Creator, You sent Jesus into our world of temptation, trial, and travesty.  Accepting the free gift of Your grace, he triumphed over all the enticements, seductions, and illusions of glamour we each face every day.  As we begin our own 40 days of reflection and repentance, purify our hearts and open our minds that we also might remember to accept Your grace and turn our lives always toward You.  We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Great High Priest, and the Spirit, our Holy Sanctifier, who reign with You, one God, forever and ever.  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 Lent, Day Four: Give Up, Take On, Pray


Life moves at warp speed for many of us.  So many have-to's, so many must-do's, so many want-to's, so many didn't do's...so many shoulds, coulds, woulds...so little time. How do we know how to prioritize what is most important?  How can we stop doing so much and find time to just be?"

Mystic/Trappist Monk/Author Thomas Merton (1915-1968) wrote:

"We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time or no imagination left for being.  As a result men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness."

Dearest Holy Parent, today I will give up trying to be everywhere and do everything and live into everyone else's wants and expectations for my life. Today I will take on stealing time from my worldly life to spend with You, my God, as a way to build up my spiritual life. I pray for Your Presence as I start with just 5 minutes each day breathing deeply with intention, even if I have to do it hiding in the bathroom or behind the garage. I do want to be more faithful in my prayer life so I will take small slow steps starting with breathing and move to small short prayers while breathing just to say, "Hello, God, this is me, I'm glad we're here in this moment together. I'll come back more often, I promise."  amen.


here's a link on how to do deep breathing properly:  http://ptsd.about.com/od/selfhelp/ht/breathing2.htm

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, March 7, 2014

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



The Season of Lent conjures up a lengthy period of time centered around self-denial, fasting, and hours on your knees.  But, as said here yesterday, let's fast from more than just food or addictive substances during these 40 days. Let us voluntarily give up and take on something new each day of this Lenten season, dedicate those acts to God for the benefit of our spiritual life, and pray as we go that, by the end, we find new ways of living a more positive and fulfilling Christian life.

Dear God of Us All,
     is it just me or is the world getting meaner? Even TV entertainment seems to revolve around the "reality" of watching people's "real lives" crash and burn. Nasty dance coaches, pregnant teenagers, rule-breaking pastors' kids, dysfunctional "celebrities," and then there are the rough and tumble "Housewives." What does all this unseemly behavior do to the souls of those participating and for my own? What kind of example does it give for younger people as to how to live their lives? 

     For today, I'm going to give up watching mean television and take on gathering up those magazines and books I'm done with. I'll donate them to the prison, a homeless shelter, a nursing home, or the Veterans Hospital. I'll pray for each person who reads them and that they find a moment of pleasure, entertainment, and respite from mean-ness in her or his day. I'll also work on reducing the amount of time I spend on thinking mean thoughts. 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, March 6, 2014

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


        Christians know (hopefully) that Jesus voluntarily spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness and faced staggering temptations and levels of physical and spiritual deprivation in ways we will never know. Some Christians know that Lent is a period of 40 days and nights that we can use to look at how we respond to temptations and where we have created spiritual deprivation for ourselves. 
        We live in a different kind of wilderness ~ a spiritual desert, a world of glittering excess and cultural demand, where life without the largest tv, best cable sports package, latest electronic gadget, or biggest walk-in closet is what we think would make life complete.  In the midst of our everyday busy-ness, Fasting may mean more about fast-food than spiritual discipline. And while giving up sugary soda or cigarettes is a start for a healthier physical life, let's fast from more than just food or addictive substances, let us voluntarily give up and take on something new each day of this Lenten season, dedicate those acts to God for the benefit of our spiritual life and pray that, by the end, our spirits soar with the Christ who will rise and we, too, become a new creation.

Holy God, in this second day of Lent, I will give up complaining about the weather and take on a donation to a worthy charity who gives gloves, hats, coats, blankets, or other items to those who are cold, hungry, and homeless in body or mind. I pray for my own strength of spirit to avoid consumer distractions and discover the blessings of less stuff to care for and more time to spend with 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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Prayers for Ash Wednesday


We've burned the fronds from last year's Palm Sunday to ash. We've filled up on Fat Tuesday's pancakes before we are shriven - confessed - and now it's time to prepare ourselves for the season of Lent.
               The word "Lent" comes from the Anglo-Saxon and essentially means "Spring" and "lengthen" as in the days lengthening in the Spring. Of course, in the Southern Hemisphere, the days are shortening so the perspective is slightly different.  However, we all observe the 40 days of Lent - although, Sundays are in Lent, rather than of Lent.  A picky detail but if you've ever counted the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter....more than 40 days because Sundays aren't actually counted as they are in other liturgical seasons.
               And now Lent is upon us ~ a time for reflection, repentance, and repair of our souls. Some of us will be marked on our foreheads this day with the sign of the cross in the palm ashes as an outward sign and inward recognition of our human mortality.  Some of us will enter into a period of dedicated fasting, prayer, and self-denial. Some will give up chocolate or cigarettes, some will take on daily meditation, some will begin in earnest and then fall away in distraction.  Whatever your mode, Lent begins...

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and help me find my way back to You. 
While I would like to show my good intentions by grand repentant gestures 
and pious activity, I'm not likely to stick with the discipline.  
Help me clean my heart and restore my soul in smaller ways such as 
being mindful of my thoughts, emotions, and actions while driving; 
let me try to be more patient in the grocery store line; 
give me the courage to step back and not have to be "right" once during each day; 
and mostly, Lord of all Peoples, on each day of this Holy Lent, 
let me understand and live into the words You have given us: 
"Forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who sin against us."  
Perhaps that could change us for the better. 
For all this we pray.    
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.