A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meditation Moments: The Trip of a Lifetime

 
It's good to have an end 
to journey toward; 
but it's the journey that matters in the end.         ~ Ernest Hemingway*[1899-1961]




Dear Master Travel Agent ~
       As You already know, I've come a good distance on this journey and sometimes I don't know how I've gotten this far let alone figured out where I'm headed. Oh I know I'm ultimately headed in Your direction and that how I get there matters, it's just that there have been so many twists and turns along the road so far and I'm sort of directionally challenged at times. Am I headed down or up the right road? I'm hoping that effort, spelling, and punctuation count toward my final grade (please, though, not  neatness).  In the meantime, I'm just here to ask for the usual travel stuff - please be my Guide and Companion along the Way and let me recognize You wherever I go and in whoever I encounter. I know that MapQuest won't help but I look forward to little hints here and there that I'm on the right track. Thanks for letting me get this far and, if it's not too much of a bother, I'd like to go on for quite awhile yet, whatever bumps and bites yet to come.  amen. 


*Ernest Hemingway, American journalist and author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, his writings are considered classics in American literature. Multiple marriages and a colorful life led Hemingway down many roads in his fairly short but completely filled journey that culminated in suicide in 1961 but left a legacy of words that will never die.





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, July 15, 2014

Meditation Moments: Don't Judge a Fish by its Scales




Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.  
                       ~ Albert Einstein* [1879-1955]





Lord of all Intelligent, and not so, Life,
       I cannot count the times I have felt diminished by being told I wasn't capable of x or that I couldn't possibly achieve y. I've also been elevated by the encouragement of or compliment by someone I respect and admire, or even by a stranger. How easy it can be to shake or make self-confidence, to thwart or inspire development. How fragile we, who-pretend-even-to-ourselves-we-are-not, often are.
       SO, here's a twist on some familiar refrains - Let me NOT do or say unto others the insensitive and hurtful things as have been done or said unto me (even if unaware and unintended). And grant me the serenity to let go of that same stuff and just get on with myself. Help me to always be an encourager and a listener even if I'm pretty sure that the fish can't climb the tree - sometimes we may all be surprised at the outcome.  amen. 



*Albert Einstein, German-born, is an icon of theoretical physics, a Nobel Prize winner, with so many intellectual and scientific achievements to his credit his name has become the synonym for genius. He was visiting in the US in 1933 when Hitler came to power and he never returned to Germany. He became a US citizen in 1940 and warned President Roosevelt of the possible weapon development in Germany that would become the Manhattan Project in the US leading to the atomic bomb. Einstein later denounced the use of nuclear fission for weapons but had been worried that Germany would develop it first. His career in the US was with the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in New Jersey which lasted until his death.




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.


Prayers of the People: Bloomin' Weeds, 6th Sunday after Pentecost

For July 20, 2014, 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Readings: Gen 28: 10-19; Ps 139: 1-12, 21-23; Romans 8:12-25; Mt 13:24-30, 36-43


 ...for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn. [Mt 13: 29-30]
        
         As a sometimes gardener, I often don't know the weed from the desired seedling until there's been significant growth and by then it is a losing game trying to keep up with them. And sometimes, the weed is prettier than the plant I wanted, that is, until it takes over the rest of the yard. There are multiple exceptions of course, many weeds are clearly a menace to the order and beauty of the garden, can wreak serious havoc with the crop, and really try my patience.

       But it isn't at all unlike moving with groups of people. I'm still learning that very often those who appear to be less attractive on the outside have an interior beauty that blooms through into their lives, cultivating and spreading the seeds of goodness and joy all around them. Others who seem to blossom profusely on the outside fade pretty quickly in the scheme of things after attempts to spread their charms are unwelcome. Thankfully, I'm very glad that I'm not in charge of what gets to the barn and what gets burned. I need to pay attention to what within me needs some pruning.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, we are led by You as the children of God and made joint heirs with Jesus to eternal life in glory. Let us take the wings of each morning to labor in the fields of our Lord, where every place we stop is Beth-El, the House of God.

                                 Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
RESPONSE:     Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds

~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, grant those who serve the governments of the world, our country, and our community, the courage and honesty to clear the choking vines of injustice, greed, and war from the lives of all God’s people. Kindle the light of mercy and generosity in their hearts and souls. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                          Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
                          Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds

~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, relieve the pain and despair from those who suffer illness, injury, or addiction, and sustain the strength of those who support them. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                          Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
                          Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds

~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, please lift the veil of sorrow from those of us who grieve as we release those we love from this life into Your joyous welcome and eternal glory. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                          Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
                          Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds

~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud…

                          Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
                          Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds

~ Spirit of Hope and Patience, we commend to You, with gratitude, those who have committed their lives to us in Your service. Continue to inspire and uphold them as they work with us in Your Creation and lead us always toward You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                          Sow in us good seeds, O Christ
                          Help us clear the weeds from our hearts and minds                

The Celebrant adds:  O God who knows us from the womb, teach us to search our own hearts to find our way to You, as we climb through the weeds and bracken in the hills and valleys of this life. We ask for Your mercy through Jesus, our Christ, and the peace of the Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You, One God, in all Glory and through Eternity. 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, July 13, 2014

Meditation Moments: Superior Intoxication

     It is most comfortable 
to be invisible, to observe life from a distance, at one with our own intoxicating superior thoughts.
      ~ Anne Lamott* [1954- ]



Dear Most Superior Invisible One,
    I'm not sure it's invisibility that I would find comfortable, I'd like to be aloof and observe from that pedestal. I rather like the concept of being close enough but far enough away to command a certain attention while keeping everyone at arm's length. Then I can dish in my own head with clever if less than kind judgments, point my finger (the invisible one) at those who are merely common in their small lives, while I in my brilliance could solve all personal and global issues if I allowed them close enough to impart my wisdom.
    And then my head breaks out into: 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
[Isaiah 55:8-9 NRSV]

And then I realize that my superior intelligence isn't worth very much at all if all I'm doing is using it to feel superior and not to impart the love and grace You are providing. Bring me up close and personal rather than as an observer from a distance. Help me, Lord, remember, that I'm not You and the life You have given us is to be lived as You have instructed ~ together, with You, and within ourselves with love. What a far better way to experience intoxication. amen.


*Anne Lamott, an American political activist and author of non-fiction and novels all largely autobiographical and with her signature wit, humor, and self-deprecation. Tackling alchoholism, single-motherhood, and depression, Lamott brings us in to everyday American situations with down-to-earth, sometimes irreverent, vocabulary and structure that cuts directly to the center of life.








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, July 11, 2014

Meditation Moments: Mind a Beginning?



In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, 
but in the expert's mind 
there are few. 
                         ― Shunryu Suzuki* [1904-1971]




Dear Most Enlightened Teacher, please help me to recapture my beginner's mind, the one that was insatiably curious, hungry for spiritual experience, searching for enlightenment, eager to sit at Your feet and be filled with the pearls and diamonds of Your wisdom and teaching. I want to recapture the energy and the mystery and set aside much of what I now "know" through academic and intellectual study. I want to learn in new ways with a fresh unfinished mind that is wide with wonder like those who have only just begun their first encounters with You. Take me out of my self, encourage me through monkey-mind, and teach me to work inside and reach deeply for the silent illumination that calls me back time and again, to practice and to practice and to practice, now and forever, until I apprehend the beginning.  amen.



*Shunyru Suzuki, a Sōtō Zen monk, born and trained in Japan, opened the first Buddhist monastery outside of Asia. He is widely known for his book, Zen Mind, Beginniner's Mind which was the onset of the popularization of Zen Buddhism in the West. He founded the San Francisco Zen Center and affiliate temples.  



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: Benedict and this Rule thing


All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ...
Listen and attend with 
the ear of your heart.
From The Rule of St. Benedict 
~ St. Benedict of Nursia, Abbot* [c480-543-7]
Celebrated by the Church on July 11





Definition of RULE (Merriam-Webster)
a :  a prescribed guide for conduct or action
b :  the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members
c :  an accepted procedure, custom, or habit
d (1) :  a usually written order or direction made by a court regulating court practice or the action of parties (2) :  a legal precept or doctrine
e :  a regulation or bylaw governing procedure or controlling conduct 

Dear Supreme Abbot,
          I can listen to people deeply and I can work a bit harder at finding Jesus in them, but this Rule thing...it's that word...I'm seriously resistant to the word Rule. I know about Commandments but isn't that a different kind of God thing? There are so many laws, ordinances, and statutes telling me what I may and may not do in life, most of which I take for granted and obey without any specific awareness. I had rules as a child, in school, at work, but to think of following a Rule for my spiritual life sounds like a lot of effort. Isn't it enough that I go to Sunday church more often than not, give money, and try to remember to pray at various times? I'm a reasonably nice person, oh, and I'm faithful, too, at least I'm pretty sure that I am. 
        Okay, so maybe the word Guide works better for me, a plan of things to do to build up my spiritual side. Perhaps it will help me feel a bit more like having that relationship with You that I hear about but haven't really connected with for myself. And You want me to follow this Rule Guide as part of a community? This is getting bigger again, just when I thought I was getting a handle on it. So then, what if I take a look at this Guide and see if I know anyone else who wants to look at it with me. We could meet as a community  small group and walk through it to learn more about it together. It can't hurt - maybe try a prayer service of some kind outside of Sunday morning and see what that's like. Oh, I'm just so busy with work and the family and the household....but, am I really too busy to spend a little time with You? How can that be, if I'm as faithful as I like to think I am? I'm willing to try - maybe there are others who would like to try along with me. Will You help me take that first step, please? I think I could just be ready to know You better. You do listen with the ear of Your heart - could it be that I'll be welcomed as Christ?  amen.
     

*St. Benedict of Nursia founded 12 monastic communities in Italy and developed The Rule to foster spiritual growth in personal and communal life as well as giving specifics on administration of the monastery, and the role its Abbot. It has resonated through the ages with lay and ordained alike, in monastic and secular communities, anywhere people are seeking God through a way of life that fits where they are without being merely a set of religious prescriptions. Benedict and his Rule are celebrated by Catholics and Anglicans alike in our own day through Benedictine Communities of various sizes, shapes, and locations around the world.





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.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Meditation Moments: Still a-MAZE-ing



I have not failed. 

I have just found 
10,000 ways 
that won't work.
                 ~ Thomas Edison* [1847-1931]



      Spirit of the Maze that is Life, there are days when I get lost in trying to find my direction. I go one way and hit a wall, turn around and go in the opposite direction, turn left, turn right, and I have lost my way, again. I turn around and start over, and, repeat. 
                  Okay so I've been through this track 'way too many times but here I am again asking You for a map to find my way. I know I've made promises I haven't kept very well, but I really mean it this time - I wholeheartedly promise to keep trying. Maybe just feeling Your presence will give me the perseverance to keep moving. One of these paths will be the Good one and with You on my side, I'll know it's right when the light bulb goes on.  amen.

      
*Thomas Edison, American inventor best known for the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and, of course, a practical light bulb and there is so much more. Holding almost 1200 patents, his inventions and business acumen still informs many of the designs and methods of today's technology. He has an extensive biography that is well worth investigating.




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.