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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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