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, March 31, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 33, Give Up, Take On, Pray

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]

Don't Judge a Fish by its Scales
    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 for a variety of reasons such as being too young, too old, too stupid, and once because I have red hair. I've also been elated by the encouragement of or compliment by some I respect and admire, and even by strangers. 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. Let’s get over it!


Lord of all Created Life,  
   For today and all days ahead, I will strive ever harder to give up  judging others, even if it is only in my head and not coming out of my mouth, as I remember the insensitive and hurtful things as have been done or said unto me (even if some of those say-ers were unaware or all was unintended). I will take on and improve upon a role of encourager and listener, and, even if I’m pretty sure that fish cannot climb that tree, let me remember we can all be surprised at the outcomes when one is just that determined! I pray for the serenity to let go of all the stuff that’s been dumped on me, forgive the intended and unintended slights, that I may be forgiven for my slights and insensitive acts toward others, and just get on with climbing my own trees to their highest heights. amen. 

*Albert Einstein, German-born, is an icon of theoretical physics, a Nobel Prize winner, with such an enormous catalog of many intellectual and scientific achievements to his credit that 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 in 1955.



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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 32, Give Up, Take On, Pray

   Imagine a trust in yourself, or another person, or in life itself, that doesn’t need to be proved or demonstrated, that is able to contain uncertainty.  People sometimes put their trust in a spiritual leader and are terribly betrayed if that person then fails to live up to ideals. But a real trust of faith would be to decide whether to trust someone, knowing that betrayal is inevitable because life and personality are never without shadow. The vulnerability that faith demands could be matched by an equal trust in oneself, the feeling that one can survive the pain of betrayal.
~Thomas Moore* 1940-
[emphasis added]

   Betrayal comes in many forms and guises and when discovered it is deeper than a knife in the heart. It can feel as if the depth of that knife is fatal and at times, for myself, I wanted it to be so. But it is survivable ~ out of everyone I've ever known there have been only a few who have willingly mislead or intentionally deceived me, and one or two that I’m aware of, who didn't trust me enough to tell me the truth. As with any trauma, however deep or embedded in our hearts and souls and psyches, with help as needed, we can move forward. Today is all we have in this Earthly existence. Living in past anguish prolongs it. Counting the ones we can and do trust, relieves it and steadies the ground of our being that theologian Paul Tillich described, even if we are, understandably, a bit wary for  a time.

Dear Jesus,
          Betrayal in my life pales in comparison to Yours. While You saw it coming and predicted it to the very people who would betray You, perhaps in Your humanness You still hoped that it would not come to be. 
         As for me, learning to trust after discovering a betrayal was very difficult and very painful. I have moved on but the faint echo of the hurt is still there yet fading with the time that passes. So, for today, I will give up needing to replay the anguish in my mind and take on making certain that I am not one who will ever deceive another or cause any emotional harm. I will pray to trust my own instinct about people and accept that I will sometimes be disappointed, and may disappoint others. AND I will concentrate on all the many many others who have been and are grace-filled gifts in my life. This is proof enough that I can have faith and trust in others as I have in You. More importantly, whatever happens in human relationships, I know that my faith and trust in You will always be well-placed. amen.  

*Thomas Moore, is a writer, psychotherapist influenced by Jung and James Hillman. He is also former monk, and has been a professor at Glassboro State College and Southern Methodist University.  Dr. Moore has authored Care of the Soul, which was on the NY Times bestseller list for almost a year, and Soul Mates among 30 other books on soul, spirituality, and depth psychology, and lectures internationally on ecology, psychotherapy, and religion.

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution and edited for local use as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 31, Give Up, Take On, Pray

[There are those activities that] we use...for a kind of pleasure which can be called "fun." But it is not the creative kind of fun often connected with play; it is, rather, a shallow, distracting, greedy way of "having fun." And it is not by chance that it is that type of fun which can easily be commercialized, for it is dependent on calculable reactions, without passion, without risk, without love. Of all the dangers that threaten our civilization, this is one of the most dangerous ones: the escape from one’s emptiness through a "fun" which makes joy impossible.        
~ Paul Tillich* 1886-1965

-What kinds of things do you do "for fun" or relaxation or simple pleasure:
    Photography, playing a musical instrument, cooking, reading, bird watching,
    dancing, video games, playing the slots, gardening, playing or watching 
    outdoor sports, watching television or movies or Facebook or other social media, 
    or games, on your phone in a restaurant at a table with others...  
-When does fun turn into idle play or idle play into an obsession or addiction, or to 
     try to always please others?

-When is "entertainment" at the expense of or in exploitation of others
     (however well they are being paid)?

-Do your fun times improve your life financially, enhance a relationship,
     or your physical, and mental health?

Dear God of Free Time ~
         What should I do when my time is my own ~ is there a right way or a wrong way to do "fun"? Does everything I do in life have to be filled with usefulness and meaning?  Sometimes I just want to sit and veg-out in front of the tv, sometimes I want to run on the beach, learn to paint, or sing in the car. Sometimes I want to write the perfect sonnet or cook the most sumptuous meal for friends. I don't want to be responsible for saving civilization.
         Well, then let me think this through. For today, I'll give up some of the empty time of mindless "entertainment." I'll take on some mindful relaxation that will give me a positive outlook on life and then transfer some of that into energy to contribute something useful to at least local civilization if in a small way. I'll pray to keep idle play from becoming idol play. I'll keep trying to remember that You are present in every moment of my day and only through You can I experience the joy that this life has to offer and then offer it in a variety of ways to others.  amen.


*Paul Tillich is considered as one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, and Christian Existentialist Philosopher.  His seminal work is a three-volume series on Systematic Theology, which is his most widely known writing though there are many others.  A German-born Lutheran pastor, Tillich came into conflict at the rise of Nazi power and was encouraged by Reinhold Niebuhr [see Prayers for Lent Day 23] to join the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York. He later became one of the Five highest ranking Professors at Harvard University and later a professor of theology at the University of Chicago.  His strong influence continues in the world of academic philosophy and theology with its critics and apologists - a legacy that will survive for a very long time to come. 

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 30, Give Up, Take On, Pray

[A] personal God can become a grave liability…a mere idol carved in our own image, a projection of our limited needs, fears and desires. We can assume that [God] loves what we love and hates what we hate, endorsing our prejudices instead of compelling us to transcend them.      ~ Karen Armstrong* 1944-

    In an us and them world, where do we place God as Creator of All in God's own image? Is it that there is only one side that God is on and is it always ours?

Dear God,

     Of course you're on our side ~ don't we always kneel on the field and pray to You before the game to help our team win? Aren't we the right color, political party, gender, sexual orientation, and citizen of the best country? 
     For today, I will give up trying to have You act on my will. I will take on looking more closely for ways to discern Your will. At the very least, I will think more deeply about the teachings of Jesus to love You with all we have and to love others as ourselves ~ to love them as if they were us. I will pray for the will and the courage to walk this walk and think differently about whose image I serve.  amen.

*Karen Armstrong is a British commentator and renowned author of a multitude of books on quite a breadth and depth of comparative religion studies. A former Roman Catholic nun, she has given us such books as A History of God: A 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Through the Narrow Gate; and Jerusalem:  One City, Three Faiths. Her work centers around the commonalities across major religions and, in particular, the importance of the Golden Rule and Compassion.  Her work, research, and authorship has garnered her - among many other awards - the $100,000 TED prize in 2008 with which she started the Charter for Compassion: "A document that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences. A cooperative effort to restore compassionate thinking and action to the center of life." Individuals, groups, and even countries can sign and participate in this most human quest to develop humanity to its highest ideal.  http://charterforcompassion.org/

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Prayers of the People: The Time For Hosannas ~ Palm and Passion Sunday '23 Yr A

For Sunday, April 2, 2023, Readings: The Liturgy of the Palms: Matthew 21:1-11, Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; 
The Liturgy of the Word: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Mt 26:14-27:66

    The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  [Matthew 21:9]

    Hosannah, Lord, hosannah! Lord, send us now success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord… [Psalm 118:25-26a]

   The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher... Morning by morning he wakens...my ear...The Lord God helps me...and I know I shall not be put to shame. [Isaiah 50:4, 7b]

     But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. I have said, "You are my God. My times are in your hand...in your loving-kindness save me." [Psalm 31:14-15a, 16b]

    Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God...And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death... [Philippians 2:5-11]

      Then [Jesus] went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples. "Sit here while I go over there and pray"...Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So you could not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak."  [Matthew 26:36, 40-41]

      Hosanna! The perfect short prayer, for these and other times, that we didn’t know that we knew. Before some Christian denominations began to use the now Revised Common Lectionary, Palm Sunday was a singular day by itself as a celebration. The following Sunday, beginning Holy Week, was by itself as Passion Sunday. Now and for many decades, these two parts of the Life of Christ are inextricably interwoven and significantly more cohesive and substantive when taken together than when separated. It is human nature to only want the fun part, yet as we know all too well, in the span of mortal life we cannot overlook the difficult in favor of only the pleasurable. And, that is why the shout of HOSANNA! is more important than ever, on this and every day.
    Hosanna, pronounced “Hoshana” in the Hebrew [Old] Testament, comes to us today in Psalm 118 appointed for the “Liturgy of the Palms,” which opens this Sunday, in verses 25-26 (NRSV): Hosannah, Lord, hosannah! Lord, send us now success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. In original Aramaic, the language Jesus would likely have spoken, the exclamation was “help, save, I pray.” The words of the Psalm become clearer with that in mind if we shift to “Help, Lord, Help! Lord, send us now success.” In the Jewish Study Bible (of the Jewish Publication Society and published by Oxford Press 1985/1999), verses 25-26 read as O Lord, deliver us! O Lord, let us prosper! May he who enters be blessed in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the House of the Lord.
   Christian usage in the Christian [New] Testament has become an exclamation of special respect for the one who saves us. Neither definition excludes the other and so to proclaim Hosanna! is to recognize, celebrate, and respect Jesus as our Lord and Savior even as we ask him to help us.
   The opening readings may be familiar but listen, and even better, read them to discover what you've forgotten or never thought about. For example, choosing the kind of animal for Jesus to ride is quite significant. Jesus was accused later in the week of proclaiming himself "King of the Jews," yet riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey symbolized that he was a peaceful Teacher. A warrior King would ride in on a horse bent on war and occupation. The procession with palm branches celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem just after his miraculous raising of Lazarus from the dead just two miles away in Bethany. The greetings of hosanna are a recognition that he is a Messiah who will remove and save them from the oppression of Rome.
    The Passion narrative develops the details of his Last Supper, betrayal by Judas, and the machinations of the Chief Priests, whose local standing and power among the Jewish hierarchy and Rome, were clearly threatened by this acclaimed and unorthodox prophet and miracle-worker. All of these elements were carefully noticed and recorded by the Roman occupiers and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council who had its own police force and trial court. How easy, it seems, to go from enthusiastic cheers of the welcoming crowd to the strongly manipulated and equally enthusiastic and deathly jeers by the same people mere days later. Two thousand plus years on, it is still a story for our own time. How easily are we turned from waving palms to throwing rocks because of a few well-placed headlines or Facebook comments because we simply followed the crowd?
    Jesus enters the chaos of his times as he enters the chaos of our own. The people along the way misunderstood the significance of this man who was being accepted as Messiah. He wasn't coming for regime change but rather to teach love and peace, equality and humanity. The political and religious authorities knew he was a threat to their power and wealth and he still is. How divided still is our world over who is in and who is out even, or perhaps especially, among those who claim Jesus as their own and everyone who doesn't believe in the exact way that they do are definitely out and often persecuted.
    The message of Jesus was, is, and will always be: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. [Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:37-39] 
     When is the time for Hosannas? Always!


Leader:  ~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, the human winds of discontent change to the stillness of apathy and back as quickly as those who turned from Hosanna to Crucify Him. Grant us the willingness to walk consciously through this Holy Week with fresh eyes, and, the uncomfortable awareness of how often we, too, have slept in Your presence.

                                                      O Lord our GOD
         RESPONSE:                  Let Us Turn Again To You

~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, lighten the hearts and enlighten the minds of all who govern in this Community, this Nation, and this World, that they may seek the paths of peace through global cooperation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O Lord our GOD             
                                                       Let Us Turn Again To You

~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, cradle in Your benevolent arms all who are sick, desperate, or hopeless, and give peace of heart to those who care and worry. We now join our hearts to pray for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       O Lord our GOD             
                                                       Let Us Turn Again To You       

~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, ease the burden of grief in all who are or have ever been bereaved, as those we mourn now live in the eternal radiance of everlasting resurrection in You. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                       O Lord our GOD             
                                                       Let Us Turn Again To You

~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                       O Lord our GOD             
                                                       Let Us Turn Again To You
~ Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, embrace and enrich those You have called to lead us in Your Church through this sacred week and beyond. Inspire their words, their prayers, and their souls, that they and we together, may draw ever closer to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O Lord our GOD             
                                                       Let Us Turn Again To You                                                                                                 
The Celebrant adds: GOD Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, in Your loving-kindness sustain our hope and save us from a time of trial, that humbled in our human form, we may seek and serve Christ in ourselves, in each other, and in all of humankind. We ask through Jesus, our Strength and our Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom of our Souls, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen. 

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Meditation Moment in Lent, Day 29: Give Up, Take On, Pray

Doubt is not the opposite of faith;

FEAR is.

- Verna J. Dozier

Back when I first started talking about ministry, it was seen as something the ordained did. Lay people had no ministry at all except as they participated in the work of the institution. If you taught in the Christian education program, you had a ministry. If you taught in the public schools, you 'did time' five days a week until you could get to your ministry. When I began my second career, people would say, 'You taught school for thirty-two years; then you began your ministry.' … In my unredeemed way, I would steel myself and reply through clenched teeth, 'No, I continued my ministry.'

~ Verna J. Dozier** 1917-2006

What is your definition of ministry?*

-From Webster: the body of ministers of religion: clergy

-From Dictionary.com: 1. the service, functions, or profession of a minister of 
    religion;  2.the body or class of ministers of religion; clergy.

-From TheFreeDictionary.coma. The profession, duties, and services of a
     minister; b. The Christian clergy; c. The period of service of a minister

    Perhaps our American Constitutional concept of "Separation of Church and State" permeates our consciousness more than we realize. According to most definitions work is work and ministry is what certain officially ordained clergy do for work. But are we ordinary people not Christians every part of every day or does that only happen when we're in Church? How does our idea of ministry change if we are being Christ's ministers whenever and wherever we are? Maybe that seems easier if you're a teacher, a doctor, or a social worker. Is it possible to be a minister if you're a motorcycle mechanic, house painter, file clerk, or corporate CEO? If we truly are one body in Christ with many members each with our own gifts, what, in even shaky Faith, is there to Fear from accepting our roles as ministers of the Gospel whatever, whenever, wherever it is that we are doing

Dear Chief Minister:
       I really don't want to stand on the street corner and handout leaflets, or knock on doors to proclaim You to the world. Even so, I would like to believe that I can be one of Your ministers without having to be so formal about it. Maybe I'm just being presumptuous to think so if I have no special training or credentials. So, how do I get to have a ministry?  Maybe if for today I give up the notion that only specially educated, formally trained, ordained people can be ministers, I can take on looking at the most mundane, or more important task as a ministry. If it is something that needs to be done, wherever it is, I can complete it or at least contribute time and energy to it without grumbling and resentment. I can smile at someone I pass on the street. I can listen to someone without interrupting. I can just be a comfortable presence and accept people for who and where in life they are. I can serve soup, or read at the Sunday service, serve on a church vestry or council; I can learn how to do other kinds of ministry in and out of “Church.”  I can seek some training in an area of Church life that interests me. I can pray to know You are with me always and allow that to guide my thoughts, my actions, and my sense of being an integral part Your One Body.  If everything I do is in the spirit of and as a minister of Christ's Gospel, then perhaps I will more easily be conscious of what I will NOT do, and, act accordingly. amen.

*From the 1979 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer Catechism, pg 855:
Q. Who are the ministers of the Church?
A. The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.

Q. What is the ministry of the laity?
A. The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church, to bear witness to him wherever they
     may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ's work of reconciliation in the world;
     and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.

**Verna Dozier was a diminutive African-American woman in physical stature only. A trail-blazer in the movement of the "authority of the laity," a foremost Christian educator as a second career, author of books such as The Dream of God, The Calling of the Laity, The Authority of the Laity, and her self-directed Bible study process for lay groups: Equipping the Saints. One of her greatest gifts was making the Bible accessible to everyone by her down-to-earth discussions, sermons, lectures, articles, retreats, and her mere presence.  A master storyteller, educator, and leader, Ms. Dozier spoke with a prophetic voice. To those who knew her well she was funny and she could be quite blunt, but, she was always a minister.  She graced this world, the Church, and anyone who was fortunate enough to have met her and listened to her. But if you never met her, you can still read her.

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 28, Give Up, Take On, Pray '24

    Racism, prejudice and discrimination still exist in the world, and the Jews have endured the longest continuous manifestation of this racism. I have written that we, as Palestinians, should face Israel candidly and say that we are appalled by the Holocaust, that we should open our hearts "and with a new, magnanimous attitude we should say to the Jews, 'We will accept you and share the land with you. You have suffered for so long. Come share our land. This is God's land. We will live in it together as brothers and sisters.'"    
~ Naim Stifan Ateek* 1937-

    After the discoveries and acknowledgement of the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, a homeland for the Jews was understandably and sympathetically promoted for Palestine as "A Land Without People for People Without A Land," except the flaw in the ointment of the great repatriation was there were many people already there, a few Jewish people and also many non-Jewish people ~ Muslims, Christians, and non-believers. The debates, the wars, the persecutions, the walls, the barbed wire fences, the guns, the bombs, the bloodshed continue and escalate on a daily basis...and yet, a question always remains: to whom does the Earth really belong? We cannot take the land with us when we die but so many are willing to die ~ or to kill ~ to prove it. While this is one example, think Ukraine, Crimea, "Yugoslavia," Turkey/Greece, Russia/China/Mongolia, Asia, the South Pacific and Caribbean Islands, North/Central and South America, and everywhere the suppression of Indigenous Peoples occurs, etc. Religion isn’t the reason, like race, ethnicity, gender identity, extension of "ownership," and intentionally false propaganda, etc., it may only be a useful ruse to exercise power, domination, reap money, and, all-too-often ethnic/other cleansing aka: murder.

God of Heaven and of Earth, and of all the Universes known and unknown:
          We grieve for the pain and suffering, the torment and anger on all sides of this and every other feud over who can, must, should, shouldn't, can't live here or there. Deep as the core of this earth, the anguish belongs to everyone. We are all Your people Jews, Christians, and Muslims in particular are ALL Children of Abraham, but You created EVERY ONE ~ please, we implore, we beseech, we beg You ~ show Your care for Your children everywhere and help us learn to care for each other and to live together in peace, safety, and freedom. Open our eyes, our hearts, and our souls to see ourselves in each other's faces and especially in the faces of all of our children. 
     For today I must give up thinking more about fixing blame and take on learning more about the history of all sides of a conflict whether in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, Central America, and the entire world which, of course, includes my own country, my city, and even my family. I pray for the courage to support and participate with those who abhor violence in all forms and who will encourage dialogue to promote understanding among us all. Help us especially with the eternal question: Who really are my neighbors as Jesus specifically says we are to love as our selves? I entreat You through the Saving Love of Jesus the Christ, and the Wisdom of Your Holy Spirit, who live and reign with You as one, the God of Abraham, the Creator of ALL, for now, for tomorrow, for eternity. amen.

*The Rev Dr Naim Ateek is a Palestinian priest in the Anglican Church and founder of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. A former Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Dr. Ateek is a much sought after lecturer at home and abroad and receives support across all denominations and faith traditions including those of the Jewish faith.  Educated at Hardin-Simmons University, Baptist University in Abilene, Texas; and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, a seminary in the US Episcopal Church in Berkeley, California, Dr. Ateek is a very well-respected author of a number of books and articles on Palestinian Liberation Theology, Dr. Ateek has been the recipient of many honors and awards for his work.

Naim Stifan Ateek is a Palestinian priest in the Anglican Communion and founder of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. He has been an active leader in the shaping of the Palestinian liberation theology

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Friday, March 24, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 27, Give Up, Take On, Pray

― 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?  We have those moments every day with store clerks, shoppers, people on elevators, those we sit next to in church, at a concert, or sporting event. And then there are our families and friends. What feelings, thoughts, awareness arise if you realize we are all dying. A shocking thought! But it’s true. Some sooner, some later. Some at length and painfully, and some quite suddenly. Some will have a comfortably long life and quietly and peacefully go. Most of us take daily living for granted and yet none of us know the time or the hour [Matthew 25:13]. So let us all LIVE while we can with all that life brings and even all it takes away. Let us turn our eyes to the Creation that our Creator surrounds us with and look for joy in all the life within it, accepting those moments when joy must await our return, as return to it we will and we must. Let us live for those who can no longer and who want us to go on as they walk with us in heart and memory. Embrace LIFE!

Dear Lord of Life:
     You have given each of us this precious gift of the breath of life; 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 and life for granted and take on the understanding and compassion 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 in this life and any days beyond it will truly be a gift. Help us to not waste it by being oblivious to all the gifts we have, thoughtless about the needs of others, chronically cranky, and especially not forgetting to remember You.  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 since 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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