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.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 10, Give Up, Take On, Pray

I really only love God as much as the person I love the least.

~ Dorothy Day* 1897-1980

      How often do you talk about God in your everyday life?  There are many people, good church-going folks, who have difficulty discussing God, Jesus, religion, and/or spirituality in "normal" conversation.  It's one of the taboos of  polite conversation learned early: "Never discuss religion or politics," ostensibly because it leads to conflict and discomfort in relationships.
      Perhaps it sets us up for debates on right and wrong theologies. Maybe there's an element of proselytizing that we are anxious about giving or receiving.  Or it's just a matter of appropriate time and place. Yet those days seem to be gone, at least for now. Social Media and Communications Media are awash in religious and political debate and diatribe that push away as many as it draws in. We, as a people, seem to have lost sight of the difference between debate and dialogue. In formal debate, one argues one’s position against another’s differing position. Someone wins, someone loses. In dialogue, we discuss our position with each other open to one or both of us changing our minds somewhat or not at all, and walking away accepting your position for you, mine for me, with no loser or winner, simply remaining friends.
    What about privately ~ to yourself?  Do you talk to God ~ in joy and thanksgiving, blame and anger, frustration and supplication?  When is it right to talk about God? 

O God, Holder of my soul, 
         I come to You in my quiet and alone time to speak of needs and wants, for myself and for others. I speak to You during worship along with all the others as we lift our voices in prayer and response. But speaking about You to others outside of the Church's footprint has never come easy to me.  I worry too much about not knowing enough to discuss or fend off debate, or being perceived as some kind of "holy roller."  You don't need me to plead Your cause but I would like to be less constricted in doing so. For today, I will give up being embarrassed in talking about my relationship with You. I will take on finding at least one moment, as a start, outside of Church, to say some small thing about my relationship with You in a conversation with another person, even if only in a casual remark.  I pray to You for the right words at the right moment, and, for me to make things less difficult for myself and others as You would have them be. Amen.

   *Dorothy Day was a primary founder of the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s, a pacifist nonviolent organization that continues to aid the poor today. She began and continued as editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper from its founding in 1933 until her death, drawing contributors such as Daniel Berrigan and Thomas Merton. She wrote passionately about women's rights, free love, and birth control early in her life but in the 1940s, she became an Oblate in the Order of St. Benedict. An oblate is a lay person unprofessed as a monk or nun who makes a commitment to a specific Rule of Life ~ often called a Third Order.
    In 2000, Pope John Paul II titled Day "Servant of God" as a person whose cause for Sainthood has been opened. She has been named "a person Worthy of Commemoration" in the US Episcopal Church whose guidelines allow for an official remembrance in the liturgical calendar no sooner than 50 years after death. Day's extensive biographical history is amazing in its breadth and depth. She would never have thought of herself as a saint, but she was most certainly a force to be reckoned with. Her canonization process in the Roman Catholic Church continues, not without some bumps in the path.


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