Saturday, March 8, 2014
O God, you are my portion and my cup: may I abide in your shadow forever. My spirit rests in the hands of the Lord like a finch in its nest: I am protected behind and before. Let me give myself over completely to your wisdom, O Loving One, and turn my steps from error and foolishness. I will place all my cares upon the altar of the Lord, whose mercy and provision is everlasting. I rejoice in the company of Christ: my soul takes wing upon the breath of heaven. Relying on your promises and secure in your steadfast devotion, draw our loved ones into your embrace.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Be our companion and guide, O God: prove us and test us, that we may choose to live and love, hearts in sync to the music of creation.
Let us bend the knee of our hearts: help us to put away all the leaden offenses that keep us from rising to You.
Hallow our actions and hollow our souls: fill us with your goodness, for we are prone to willfulness and wandering from your side.
Open our spirits to your radiance: bear us up on a tide of compassion and grace.
Draw into your healing presence all who call to You.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Almighty God, may we be marked as your own forever. Broadcast your mercy within our hearts; may they receive your guidance as a spring field absorb rain.
Let us set a table before our enemies, and be reconciled to them, as You call us back to You again and again. Help us let go of vengeance, mindful of our own sinfulness and failure to do what we know is right. Bring us out of anger into love, and out of self-righteousness into compassion. In all we do, let it be for your glory rather than our own comfort or sense of power.
Make us fierce in guarding the weakest of your children, and vigilant in prayer for those who seek You. Anoint those who call upon with the mark of love, and gather to You those for whom we pray.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
|Graveyard, Cathedral of Michael and All Archangels, Christchurch, Barbados, 2013|
Merciful God, we come before You, grateful for your lovingkindess and forgiveness for our manifold faults. Help us to be truly repentant for all the hurts we have caused and continue to cause. Help us to be good neighbors and good friends to those we encounter. Let us remember that we are here for but a short while, and to run the race set before us with perseverance and honor. Guide the hands and hearts of your people to strive to be worthy of proclaiming your Name. Watch over your people in their times of trial, we pray, and bless them.
Psalm 32 Page 624, BCP
1 Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven,
and whose sin is put away!
2 Happy are they to whom the LORD imputes no guilt,
and in whose spirit there is no guile!
3 While I held my tongue, my bones withered away,
because of my groaning all day long.
4 For your hand was heavy upon me day and night;
my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and did not conceal my guilt.
6 I said," I will confess my transgressions to the LORD."
Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
7 Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble;
when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
8 You are my hiding-place;
you preserve me from trouble;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
9 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go;
I will guide you with my eye.
10 Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding;
who must be fitted with bit and bridle,
or else they will not stay near you."
or else they will not stay near you."
11 Great are the tribulations of the wicked;
but mercy embraces those who trust in the LORD.
12 Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD;shout for joy, all who are true of heart.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a sacrament is defined as “an outward sign of inward grace.” The outward sign involved in Confession is the absolution via the priest, but the inward sign is the reconciliation of the sinner with God. It is that inward sign that is celebrated in this psalm. In the Roman Church, regular confession of sin (known as the Sacrament of Penance) to a priest is required at least once a year, and after confession, penance is usually assigned. There are three things required: a spirit of contrition; a full confession of sins, including repeated occasions of the same sin; and being willing to make restitution or amends via some action (normally referred to as “penance.” In this psalm we see the first two of these elements, although no mention is made of specific acts done to restore a sense of justice. It is that third element that eventually led to the Protestant Reformation, as it became possible to purchase indulgences from the Church—these were based upon the idea that good deeds could make up for sins one had committed on the Great Balance Sheet in the Sky. Luther argued that works alone could not atone for sin—only the free gift of grace from God through faith in Jesus could lead to forgiveness of sins. Anglicans are not required to go to private confession, although individuals may make arrangements to confess to a priest if they feel it necessary. Like Protestants, we generally hold that we can confess our sins directly to God, as is described in this psalm.
One could argue that this psalm supports that belief—after confession of the sins to God, the psalmist was filled with a feeling of reconciliation and forgiveness, for which he gives profound thanks in this psalm.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
O Morning Star, who reflects the brightness of our Heavenly Father, illumine our hearts with love. Bring us into your courts that we may sing your praises. You have nourished us with the wisdom from God's heavenly courts: teach us your path of compassion and gentleness. Help us to minister to aching hearts and weary souls; help us lift up those bowed down by suffering and worry. Blessed Jesus, by faith we lay our concerns before your throne. By the power of the Holy Spirit be with us and those we now name as we pray.
Monday, March 3, 2014
|From the Cathedral of Notre Dame|
O God, we are travelers upon this earth which you have made. Help us treasure it and protect it in service to You.
Bring us to the gates of wisdom, and bid us enter into them, though the world counts it folly. Make us true disciples of your Son our Savior, and willing workers in the fields of justice. Let us drink deeply of your Holy Spirit, and be one people in love, animated by faith in your goodness and call to service.
Let us be light in the world and leaven for the hearts of those who are in distress. Almighty One, hear our prayers and supplications for those whose hope is in You and your loving care.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
O God, you are our shelter in the storm. Bring us together in spirit when weather keeps us apart. Let us meditate upon your Word, and raise our prayers to you in intercession and in thanksgiving. Watch over those who are on the roads, especially emergency workers and street crews. Merciful one, we thank you for your loving care. Comfort those whose needs we bring before You.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
|from the Musee de Cluny, Paris|
Inspire the skilled hands and hearts of doctors and nurses; spread your sheltering wings over parents and loved ones who wait for word; envelop the sick with your tender mercy and care. Bless all those in any need or concern, especially those we now name.
Friday, February 28, 2014
O God, as we await the morning sun, send your light of love to illumine our hearts.
Let us be wise in your wisdom and foolish in the eyes of the world.
Let us build many rooms in our hearts, and make a home in each one for those we love, and let us seek to love all we meet.
Watch over those, O merciful One, who are ill, or who suffer, and give strength to the weary in body and mind. Give perseverance to those who fight for healing, and comfort to those who worry or mourn.
We know You are with us always; send your Spirit of Peace to those for whom we pray.