To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living.” John Henry
One of the most amazing ways to pray is to simply repeat the name of Jesus. It is a soothing and enlightening way to meditate on God. Somewhere in the process our petty problems seem to disappear and we can feel “the peace that passes all understanding.” This may not happen every time but if you continue the practice it will come. I often use this song repeating it over and over.
Prayer: Lord, we have asked you before to teach us to pray and you gave us The Lord’s Prayer. Help us pray our way into your presence in many different ways. Amen
There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. William P. Merrill
To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out in praise can touch my soul. I can be moved to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.
Prayer: Thank you God for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. Amen
By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton felt himself changed by reading scripture. We might think well that was centuries ago and it won’t happen to me.
Not so, Thomas was a man of the 20th century and lived a somewhat risqué life before he found God. The Bible did change his life and his way of thinking. It could happen to us. Reading the Bible daily and with real attention could make us see things differently as Thomas did. Try it!
Homework: Read the Bible this week with all your attention for at least 10 minutes.
Prayer: Generous God, you gave us the Bible as a guide in our lives. May we actually pick it up and not just read but absorb it. Amen
“There is one thing more I wish I could give to them (my family) , and that is the Christian religion. If they had that and I had not given them one cent, they would be rich. If they have not that, and I had given them the world, they would be poor.” Patrick Henry
What do we want to leave as a legacy for our children. Most of us immediately think about our possessions. We want to have some money or property to leave them. Since I am now in my golden years I realize that possessions matter little if I haven’t taught them to love God. If they have no faith to support them when things don’t go well then I have given them nothing.
Prayer: God of love, help us to put teaching about you at the top of our priority list. Help us to set aside other demands and bring our families to church. Amen
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out. Frank Sinatra
It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.
Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. William Blake
Sometimes it is so much easier to hold on to our anger than to forgive. We may be using the anger to give us energy. It seems that the whole world is about finding someone to blame. We feel empowered by our anger. We feed on it. The truth is that anger drains us, uses up our energy and makes us ill. This is not what Christ said. He told us to forgive our enemies. The church tells us before we come to communion to turn loose of our grievances with others. We must forgive. Forgiveness heals.
Prayer: Forgive us as sins as we forgive the sins of others.
We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher
We weren’t promised a rose garden. We were promised that God would never leave us. Having a life free of problems may not be the thing that makes us beautiful in God’s eyes. The Bible reminds us that pottery is put into the flame to make it beautiful. In times of trial turn to God and come out of the trial refined by him.
Prayer: Ever present God, go with us into the flame and bring us out made beautiful for you. Amen
Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?
Fulton J. Sheen
We live is such a technical age. We have machines to wash out clothes and our dishes. We don’t have to put stamps on our mail and take it to the post office. We park as close as we can to the mall so that we don’t have to walk far. Then we complain that we work too hard. Most of us have no idea what real work is. Mother Theresa had those scars on her body but great love in her heart. We need to follow her example. I wonder if when we get to heaven St. Peter will ask us these questions.
Prayer: Lord, our life is easy compared with people in other countries. Many of us don’t have to work with our hands. We are called to do your work and to be your hands and feet. Get us moving! Amen
Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher
When our tears come they usually flow from grief or pain. They flow for ourselves and sometimes for someone else. Tears pull us from our routine day-today existence. Whatever caused them has stopped us in our tracks. We step back from the ordinary and frequently reach out to God for help. So they do cause us to see into heaven and know that God is there. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let your tears flow.
Prayer: Thank you, God for being our help and strength. Remind us that Jesus wept. Amen
Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. Vincent McNabb
I am one of the worst for worrying about things. I cross every bridge before I get to it. When something is really wrong fear can rule my world. We shouldn’t expect all our fears to disappear. This is the real world. But by leaning on God’s grace can I begin to hold fear in check and rely on hope.
Prayer: God, our father and mother, we turn to you as to a loving parent. Help us to remember that you love us and want only the best for us. Help us to bind up fear and put it away. Amen