Thoughts and Prayers for April

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 In her memoir Iona Dreaming, Claire Marcus Cooper writes: “when something pulls at my attention, it is likely to hold an important message. Stand firm as we do, the trees seem to say. We are resting now – no leaves, no growth It’s a time to hibernate and recoup; without the times of non-doing, we would not be able to form buds in the spring and draw our sap to feed summer growth. Let yourself rest and be. You are gathering strength for a new role that awaits you.”    since these past 2 months have been just such a time of non-doing for me, it is easy to see why those words are  so meaningful. As I watch the greening of my garden from my window and porch, it is as if I feel the blush of an inward greening, urging me to welcome what is to come.
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Just before the green begins there is the hint of green
a blush of color, and the red buds thicken
the ends of the maple’s branches and everything
is poised before the start of a new world,
which is really the same world
just moving forward from bud
to flower to blossom to fruit
to harvest to sweet sleep, and the roots
await the next signal, every signal
every call a miracle and the switchboard
is lighting up and the operators are
standing by in the pledge drive we’ve
all been listening to: Go make the call.

“April Prayer” by Stuart Kestenbaum, from Prayers & Run-On Sentences

New Year, New Light

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 Prayer for a New Year                                      

 

Epiphany

On Epiphany day,
we are still the people walking.
We are still people in the dark,
and the darkness looms large around us,
beset as we are by fear,
anxiety,
brutality,
violence,
loss —
a dozen alienations that we cannot manage.

We are — we could be — people of your light.
So we pray for the light of your glorious presence
as we wait for your appearing;
we pray for the light of your glorious presence
as we exhaust our coping capacity;
we pray for your gift of newness that
will override our weariness;
we pray that we may see and know and hear and trust
in your good rule.

That we may have energy, courage, and freedom to enact
your rule through the demands of this day.
We submit our day to you and to your rule, with deep joy and high hope.

~  Walter Brueggemann

Keeping Christmas

Maddie, SkyeJune11,12 001In a world that seems not only to be changing, but even to be dissolving, there are some tens of millions of us who want Christmas to be the same…with the same old greeting “Merry Christmas” and no other.

We long for the abiding love among men of good will which the season brings…

believeing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening, sweetening influences to tug at our heart strings once again. We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because they strengthen our family ties,

bind us to our friends,

make us one with all mankind

for whom the Child was born, and bring us back again to the God Who gave His only begotten Son, that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

So we will not “spend” Christmas…

nor “observe’ Christmas.

We will “keep” Christmas – keep it as it is…

in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions.

May we keep it in our hearts,

that we may be kept in its hope.”

from a sermon by Peter Marshall  “Let’s Keep Christmas”

Prayer

Grace

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

~ attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

Reach

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The beginning of a new year is a time to think about what is important, what needs to be done, who I am called to be.  I like to ponder and come to those thoughts over a period of time, rather than my making resolutions on January 1.  A good way for me to do that is to choose a word for focus.This year I choose the word Reach. LIke these tomato seedlings  in my kitchen, I start where I am, break open my comfort zone, shed what is unnecessary for growth, and celebrate new opportunity in the present – all the while reaching toward the Light.

Recalibrating, relinquishing

Embracing this season of enough

Attentive and astonished

Called to this journey

Holy mystery