Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Morning Prayer - Breastplate of St. Patrick


I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial,
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
Last week whilst preaching I made a very bold assertion -- that what separates humans from all the rest of creation is that we can forgive.  Forgive and not just forget.

This week I think that’s probably a gross exaggeration.  There are many things that separate us from all the rest of creation.  We make tools, we have language, we have a sense of history.  We also have culture/civilization. We grow and harvest food and then we cook that food.  No other part of creation does this.

Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.”  We have been shaped by many things – I am pondering now how we are shaping our buildings and then how those buildings are shaping us.  The movement to have or buildings become more “plain” shaped the Protestant reformation.  Our movement away from special use sacred spaces to general use areas in church – how is this shaping us?  Is it just a sign of our lack of place within our souls for a devotional space? In our busy society, are we taking the space and time to be intentional in our relationship with God (much less with our relationships with others?)


There is a movement called “mindful eating.” There is much in our lives that has become mindless.  We need more mindfulness in all that we do; more intentionality.  We have a choice to be proactive rather than reactive (another thing that separates us from the rest of creation.)  How might I be more proactive today?  What may I be more mindful of?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


  • God of all who wander in the wilderness,
    you go before us as beacon and guide.
    Lead us through all danger,
    sustain us through all desolation,
    and bring us home to the land
    you have prepared for us. Amen.
Matthew 20:1-16
20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
20:2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
20:3 When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;
20:4 and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.
20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same.
20:6 And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?'
20:7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'
20:8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.'
20:9 When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.
20:10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.
20:11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,
20:12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'
20:13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
20:14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.
20:15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Monday, September 01, 2014

Morning Prayer -- God at my Aid -- Celtic Prayer

God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.

God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.

God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my hands,
God in my heart.

God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber
God in mine ever living soul,
God in mine eternity.


++++++++++++++

Matthew 18:15-20
18:15 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.

18:16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

18:17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

18:18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

18:19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Morning Prayer -- Thomas Merton -- Discernment

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me. Nor do I really know myself.
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.

And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always
Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death
I will not fear for you are ever with me.

And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Evening Prayer - St. Augustine - Enkindle my tepid soul

Holy Spirit,
powerful Consoler,
sacred Bond of the Father and the Son,
Hope of the afflicted,
descend into my heart and establish in it your loving dominion.

Enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love
so that I may be wholly subject to you.

We believe that when you dwell in us,
you also prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son.
Deign, therefore, to come to me,
Consoler of abandoned souls,
and Protector of the needy.

Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak,
and support the wavering.

Come and purify me.
Let no evil desire take possession of me.
You love the humble and resist the proud.
Come to me, glory of the living, and hope of the dying.
Lead me by your grace that I may always be pleasing to you. Amen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine -- Too late have I loved you

Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new. Too late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside myself, and there I sought you! In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The things you have made kept me from you - the things which would have no being unless they existed in you! You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness. You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness. You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace.
            Confessions, X, 27, 38

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine -- I believe in you

O Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. I became weary and I labored. O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the strength to seek you, for you help me to find you and you have more and more given me the hope of finding you. Here I am before you with my firmness and my infirmity. Preserve the first and heal the second. Here I am before you with my strength and my ignorance. Where you have opened the door to me, welcome me at the entrance; where you have closed the door to me, open to my cry; enable me to remember you, to understand you, and to love you. Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine - Prayer for self knowledge

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You, and desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You, and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You, and let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You, and for ever enjoy You. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine -- For your mercies' sake

For your mercies' sake, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul: "I am your salvation." So speak that I may hear, O Lord; my heart is listening; open it that it may hear you, and say to my soul: "I am your salvation." After hearing this word, may I come in haste to take hold of you. Hide not your face from me. Let me see your face even if I die, lest I die with longing to see it. The house of my soul is too small to receive you; let it be enlarged by you. It is all in ruins; do you repair it. There are thing in it - I confess and I know - that must offend your sight. But who shall cleanse it? Or to what others besides you shall I cry out? From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord, and from those of others spare your servant. Amen.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine -- So that I may find my happiness in you

My God, let me know and love you, so that I may find my happiness in you. Since I cannot fully achieve this on earth, help me to improve daily until I may do so to the full Enable me to know you ever more on earth, so that I may know you perfectly in heaven. Enable me to love you ever more on earth, so that I may love you perfectly in heave. In that way my joy may be great on earth, and perfect with you in heaven. O God of truth, grant me the happiness of heaven so that my joy may be full in accord with your promise. In the meantime let my mind dwell on that happiness, my tongue speak of it, my heart pine for it, my mouth pronounce it, my soul hunger for it, my flesh thirst for it, and my entire being desire it until I enter through death in the joy of my Lord forever. Amen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Morning Prayer -- St. Augustine -- Watch with those who wake

O thou, who art the light of the minds that know thee, the life of the souls that love thee, and the strength of the wills that serve thee; help us so to know thee that we may truly love thee; so to love thee that we may fully serve thee, whom to serve is perfect freedom. Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and let your angels protect those who sleep. Tend the sick. Refresh the weary. Sustain the dying. Calm the suffering. Pity the distressed. We ask this for the sake of your love. Lord Jesus, our Saviour, let us come to you. Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood. Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with our joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence. Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Morning Prayer -- William Laud -- A prayer for the Church

A Prayer for the Church, by William Laud (1573-1645)

Most gracious Father,
we pray to you for your holy catholic Church.
Fill it with all truth;
in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purge it.
Where it is in error, direct it.
Where anything is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, strengthen and defend it.
Where it is in want, provide for it.
Where it is divided, heal it and reunite it in your love;
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Morning Prayer -- Charles Kingsley -- Take from us

A Prayer of Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

 Take from us, O God, all pride and vanity, all boasting and self-assertion, and give us the true courage that shows itself in gentleness, the true wisdom that shows itself in simplicity, and the true power that shows itself in modesty.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chaos Vs. Entropy - sorting paper

When my parents died, they left me to sort literal hundreds of boxes of paper.  Some of this paper is in a storage unit; some of these boxes have been in our garage for 8 years.  It takes a certain kind of strength to go through these boxes.  I sorted and shredded all the checks they wrote and the check registers that went with them and their bank statements from the era around 1960 to 1975.  They had moved them when they moved from Tucker to Stone Mountain.  Nicely ordered, each statement and collection of checks filed neatly in boxes.  I shredded them one check at a time and it seemed like I was erasing their lives.  It was painful.  It took me days to mourn all over again.

I found my mother's checks she wrote while she was single in a nicely ordered neatly packed box.  I didn't have the wherewithal to shred them.  I took the coward's way out and just repacked them in a box to go through later.  I am shredding all the Federal Income Tax returns that are over 15 years old (each neatly filed in a box labeled "FIT 1996, FIT 1997" and so forth.)  Not only did she keep all these - since she also did my grandmother's and my father's father's taxes, I also have boxes labeled "FIT Papa 1984, FIT Papa 1985" and so forth. I suppose I could throw them out without shredding but some of the papers in the boxes have Social Security Numbers on them, so I'm shredding.  I will have a huge pile of shred to nest in after I finish.

Other things that I have found: my Dad's collection of house plans, his collection of leatherworking patterns (an entire paper box of them), my Dad's full set of papers from his stint in the Army, birthday cards, get well cards, old software, supplies for a Smith Corona typewriter, a collection of really old Bibles, old magazines, unopened mail from 1999, pictures of my kids, picture frames (empty), all of my NASA curriculum, files from Fernbank (OK, those were in my boxes) and so forth.  I have several more boxes to go in the living room that Bill has kindly brought over from the Loganville house. I am reducing their volume enormously if not pitching them away or shredding them.

Yes, this is what I do at lunch now instead of eat.  Wish me luck.  There is only a finite number of boxes.  It only seems like it's taking forever!

Morning Prayer -- Edward Pusey -- Good Jesus, Fountain of Love

A Prayer of Edward Pusey (1800-1882)

Good Jesus, Fountain of Love,
Fill us with thy love.
Absorb us into thy love;
Compass us with thy love,
That we may see all things in the light of thy love,
Receive all things as the token of thy love,
Speak of all things in words breathing of thy love,
Win through thy love others for thy love,
Be kindled day by day with a new glow of thy love,
Until we be fitted to enter into thine everlasting love,
To adore thy love and love to adore thee, our God and all.
Even so come, O Lord Jesus.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Morning Prayer -- John Donne -- One Equal Eternity

A Prayer of John Donne (1572-1631)

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Morning Prayer - St. Ignatius

Dearest Jesus,
Teach me to be generous,
To love and serve you as you deserve,
 To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
 To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labour and to look for no reward,
Except that of knowing that I do your Holy Will. Amen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Morning Prayer -- Reinhold Neibuhr -- Serenity Prayer

O God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...
courage to change the things I can...
and wisdom to know the difference.
Help me to live one day at a time,
to enjoy one moment at a time,
to accept hardships as the pathway to peace.
May I learn from Jesus
to take this broken world as it is ...
and not as I would have it.
Give me the grace to trust that you will make all things right
if I embrace your desires for myself and my sisters and brothers.
May I be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.
Amen.
--  Reinhold Neibuhr

Monday, August 11, 2014

Morning Prayer -- Henry Viscardi -- Most Richly Blessed

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of others.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am most richly blessed.


-- by Henry Viscardi

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Morning Prayer -- Herve Marcoux -- I Behold Jesus In You

I behold the Christ in you.
I place you lovingly in the care of the All Caring One.
I release you from my anxiety and concern.
I let go of my possessive hold on you.
I am willing to free you to follow the dictates of
          the indwelling Spirit.
I am willing to free you to live your life according to your best light and
          understanding.
Husband, wife, child, friend,
I no longer try to force my ideas on you, my ways on you.
I lift my thoughts above you, above the personal level.
I see you as God sees you,
          a spiritual being,
          created in God's image,
          endowed with qualities and abilities that make you needed and 
          important not only to me but to God and God's larger perspective.
I do not bind you.
I no longer believe that you do not have
          the understanding you need in order to meet life.
I bless you
I have faith in you,
I behold Jesus in you.
 
--  Herve Marcoux, OMI

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Morning Prayer - St. Apollonius - A measure of your Spirit

A Prayer of St Apollonius (170-245) 

O Lord Jesus Christ,
give us a measure of your Spirit
that we may be enabled to obey your teaching:
to pacify anger,
to take part in pity,
to moderate desire,
to increase love,
to put away sorrow,
to cast away vain glory,
not to be vindictive,
not to fear death;
ever entrusting our spirit to the immortal God
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns
world without end.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Morning Prayer -- John Donne -- Prayer Two from Devotions

O MOST gracious God, who pursuest and perfectest thine own purposes, and dost not only remember me, by the first accesses of this sickness, that I must die, but inform me, by this further proceeding therein, that I may die now; who hast not only waked me with the first, but called me up, by casting me further down, and clothed me with thyself, by stripping me of myself, and by dulling my bodily senses to the meats and eases of this world, hast whet and sharpened my spiritual senses to the apprehension of thee; by what steps and degrees soever it shall please thee to go, in the dissolution of this body, hasten, O Lord, that pace, and multiply, O my God, those degrees, in the exaltation of my soul toward thee now, and to thee then. My taste is not gone away, but gone up to sit at David’s table,to taste, and see, that the Lord is good.8 My stomach is not gone, but gone up, so far upwards toward thesupper of the Lamb, with thy saints in heaven, as to the table, to the communion of thy saints here in earth. My knees are weak, but weak therefore that I should easily fall to and fix myself long upon my devotions to thee. A sound heart is the life of the flesh;9 and a heart visited by thee, and directed to thee, by that visitation is a sound heart. There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger.10 Interpret thine own work, and call this sickness correction, and not anger, and there is soundness in my flesh.There is no rest in my bones, because of my sin;11 transfer my sins, with which thou art so displeased, upon him with whom thou art so well pleased, Christ Jesus, and there will be rest in my bones. And, O my God, who madest thyself a light in a bush, in the midst of these brambles and thorns of a sharp sickness, appear unto me so that I may see thee, and know thee to be my God, applying thyself to me, even in these sharp and thorny passages. Do this, O Lord, for his sake, who was not the less the King of heaven for thy suffering him to be crowned with thorns in this world.