Thursday, June 19, 2008
Give us strength and joy
I love this peaceful scene. It gives calm to my soul. I hope that the opening prayer for today's Liturgy is one that appeals to all. Here it is: "Almighty and ever-living God, our source of power and inspiration, give us strength and joy in serving you as followers of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
I think I am feeling the need of the strength and joy in serving God. The Gospel tells us not to babble in prayer as "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Then Jesus tells us "This is how you are to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." The "Our Father" as we call it, or the Lord's Prayer", is really a powerful prayer when we meditate on each of the seven petitions. Let us try to live the words we recite so often and let us learn to mean what we say. I think I am often reciting without thinking and there is much to think about in each line.
A dear friend, knowing that I was missing my friend who died so suddenly on June 3, gave me this quotation from A. Powell Davies and I want to share it with you as we all face sorrows at some point.
"When sorrow comes, let us accept it simply, as a part of life. Let the heart be open to pain, let it be stretched by it. All the evidence we have says that this is the better way. An open heart never grows bitter. Or, if it does, it cannot remain so. In the desolate hour, there is an outcry, a clenching of the hands upon emptiness, a burning pain of bereavement, a weary ache of loss. But anguish, like ecstasy, is not forever. There comes a gentleness, a returning quietness, a restoring stillness. This too is a door to life. Here, also, is a deepening of meaning-- and it can lead to dedication, a going forward to the triumph of the soul, the conquering of the wilderness. In the process will come a deepening inward knowledge that, in the final reckoning, all is well."