Prayer for Strength, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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Dear Lord,

Hear my prayer for your priests in my life. I pray that they will persevere in their calling in the face of ridicule and hate for the sins of their brothers. I pray that they find strength in you in a world that devalues the purpose of their work, and often sees them as useless and archaic.

Sweet Jesus help me remember to thank them for the offering of their lives to lead mine towards you. I am only one small soul of the many that they touch, but may my heart be always grateful and pray for the priests who guide me to be more than what I think I can be.

In their blessing me, may I always bless them in return.

Amen

Image Pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.

Seasons in Anticipation of Change

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The black tree limbs are naked of leaves and their outline contrasts against the gray November skies. The gardens too are naked and the lawns have turned the dull green of an old wool shirt.

Another seasonal change is moving through, and winter is coming. Growing up in the Midwest I learned early about seasons and signs of change. The winds from the north bring us colder temperatures, but those from the southwest are warm, humid and have a potential for creating storms. We learn to recognize the differences in clouds and the kinds of storms, rain or snow, which develop from them relative to their direction and the time of year.

In Luke 12:54-56 we read of Jesus speaking to a crowd “When you see a cloud rising in the west…when you see the south wind blowing…You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

Most of us easily recognize the signs in nature that indicate movement in time, cycles and rhythms. But do we recognize similar signs in our spiritual life? Can we point to the cycles of faith in our present time and say “Yes, here again…this is Our Lord’s movement”?

There is the season of less light, when things seem dim. For those of us who live with depression, this season always returns and we are blessed with the opportunity to grow deeper in our faith. It is the time when I most arduously seek my Lord. It is the time when I know I am developing more fully my ability to find my way when hope seems distant.

During seasons of darkness comes rain, sometimes cold and persistent. The rain challenges me to willingly take in and draw up what is good. In nature everything depends on rain, or rather water. I think this is true of our souls as well. We cannot survive without the water of Mercy that God sends to revive our soul.

We can learn something from the darkness, where in nature roots develop. We grow stronger through our seeking God. We become a bit more grounded. With each passing season we develop strength not found the year before.

Once we have rested after the challenge of darkness and rain, storms and winds, we enter the next season of new growth. The development that took place in darkness now brings vitality for the next cycle of life.

We learn throughout our lives how to interpret Christ’s presence in it, much the same as knowing how to interpret the earth and sky. Through attentiveness and discernment we learn, and trust that one season will lead to another…a natural cycle to developing faith.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons.

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Fullness of Yes, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

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Blessed Mother Mary,

You discerned in your heart and gave to God the fullness of yourself in love and faith. You did not know the demands your “yes” would place on you in the future as the mother of Jesus. You chose to walk trusting the will of our Holy Father.

Look now on our women, young and old, discerning a vocation as a Sister or Nun. Hear our prayers for them that they are open to God’s calling. Grant them peace in their seeking to know God’s will to enter into a religious life. Help them to persevere when confusion, fear, and discouragement may bring doubts.

Blessed Mother hear our prayers that the vocations of Sisters and Nuns be filled to overflowing!

Amen.

 

Image from Pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.

 

Claude Monet Quote

The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil, Claude Monet

As a gardener who has enjoyed Monet’s work for decades, I’ve imagined him as a kindred spirit; his lifelong obsession with flowers included caring for gardens and not just painting them.

Only recently, as I’ve entered my sixties, have I begun to learn to paint. The more I learn about art, color and composition, the deeper my understanding and love for Monet’s work.

In learning to see God’s glory in nature with a new appreciation and perspective of light and shadows, the beauty of impressionism has evolved.

I was filled with with delight when I found this quote, since it too is the desire of my heart to bear witness to the Glory of the Creator as I learn to paint.

“All I did was to look at what the universe showed me, to let my brush bear witness to it.”


~ Claude Monet

Image pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.

Coming Winter, Prayer for Priests

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For some folks I know, their day is not starting off well, as mine had not several years ago when I faced the same issue; the furnace has stopped working and it’s really old.  Their house is cold, the water pipes are getting colder, and winter has just begun.

Let us pray for our priests who also struggle in the cold, that their dwellings remain warm and secure. That they are safe travelling when called upon during winter storms to aid a parishioner. Let us pray, and continue to pray until Easter warms us all.

Amen