On the Road, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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On a road overwhelmed by events of great sorrow and despair, the men together walked. The story of the road to Emmaus was over two-thousand years ago. Today, and still, our priests may be journeying with the same heavy hearts. Let us offer this prayer for them in a world  gone mad.

Lord Jesus, hear our prayer for the spiritual renewal of priests. We praise you for giving them their ministry to the Church. In these days renew them with the gifts of your Spirit.

You once opened the Scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Now renew your ordained ministers with the truth and power of your Word.

In the Eucharist you gave the Emmaus disciples renewed life and hope. Nourish priests with your own Body and Blood. Help them to imitate in their lives the death and resurrection they celebrate at your altar.

Give priests enthusiasm for the Gospel, zeal for the salvation of all, courage in leadership, humility in service, fellowship with one another and with all their brothers and sisters in You. For You love them, Lord Jesus, and we love and pray for them in Your name.

Amen

Image by David Mark at pixabay.com

Dance Since Nobody’s Watching

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As long as nobody’s watching, I’ll dance. Don’t for a minute imagine that I’m a “good” dancer. The simple truth is I can’t not move to music.

Image Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.

It began before I was a year old. My grandmother said if music was on I would wiggle and sway when I crawled, when laid in the crib, or when being fed—with arms outstretched and fingers waggling. As soon as I could stand my Irish grandfather would take my hand and, with me holding on to his thick fingers, jig.

As a kid I would hear my parents’ Big Band music playing on the phonograph as it floated up and into the attic. I would sway between the stacks of boxes and pretend to dance with my Guardian Angel. No matter the hardships, dancing allowed a sort of disconnect, relieving anxieties.

I was a teenager in Detroit, and so Motown was my rhythm of choice. Though still shy as a young adult, I would occasionally dance at wedding receptions when asked.

When I went to college in my mid twenties, I thought it would help my shyness if I registered for a modern-dance class. I thought that everyone in class would be somewhat inexperienced, and I was eager to let go of my fear. In my excitement, I spent part of my tuition on matching Danskin leotard, tights and long flowing skirt—I looked lovely in burgundy.

Eager and bright eyed on the first day of class I walked into a mirrored room with ballet bars on three sides. Lean men and women in ragged tees and scrunched legwarmers over tights were stretching and swaying as they waited for the instructor…who walked in just behind me. I sat cross legged on the floor—in my perfectly matched outfit—and waited with the other students for the usual introduction to class requirements.

Somewhere near the end of the instructor’s directives, she looked directly at me and said “…and if you are here to lose weight or get in shape, this is not the class for you as a non-theater major.” That moment of being totally clueless still makes me laugh. I envision it as a Norman Rockwell painting: short and slightly overweight young woman in coordinating leotards, happily sitting on a wooden dance room floor, looking up in eager anticipation, while the avant garde with tight buns and worn ballet slippers looked down at her with humor and disdain. I dropped the class and registered for Arthurian Literature Then and Now. A better fit than leotards.

Sometimes I still dance in my little upstairs hermitage. When I can’t think of what to write, when I’m overjoyed or over anxious, when I simply need to shake loose of earthly bonds, I will dance. With a wink to my Guardian Angel, I reach my hands up as high as I can knowing Our Lord will reach down the rest of the way, and we’ll twirl since nobody’s watching.

Image from pixabay.com.

St. Mary Magdalene, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

Painting by Richard Stodart

In anticipation of her feast day, July 22, let us pray:

St. Mary Magdalene,

Hear our prayers and carry them to our beloved Lord. We pray for our Sisters and Nuns who seek Jesus as you had sought him, in a world determined to destroy the Christ.

Guide them as a community of women to follow in your steps, and share the Good News with the ignorant and those mired and lost in sin. Strengthen them in prayer, console them in struggle, bring them peace in their final hour.

We ask all this of you in Jesus name. Amen

Original artwork by Richard Stodart, Mary Magdalene, 1995. Lithograph available…and it’s a lovely litho at that! I have one.

Mary’s Mantle, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests.

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Loving Father,

I praise you, I love you, I adore you. Send your Holy Spirit to enlighten the minds of our priest to the truth of your Son, Jesus, Priest and Victim.
Through the same Spirit guide their hearts to his Sacred Heart, to renew in them a priestly passion that they, too, might lay down their life upon the altar.
May your Spirit wash away their impurities and free them from all my transgressions
in the Cup of Salvation, let only your will be done in them.
May the Blessed Mother of your dearly beloved Son, wrap her mantle around them and protect them from all evil. May she guide them to do whatever He tells them. May she teach them to have the heart of St. Joseph, her spouse, to protect and care for the Church his bride. And may her pierced heart inspire them to embrace as their own your children who suffer at the foot of the cross.
I humbly cry to her: please be their consoling mother, and help them to be a better son.
Lord, make them a holy priest, inflamed with the fire of your love, seeking nothing
but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.
I humbly bless and thank you, my Father, through the Spirit, in Christ Jesus, your Son and our brother.
Amen.