Grant Light, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

.

For the nuns and sisters suffering in the many war-torn lands of our world, we pray this prayer written by Thomas Merton:

“Grant light, grant strength and patience to all who work for peace. But grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily your ways, that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of your designs and that the very storm of power now raging on this earth reveals your hidden will and your inscrutable decision.

Grant us to see your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm, O God of holiness, merciful to men. Grant us to seek peace where it is truly found. In your will, O God, is our peace. Amen.”

Image by Pexels at pixabay.com.

 

Polarities, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

Thou Art a Priest Forever
~ Fr. J.B. Henri Lacordaire, OP

To live in the midst of the world with no desire for its pleasure…
To be a member of every family yet belonging to none…

To share all sufferings; to penetrate all secrets; to heal all wounds…
To daily go from men to God to offer Him their petitions…

To return from God to men to offer them His hope…
To have a heart of fire for charity and a heart of bronze for chastity…
To bless and be blest forever.

O God, what a life, and it is yours, O Priest of Jesus Christ!

From Pope’s World Wide Prayer Network 

Image by Stefan Schweihofer at pixabay.com.

 

Laughter with Tears

.

In June a few years back, dear friend Ann Margaret Lewis arrived on a Friday night later than expected. I stood at the end of my drive, cell phone in hand, talking her in down the dark two-lane road. As she came around the second bend she flashed her high-beams across the distance and I confirmed her approach with a near squeal of delight. Her long drive and my eager anticipation ended as we embraced each other in the driveway. It was very good to feel her hugs and, as usual, I welled up with joyful tears.

My friend drove more than four hours to stay with me over Father’s Day weekend. Her husband and son would celebrate Sunday night upon her return. The purpose for her visit was to attend to her parents’ grave site, another two hours northeast.

A late night of wine, cheese, and shrimp made for a slow morning on Saturday. Shortly before noon we headed for the cemetery. For over an hour we traveled along the Interstates and talked of books, writing, and manuscripts. As a gardener who writes I am amazed at how much there is to learn about the crafting of words. Questioning Ann, I listened carefully to each lesson she shared.

Exiting the highway, Ann maneuvered through the congested traffic of two and four lane roads. I was unsettled by all the cars and trucks but she was unruffled. This was where she grew up, in Waterford, not far from Pontiac, northeast of Detroit. My anxiety was apparent, but Ann has grown accustomed to my quirks, and drove on with assurance of knowing the way. I was greatly relieved when we arrived at the cemetery—the open spaces soothed my traffic rattled nerves.

Cemeteries induce a sense of well being for me. As a child, accompanying my grandmother to the family’s plot was comforting. She would cut back sod from markers, pull weeds, and remove metal cones of dead flowers. My job was wiping off the grass clippings and dirt from the marble headstones. Grandmother would share memories as we worked. After we planted the marigolds and salvia she would draw quiet to pray while I wandered off among the headstones of unknown ancestors of other families. I would squat before grave markers and mimic my grandmother by pulling weeds, or wipe off leaves and clippings from headstones as I had done for our family. With my finger I traced the letters carved in the stone and tried to sound out the names. Eventually grandmother would call for me and I would say good-bye to all the silent souls and run back to her, to the land of the living.

Ann stopped at the cemetery office for the rules on planting around the plots. We drove to her parents’ graves and pulled hand tools and plants from the trunk. Soon we were both on our knees cutting back sod, pulling up weeds, and wiping down the pink marble headstone. I placed the plugs of marigolds and blue salvia within the small garden, and Ann planted them in place. After sprinkling a few forget-me-not seeds, Ann watered it all in. The grave site was freshened and showed that the deceased were still well loved.

We stepped back for a silent prayer. Ann began to grieve, but I began to feel such joy that I couldn’t contain myself. I put my arm around my crying friend, and instead of words of sympathy I filled the air with words of blessedness and gift. I’ve never known the kind of love that would produce that type of grief, but I have known the type of love that would produce that kind of joy.

Through the depth of her grief came the reality of her love. The fullness of what her parents had given her was evident in the woman she had become. My joy came from recognizing the connection of that eternal gift and her ability to carry it into future generations. There I stood beside and before the ultimate gift from God—the capacity of love.

As we laughed and cried arm-in-arm I told her parents they had done a real fine job.

Image by Michael Gaida at pixabay.com.

 

Hindered in Prayer, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

.

Holy and Beloved Father whose love is without limit and whose gifts are given with full compassion hear our prayers for Sisters and Nuns.

Look upon them with mercy when their prayers are hindered by a false sense of unworthiness.

Inspire all Sisters and Nuns who are creative artists whose gifts are to reveal your beauty in our world.

Help them to continuously embrace your goodness and lead them to seek goodness rather than faults in their communities, in those they care for, and in all of us that they encounter.

We ask this all with confidence in the name of Jesus.

Amen

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

Mother of Vocations, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of vocations, multiply priestly vocations and fill the earth with religious houses which will be light and warmth for the world, safety in stormy nights. Beg your Son to send us many priests and religious. Guard and protect each of your precious priests according to your Divine Son’s will.  This we ask of you, Our Mother. Amen.

Image by Mauriestudio at pixabay.com.