Bright and Firm Hope, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

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O Jesus, our beloved Lord and Savior, hear our humble prayers on behalf of your Sisters and Nuns.

Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will constantly increase throughout the course of their holy life. In their loneliness, comfort them; In their sorrows, strengthen them; In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified and show them that they are needed by the Church, that they are needed by souls, that they are needed for the work of redemption.

Amen.

Imag by StefanHoffmann at pixabay.com.

Guard them Our Lord, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

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Our Loving Lord, hear us as we pray for our Sisters and Nuns.

We pray that in their daily seeking, you come to them who serve you in patient hope.

As they make an offering of themselves, you come to them who have pledged to you their poverty.

In their carrying the burdens of our world within their hearts, come to them who have offered themselves through vows to persevere.

It is your face that they seek in us—in the child and in the dying, in those who are whole and those broken, in our silence and in the riot of torment—and their desire to wash us with your love.

Guard their hearts of joy and protect their tender souls, for this we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.

Peace Lilies and a Suicide

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In the Adoration Chapel the lights are low. On the altar the oil candles flicker behind the gold monstrance, making the Blessed Sacrament appear opaque. I am soothed when here, comfortable and comforted.

Usually I write when I come before Our Lord. There is a narrow table at the back of the chapel where I am often found leaning over a spiral pad, blue gel-pen scratching in words.

Today I chose a pew near the front. I alternate between sitting and kneeling as I pray. My knees are a bit more stiff and do not allow staying on them for very long.  As I leaned against the back of the pew in front of me, the rosary moving between my fingers taps a whispering cadence against the wooden surface.

I can hear the clock on the opposite wall clicking away the seconds. I am gently reminded and heartened at how their passing brings me closer to eternity, my reunion.

My thoughts and prayers begin to focus on a woman, near my own age, who has faced too many traumas in her life. She was recently found near death in a motel room after a failed suicide attempt.

My heart aches for her. Her feelings of being unloved and hopeless, was a pain she didn’t know how to manage, a sorrow she couldn’t navigate.

My eyes refocus from the internal vision of her and her suffering to the altar and then the body of Christ. Looking down I see three pots of Peace Lilies—one of the few houseplants capable of living in low-light environments. The larger plant is near the windows, the smaller two are in front of the altar.

What I notice is different about one of these smaller lilies is that someone has removed the dead stems and leaves. The remaining leaves are sparse but healthy looking and shine even in the dim light.

I reflect on this and the suicidal woman. I wonder if she will soon come to realize, while institutionalized, that she too is being cleansed. That all that is dead and decaying in her heart is being removed. That she will be lighter once the purging has taken place. And like the Peace Lily, her growth will continue to be healthy in environments not as intense as others she may have known.

As I ready to leave I see something I hadn’t noticed before—a single small white flower emerging from the plant. Once cleansed of the unwanted decay, there is room for flowers to bud. Genuflecting low as I exit the pew I smile to myself…the woman for whom I’ve prayed will blossom soon enough. I am eager for her to know peace.

Image pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.

Send us Good and Holy Religious, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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O Jesus, Good Shepherd, who have come to save what was lost, you have established the priesthood of the Holy Church, so that the work of Redemption might be perpetuated. We ask you urgently: send laborers into your vineyard! Give your Holy Church worthy and holy priests. Give your Holy Church religious brothers and sisters. Grant that all those whom you have chosen from all eternity may follow your call. Do not allow anyone who is unworthy to ascend the steps of the altar.

Confirm all priests and religious in their difficult vocation and bless their efforts and labors. Grant that they may be the salt of the earth which preserves from corruption and that they may be the light of the world which enlightens the faithful by their words and example. Grant them wisdom, patience and fortitude in order that they may promote your honor, propagate your Kingdom in the hearts of men, and guide the souls which have been entrusted to them to eternal life.

Amen

Prayer shared from https://www.praymorenovenas.com/

Image Pixabay.com, CCO creative Commons.

Who Wants a Date?

shutterstock_185743793The houseplants in the upstairs hermitage needed watering. There aren’t as many as there used to be. As I now spend more time indoors as a writer, rather than outdoors as I once did being a gardener, I wanted sunlight streaming through the windows. The numerous houseplants I once had hoarded the light, so I gave the largest plants away.

I’ve written before of my love of the Crab Cactus, Schlumbergera, of which I have three—oh, and a start of a forth from a branch that snapped off. There is also the white orchid and honeysuckle, and by the north window in the oratory two African violets.

Earlier this winter the violets nearly died from lack of water. For the first few weeks when the furnace was running, I forgot to check them sooner—smaller pots dry quicker—and they dried back hard. It doesn’t take long to damage a plant!

While watering I noticed, with relief, they had recovered nicely with an abundance of new leaves, fuzzy and bright green.Violet new leaves

Quite a while ago I read the story of a woman who had a male friend who attended AA meetings with her.  The woman, who was moving out of the area, had met him for lunch and during their conversation asked how he was managing being alone. He shared with her the advice he’d received from his therapist, who had given him a concrete marker of when he could begin dating. It was, her friend believed, an easily attainable goal: keep houseplants alive for one year, and if he did, then get a pet. If he could keep both plants and pet healthy and happy for the following year dating could start.

It was nearing the end of that time when she unexpectedly saw her friend again. After their excited greetings, she asked if he was dating. He began to tear up and leaning in for a hug told her, “No, the damn plants keep dying.”

Yes, yes, I can almost hear some of you yelping about having a black thumb. But the story is a good lesson about attentiveness that is not centered on one’s self.

First you must want to spend a little time and learn what it takes to care for something—like a specific houseplant. Does it need bright, indirect, or low light? What is the temperature and humidity in your home, and is it suited to that plant? Watering needs vary depending on plant species, its size, and the previous two points. Once you learn these things, you need to be willing to invest that knowledge in the object and be attentive to it—plant, pet, or person.

When I consider friends who have taken on the role of a catechist, well, most anyone grounded in faith, I see this playing out. They’ve nurtured their own seeds of faith, having investing time to learn about our religion. After that they then could be attentive to the developing faith of others.

Neglect the truth of what is needed for proper development, being too busy to be attentive, and damage takes place, stunting growth.

Moving on to water the remaining plants, I step past my old dog, Lilly, sleeping in her bed, and walk carefully to the next room with the an elderly kitty rubbing against my leg. I have no desire to date, but if I did, I might be about there.

(Image of violet flowers by Petr Baumann, courtesy shutterstock.com.)