A few weeks ago I shared a poem/prayer by Thomas Merton in a sermon. Quite a few folks requested that I make copies of it available. Here is the text:
"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
From Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton.
This would be a good prayer for all of us to adopt into our prayer life. If you don't have a regular prayer life and routine, I encourage you to make a start with this. Perhaps you could also incorporate periods of silent contemplation and meditation following each phrase or sentence.
Listening for God in our sound-filled world requires a level of intentionality. So try being intentional about it. Too often we offer up to God our to-do list and hope our recommendations and suggestions are carried out in a timely fashion. If we are really interested in attending to God's will, then we may well need to relinquish our own. Can our desire we aligned with God's.
Our Fourth Wednesday evenings of pot-luck supper, Bible Study and prayer will resume (beginning August 24 at 6:00 PM). Together we can make this a rhythm of our life as a congregation. Our weekly gathering around Word and Sacrament on Sunday mornings is the central component of our family of faith. This can be fortified with a regular and intentional attention to Bible Study and Prayer.
In fact, for those who are absent from the Sunday assembly for whatever reason, these Fourth Wednesday gatherings are ideal ways to remain engaged and fortified in faith. Even the regulars of Sunday can be blessed by this monthly supplement. Because of their less-structured format, these Fourth Wednesday gatherings provide an opportunity for a more conversational approach to God's Word and varied experience of prayer and contemplation. Give it a try!
Looking ahead to Sunday . . .
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 28, 2016
Prayer of the Day
O God, you resist those who are proud
and give grace to those who are humble.
Give us the humility of your Son,
that we may embody the generosity of Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Lord. Amen
Readings and Psalm
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14
In stories which anyone can understand, today’s readings provide the essence of what we might call distinctive Christianity, specifically the way in which God deals with people. The church in its celebration of the eucharist is the only table to which not only friends and relatives are invited, but also cripples, the blind, the maimed and the oppressed. We can come to it in wheelchairs, with a broken and tormented heart; even our enemies may come. Here we already experience a vision of the future in which all those who are humiliated and discriminated against are exalted. In the liturgy we experience what we cannot fully achieve, much as we would want to. In the liturgy we confess that our love for one another is actually a pure gift of God.
—Edward Schillebeeckx, OP
[Edward Schillebeeckx, OP, God Among Us: The Gospel Proclaimed (New York: Crossroad, 1983), 54-55.]