Just became a vestry member for the first time. Should be interesting?
(This from a book I’m reading, “Praying with Icons” by Jim Forest. P. 59-50. The prayer is attributed to a 19th century Russian monastery.)
Lord, grant that I may meet the coming day with spiritual tranquility. Grant that in all things I may rely upon your holy will. In each hour of the day, reveal your will to me. Whatever news may reach me this day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul, knowing that all is subject to your holy will. Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down by you. Grant that I may deal firmly and wisely with every member of my family and all who are in my care, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.
Isn’t it funny how we learn things, forget things, and re-learn them, and only later remember we had “learned” that once before? How the a-ha moment seems like the a-ha moment…again? <sigh>
I guess it’s enough to be thankful for the a-ha moments, however often they may make encore performances, eh?
I look back over my journal entries sometimes (the blog, too, but I’m speaking specifically here about personal journal entries that don’t make it to public consumption.) and am amazed that I am ecstatic to finally “get” something, only to agonize over it again a few months later and then “get it” again, with the same grateful delight or passive resignation, whichever the case may be.
What are these things that I get and forget repeatedly? Oh, I don’t know, that prayer is important? That God actually enjoys spending a little time with me. That I frequently enjoy that time, too.
May God’s peace be with you.
Today was my friend’s ordination to the vocational diaconate — that is, the REAL kind of deacon. <knowing wink to my Episcopal clergy friends out there>
I had prayed to stay in the present, and celebrate my friend’s joy, not ruminate over my past. With one fleeting exception, I was in the moment, and in my friend’s blessed and joyful moments. The fleeting moment…not a fully welled tear that even needed wiping away, only some fleeting mistiness.
God is good. In fact, he even came through with extra brownie points above what I’d asked for. At the communion rail, while waiting my turn, there I caught our bishop’s eye. He was not four feet away, and seated at an altar chair while the vested deacons (newly and long-time ordained’s) distributed the sacrament. I was able to beam him a (nicely reciprocated!) big genuine smile while waiting for my turn to receive Communion. Of course, the friend got a bigger more beamy smile when SHE distributed Communion to me! :) And it was so AWESOME to see and hear her own ultimate beaminess this day. What joy was hers today! She and the other newly ordained deacon shared in giving the diaconal dismissal to “go forth into the world to love and serve the Lord”, but it was her eager booming voice that entered my ear the loudest.
Thanks be to God, indeed.
–June 5, 2010–
A dear soul/spiritual friend of mine is getting ordained a deacon in the Episcopal church on June 5, 2010.
Well, I should say, “God willing and the people of God consenting” as they always humbly preface announcements of such events. :) (I have a feeling it’ll go on without a hitch, though.)
I first met this friend at the occasion of our shared ministry discernment weekend about 3&1/2 years ago, the last step before interviews with the Bishop for his decision on beginning the diaconal formation program. The answer in my situation was discern some more, and come back to see me [Bishop] again. The “come back to see me again” piece didn’t ever really happen in that context; discernment since that time hasn’t really added or subtracted much from my clarity position at the interview. And that is tough sometimes. <sigh>
Heavenly Father, if it’s all the same with you, I’d really like to celebrate new ministry directions and steps – milestones – for my friend, and for the gift of her service to your Holy Church. Let my attentions and presence that day be in celebration with and for my friend, not ruminations over “could have been’s” and “what if’s” about me.
I know we’ve been a little out of touch in the prayer and discernment department as of late, God. (sorry! I miss you, too.) I SWEAR I’ll do better if you just let me make it through this special day for my friend, keeping me from breaking down and crying over “my” stuff and unfinished business; if there be tears let them be tears of joy for my friend. We’ll have time for the stuff that is between you and me some other time, in the privacy of my room in prayer…I don’t really think we need to confront and rehash those things in public on my friend’s day, do we? Keep my focus on my friend, and on you on June 5th…help me, Father?!?
Hopefully (and sheepishly), your (well-meaning!) daughter.
Discussing prayer tonight at a class. Focusing on silent prayer. I said this, but it’s surely not original with me. Sorry I don’t know who to attribute it to, but it’s so true.
Stillness and quiet prayer with God is primarily about taking time to let God love you.
Reminded me of a discussion as part of our priest’s preaching learning group recently. One member of the feedback group remarked that the sermons she preaches bring God closer that the sense or imagery of God he heard as a child/younger man. He said something that it’s nice to hear it preached that God loves us, and not just aloof and far away. I remarked, yeah, you can’t hear that preached too often, can you.
Take a little time each day to let God love you.
Peace be with you.
Recently I provided someone a moment of graciousness and kindness, and it was perceived as such by the person to whom it was directed, and encouraging.
I was a little ashamed at my felt sense of pride in that recognition of kindness and the other’s appreciation afterward. But maybe it’s a healthy self-assessment in the face of so many other not so healthy judgments I’ve directed toward myself?
I recognize that I bask in the glow of being appreciated. Is that basking a “pure” kind of joy that is a normal and expected result of following God’s call to service, or self-puffery?
Lord, help me to be a blessing in the lives of those whom I touch.
Lord, help me to fix my gaze on you, and enjoy the pleasures in my self and with others that comes in serving, and, sure, even in being appreciated. Keep me from both inordinate self-puffery and inordinately harsh self-judgment.
Lord, help me to be unafraid to trust you and freely and joyously offer my life for you to use me as you see fit, whether for public and greater or lesser recognized service, or for quiet unassuming care of those around me and in my personal prayers. Help me to both recognize and accept the path you will continue to show me, all the days of my life.