You delight in our sweetness, oh Lord

As I remember Your presence with us at the wedding at Cana, I remember that…

You delight in our sweetness, oh Lord,

As our most loving parent,
You watch us here below,
And look on with delight
As we dance and laugh and love
In the sweet innocence of children
Whose only desire is to love and please you.

We delight in Your delight in us,
In Your holy approval.

Stripped of all worldly knowledge and encumbrance,
We delight in clothing ourselves only in Your will
And in Your Way for us, holy Lord.

Lead us again and for all time
To that heavenly garden of Your first creation,
To be with You and delight in Your will.

Hallelujah.

Sharing the Light of Your Love

Thank You for this day, for the family and husband You have given me,
And for the friends You’ve given into my care.
I pray, Father, for Your aid and strength in how I carry the light of Your love to them.
Help me to empty myself of myself, that Your light may be unfiltered and unfettered by the confusion, chaos, or corruption lingering in me, born of my sin against You and the Holy Spirit.

Give me, I pray, Holy Lord, Your divine and unquenchable thirst for doing Your Will for me, with this writing.
Determine for me when it is time to bring it into the world and to present it in Your temple for Your blessing.
Will there be a time, soon thereafter, when I must take it with me into the desert to protect it from hostile forces, like when Mother Mary and St. Joseph fled with You to Egypt for a time?
Will there be a time, even after that, during which it needs be fed and nurtured and conformed to Your will,
Before it will be ready to begin its own public ministry,
Before it meets with hostility and death and resurrection and eternity with You, Holy Lord?
Just so. Thy Will be done.
But not, I pray, before it has accomplished Your Will for it,
Accomplished all that You choose for it to be.
Not before it has touched the hearts of those You wish to touch,
Prepared the ones You have planned for it to prepare,
Shared the light of Your love with those future holy ones You have chosen to be Your own.

Thanks be to You, Holy Lord, for sharing Your abundant graces with one such as me.

Itnotfaotsaoths. Amen.

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayers

Oh heavenly Father.

You have brought me again to the beginning of a new day. Thank You.

Bless my efforts today and make them holy in their service to You and to those of Your kingdom whom you place on my way.

In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

+++++++++++++
Forgive me for all the ways I have sinned against you and separated myself from You and the Holy Spirit and for all the ways I will likely sin against You again today.

Unwittingly.
Without intention.
But relentlessly, it seems,
as my weaknesses persist.
Have mercy on me.

Only through Your mercy will I come to recognize and understand my sins well enough to begin — with Your grace and with help from the Holy Spirit — to correct my behavior, my thinking, my understanding.

When the time is right according to Your will, send Your Holy Spirit, Father, to be with me and teach me Your ways and conform me to the will of your Son.

Open my heart a little more this day to hear Your voice, Holy Lord.
Teach me to serve You,
Lead me to be Your hands and Your feet in this world, and
Allow me to help quench Your thirst for souls.
+++

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned against You and separated myself from You and Your Holy Spirit within me.

You know my desire to love and serve You, Lord.
Increase my desire for You, I pray.
You know I love You, Lord.
Teach me to love You better.
Teach me to love You as You deserve.
You know I long to be the person You created me to be.
Mold me. Conform me to Your will.
Strengthen me, that I might be pleasing to you.
You see and hear every errant thought and desire in me.
Cleanse my soul, precious Lord.
+++

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned against You and separated myself from You and Your Holy Spirit within me.

Bless my efforts this day, Lord.
Make them holy, that I might one day behold You face to face.

Until then, oh gracious Lord,
Help me to pray, as St Mother Teresa did, that I might give what you ask and accept what you give, all with joy and a big smile.

Itnotfaotsaoths. Amen

Slow Down, Pay Attention

Thank you for being here with me, Father.
For allowing me to feel Your presence,
To experience the warmth of Your love,
To imagine You sitting here with me,
A friend,
A healer,
A lover, present in all things.

I like to tell myself
I have full faith in You, Father.
Yet, why is it,
That I am surprised?
Unbelieving of Your gifts?
Your answers to my prayers?
For healing me
And others?

Why is it, My child,
That you’re uncertain of My work in you?
Of My answers to your prayers?

Why does your belief in Me wobble and waffle,
As you await ‘just one more day’ of healing?
Just one more day to assure yourself
You are really and truly healed?
Really and truly free of the condition
From which I freed you?

Does it have to be gone forever?
This condition, so distracting, so debilitating?
Or could I have answered you
With real relief just for a minute?
Or an hour?
Or a day?
Or a week?

I have freed you
Of your cursed itching now for nearly two weeks.
What is enough relief
For you to thank Me
And offer Me your gratitude?

How long must you find relief,
In order for you to believe
I have answered your prayer?
Performed what to you seems like a miracle?
Rid you of a condition
From which you have suffered for most of 20 years?

Come to me now, My daughter,
And believe in Me, trust in Me,
And in My abundant care for you,
Even in these little nagging things.

I am with you and shower you with My love
Every day in all sorts of little ways.
Slow down and pay attention.
Find Me,
Abide with Me,
Where every good thing,
Life itself,
Abundant and blessed,
Awaits you
In Me.

Close my eyes that I might see

Holy Lord,

You came to me
When I was in labor with my daughter.
I didn’t understand Your presence then.
Only later did I know it was You.
But there You were,
Holding my hand,
Helping me breathe,
Helping me manage the pains of childbirth.

I remember closing my eyes,
Needing desperately to disregard,
Shut out somehow,
All the distractions in the world around me.

It was a holy time.
Just You and me, Lord.

And later, in the days just after she was born,
I was certain that a blissful life
Would be one of birth upon birth upon birth,
As I relived again and again
That precious time of creation with You.

All these years later I realize
I still feel Your presence most fully
When my eyes are closed.
I guess the devil has just one less way
To distract me
And separate me from You.

Cover my ears, too, Lord,
That I am lifted from the noise and clamor
Just outside this holy place You are creating in me.
Cover my ears,
That I might only hear Your voice.
Shelter my ears, so I hear only
Your choirs of angels,
Singing holy hymns of Your beauty.

And close my mouth, Lord,
That the confusion and chaos of my day
Cannot take form and flow in free-fall,
Like vomit from my mouth.
Silence my lips
That Your presence in me
Is not drowned by the flood
Of our world’s corruption.

Allow Your Holy Spirit to live within me,
To fill me so fully that there’s room for naught else.
To soar in adoration of You,
To be lifted, if only for a moment,
To experience, if only fleetingly,
That holy heaven of Triune love
Shared between You and Your Son.

Help me Father to offer You
A pure and clean and holy sheet,
Free of the sights and sounds
And the furies of this world,
On which to record Your words for me.

And, if it is Your will, holy Lord,
Let me hear Your still, small voice
Calling me, beckoning me to come,
Sit a while with You,
Be with You, and
Rest in the warmth of Your love.

Soften my heart

Soften my heart, Lord, that I might love you more.

Heal its wounds, left so long unattended;
Massage deep with the holy oil of Your love,
The scars, grown hard and brittle,
The scars, which have so long offended
Against Your Holy Will.

Open my eyes, Lord,
That I might see Your glory in all things.
Heal their blindness
That I might recognize my sin.
Open my ears, Lord,
That I might hear Your words whispering,
‘Begin, Again and Again.’

Sanctify my body from the inside out, Holy Father,
That Your Will might be fulfilled in me.
Take my heart and form it to Your own, Lord,
Until it finds rest in Thee.

Dear Sister

Dear Sister,

Such strange times.

Even when we are preempted from our normal activities and from our interactions with others, which have often left us with too little time for one another;

Even now in our isolation of weather and COVID;

Even now, the bridge that exists between us, built of parents and past history, seems to have become broken. Venturing to cross it to call and talk feels …what?… dangerous, maybe. The danger of saying something that will push you further away; the danger of disrupting a scab before it has had time to cover the rawness of wounds, allowing them to heal.

And yet, there’s the danger, too, of allowing too much time to pass before calling, such that scars will develop and become too deep and too hard for us to breach at some future time.

I’m not sure where we lost our way, when the bonds of childhood and family bound us, when we walked together. But as I think about it, it was me who veered off the course we shared. As I have turned more and more to Christ — which is to say, as I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with Him who died for us, as the perfect sacrifice, the pure victim, for our sins — I have changed. He has changed me slowly, but irrevocably, conforming me day by day, more and more to be the person He created me to be at the beginning.

I’ve been moved in recent years to look at those early pictures of me, as I was before life and all its experiences intervened. You must have known me back then, too, with a more conscious memory of me, and who I was, than I have of myself in many ways. I look at pictures of you, too, and all our family, and wonder at God’s plan for us, in the beginning, before our lives filled, wound upon wound, the innocence of our early years.

In the beginning He gave us each other for special purposes. I wonder whether we have each fulfilled those purposes or, if not, I wonder what more there is for us to offer one another?

You admonished me once to not speak of these holy things. And I’ve tried to respect that. But it’s come at the expense of sharing with you the most precious, the most beautiful part of my life. The part that God plays in being first in my life, not to the exclusion of my other relationships, but somehow ordering all my other relationships to His purpose.

So, as apprehensive as I feel about writing to you about these things and as much as I don’t understand them all yet — certainly not well enough to articulate them without speaking in terms of faith and in spiritual language — I wanted to give you the broad strokes in the hope that you might understand.

I love you. And I think of you and pray for all of you every day. As separate as we have become, I feel close to you in spirit, especially when I gaze upon our childhood pictures and remember who we were in the beginning.

How broken must we become

How broken must we all become, Holy Father, before we turn our eyes to You?

You are allowing separation and division to prevail all around us and throughout the world. The plagues of our time — both physical and spiritual — seem to multiply daily — Covid surely, but also the desecration of Your churches and statutes, the bright lines of division between advocates for life and death, between and within families — are forcing us to stand apart from others.

Yet, there are bright spots, aren’t there, Father? Small Catholic communities — in the way of the Benedict Option, possibly? — forming to pray with and support one another and our relationship with You.

Bless these gatherings, Father, and use them to conform us more and more to Your purposes.

In Christ’s name I pray. Amen

The light of this holy night

Scattered desire
Life on hold
Only one passion
Only You, precious Lord.

Suspended desire
Detached from care
Patient, peaceful rest,
Faithful in prayer.

Lone contemplation
Separate, at rest,
Filled full with Your grace,
Grateful and blessed.

Blood pours from Your wounds.
Tumult rages unspent.
Obscuring Your face
Hoards filled with dissent.

Come Holy Spirit.
Fill us with Your breath
Lead us to life everlasting
Only in death.

In death of our pride
In death our ego
Knowing the source of our good
As we confidently go.

Knowing to whom we belong
For whom we were made
Whose love conquers fear
Whose table is laid.

Come Holy Spirit
Fill us with Your light
Lead us through the darkness
Of this holy night.

A place of our own

If there’s one thing amiss here in this house, if there’s one little spot I have longed for — it’s that one obvious place where I can go to be with You. Just a corner of calm, where I am away from — at least off to the side of — the bustle of other daily activity.

We’ll find it soon, You and I, won’t we, Father.

But even beyond our place, Father, I believe and pray that You will help us begin to make — of both the community in which we live and the community where we worship — spaces in which we can feel a integral part. Places where our presence is a blessing and our absence is noticed — even missed by some. A home filled with family — Your children — that You choose just for us in this time of our lives — to love and by whom, through whom, You will love us.

That’s my prayer this day, Father.