Christ in the Desert

Wilderness. Temptations. Angels.

Christ in the desert by Ivan Kramskoi

Here is a link to our post of Christ in the Desert (Kramkoi) from March 3, 2014 (Lent 1A). The post features commentary by our Forum Member, Hovak Najarian.

 

Songs for Maundy Thursday

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Wind Chimes: 11 Mar 2013

What do you hear in the chimes?A “Going-home” Prayer

Yesterday (3/10/13) was the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C). Jesus, that great storyteller, spoke through the centuries with his story of a man and his two sons. For many years it has been called the story of the Prodigal Son. Within my lifetime the story has also been called: The Story of the Prodigal Father, The Story of the Loving Father, The Story of the Lost Son, and more. In sum, it is an amazing story. See Luke 15:11-32

Some have said that the point of the story is, “You can go home again.” I believe this is at least one of the points contained in this very rich story. As you consider this ‘point’ I offer a prayer for your meditation as you and I journey “home” together.

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening, into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.

John Donne (1571 – 1631) in Pocket Prayers for Pilgrims

DivLine360x12 Come home. Come home. You are beloved, come home. A most welcome song in the chime today. What do you hear? Please leave a comment.

Wind Chimes: 9 Mar 2013

An image of Pope Benedict XVI

What to Look for in a New Pope

Peggy Noonan, George Weigel, James Carroll, Michael Sean Winters, Mary Eberstadt, and Paul Baumann—popular columnists for various enterprises—offer their thoughts about the “new pope.” Their assessments about a new pope are available in The Wall Street Journal online. I encourage you to read the article: What to Look for in a New Pope.

After reading

Do any of these writers tap into your own beliefs about what a new pope needs to bring to the world and, in particular, to Christianity? Which of the images presented—Joyous Anyway, A Culture Warrior, A Catholic Gorbachev, Among the Poor, Ready to Play Offense or A Californian—really gets you excited? Leave a comment.

What do you hear in the chimes?
The chimes sound many possibilities today. It is an exciting sound.
What do you hear?

Image: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis Pope Benedict XVI in the Wall Street Journal

Wind Chimes: 8 Mar 2013

March 8th is International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day

Here is a prayer—a prayer I am using today—for all woman on International Women’s Day. This prayer offered by the Sisters of St. Francis to you and me and all who will work for the safety and equality of women.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.

Where there is injury, pardon:

Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.

Where there is division, unity:

Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.

Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:

Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.

Where there is doubt, true faith:

We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.

Where there is despair, hope:

We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men. Transform our hears to celebrate the love and grace of all people.

And may we be blessed with the courage of St. Clare of Assisi to follow our own path of love for you and all sisters and brothers. Amen.

By Deborah Hirt, Intern at Franciscans International

What do you hear in the chimes?
As the wind blows through the chimes today it sounds like praise and hope for women. What do you hear?

Logo: 2013 International Women’s Day – The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum

Resources (print and video) for International Women’s Day past and present

Wind Chimes: 7 Mar 2013

Barely a whisper of wind today. But if you listen carefully, really listen, … what do you hear?

SSJE Praying Our Lives: Listen

Which statement most resembles your current “prayer life”?

  • (A) Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
  • (B) Listen Lord, for your servant is speaking.

Brother Geoffrey Tristram offers a short meditation on prayer, silence, and listening. Consider it an invitation as you pray this Lenten season.

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Image: Bouquet of the Desert by Алексей Мазницин on LensArt.ru

Wind Chimes: 5 Mar 2013

The wind in kind of different today. It’s a prophetic sound in the chimes today. What do you hear?

“Unless you repent …” a sermon to consider

Pilate, that tyrant, has killed some Galileans at worship, a tower has collapsed in Siloam and killed 18, folks around Jesus at the time asked him to comment, and he did, but it wasn’t what they expected. Jesus’ final words of comment includes this gem, “unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” Michael K. Marsh, an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of West Texas, opens up these words of Jesus and gives us much to think about and then, quoting one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, poses a question to us.

A couple of excerpts:

Imagine that one day you call or come by the office to tell me that your son is getting a divorce, that your best friend has just been diagnosed with cancer, that your mom has died, or your husband just lost his job. You would not be happy if my response was, “Unless you repent….” Your next phone call or visit would probably be with Bishop Lillibridge. “Can you believe what he said? How could he say that to me? What are you going to do about this?”

Let’s just be honest about this. Jesus’ words are not all that helpful. They offer no consolation, explanation, or comfort. “Unless you repent…” is not we want to hear. Sometimes, however, it is what we need to hear. Today’s gospel is not about pastoral care. Jesus, to state the obvious, is not acting as a pastor. He is being pure prophet.

Find out what else Michael said. Discover the question being posed by Jesus now coming to us in the poetry of Mary Oliver. I definitely commend Michael’s words as we journey through Lent. PLEASE, read the entire sermon Tyrants Act and Towers Fall, Choose Life (Luke 13:1-9) by  Michael K. Marsh. And, yes, answer Michael’s question for the glory of God and the welfare of God’s people.

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