If you’ve not encountered (Pastor) Steve Garnaas-Holmes yet, let this be your introduction. Upon hearing these words from Luke…
Prepare the way of the Lord, make a straight path for God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. —Luke 3.4-6
… Steve heard a prayer and shared it:
God of love, take my heart and change it.
Take what is rough in me and let it become gentle.
“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1 NRSV
Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, p. 240
Image: The beginning of the Gospel of Mark in the 7th century Book of Durrow. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
I share a post that was among others on Religion News Service today. As I read the article I wondered if those with opinions moved beyond conversation/debate to action? It is a good question for me, and for you who read this. What happens after awareness? ~dan rondeau
The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, Keep your O and The Great O Antiphons were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church. Read more: What are the O Antiphons from Catholic Education Resource Center
Sr. Joan Chittister has provided an entire page to help you pray the O Antiphons (from December 17th through December 23rd). Each meditation is accompanied by a women’s choir chanting the Antiphon in English. Use this online meditation to deepen your prayers as Advent comes to a close and the Nativity arrives.
Typhoon Haiyan spread death and destruction when it reached land in the Philippines. At this time (Tuesday 11/12/13) the death toll continues to rise and pictures of the devastation give us a heart-wrenching look at the survivors and what is left of their homes, neighborhoods, and cities.
As I write, I know I cannot physically go and give aid. I believe that most (or all) of you reading this are in a similar place. Nonetheless, ‘love of neighbor’ calls us to action.
What that action will be is very dependent on our ability to empathize with those who have been hurt or harmed and to empathize with those who are able (maybe even required) to physically go and search for and minister to the hurt and homeless and hungry. Then, our empathy will call forth our response of donations to help both groups. Encircling us in this discernment is our prayer.
For whether we go or stay, whether we can give much or a little, we are called to pray. As one who has received grace upon grace through prayer I tell you that prayer and praying is more powerful a force—for the one who prays and the one being prayed for—than you can imagine.
Please join me in giving and praying for brothers and sisters young and old, in the Philippines. Join me, too, in praying for those who are able to be on the ground as an answer to prayer.
From the Church of England:
O loving Creator, bring healing and hope to those who, at this time, grieve, suffer pain, or who have been made homeless by the force of flood in Philippines.
We remember those who have died and we pray for those who mourn for them.
May we all be aware of Your compassion, O God, which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls.
May we pray with humility with our troubled and struggling brothers and sisters on earth. May we dare to hope that through the generosity of the privileged, the destitute might glimpse hope, warmth and life again.
Through our Saviour Christ who lives with us, comforts us and soothes us. Amen.
On October 5th we shared the ACNS reporting of Archbishop Deng’s challenge to the Church. He was speaking to Anglicans in South Africa (and to all women and men of goodwill). The Church in South Africa has responded.
The Anglican Church in Southern Africa has committed itself to form a partnership with the Episcopal Church in Sudan, with which it shares membership of the Anglican Communion.
The commitment to pursue a ‘partners in mission’ relationship was made by the church’s Provincial Synod, meeting this week in Benoni, South Africa. I
t came in response to the address given by the Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Revd Dr Daniel Deng Bul, who has been a guest of the Provincial Synod, and of the Synod of Bishops which preceded it.