Friday, March 30, 2007

Holy Week & Easter
On this last week of our Lenten Practice we trace the journey of Jesus’ last days on earth. Take time to read the story. Meditate on courage in the face of fear and certain death.

Throughout the week look for signs of God’s presence and God’s grace. See the world through God’s eyes. Allow the weight of this week to sink in.

Throughout the week read the selected verses of Psalm 118 in the morning and in the evening.

Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29
Yes, You opened to me the gates of truth and justice
that I might enter through them.
Praise be to You, O Merciful One!
This is the gate to Life;
those who know Love shall enter through it.

I give thanks to You, O Beloved, who answers our prayers
and invites us to new Life.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the foundation of our lives.
This, O Eternal Listener, is your work;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This the day which You have made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Remain ever by our side, O Friend!
Come, live in our hearts as Loving Companion Presence!

Blessed are all who enter through your gates!
Blessed are all who dwell in the house of Love!
For You lead the Way, You forgive our misguided ways, and
You bring Light into darkness.
Come, all you who will, partake of the Great Banquet!

You are my Beloved, and I will give thanks to You;
You are my Beloved, greatly will I praise You!

We give thanks to You, O Blessed One,
for You are kind; your steadfast love endures for ever!

from: Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

Monday, April 2
Reading: Luke 19:28-40

Tuesday, April 3
Reading: Luke 22:7-23

Wednesday, April 4
Reading: Luke 22:47-53

Thursday, April 5
Reading: Luke 22:66- 23:25

Friday, April 6
Reading: Luke 23:32-46, 50-56

Saturday, April 7
Reading: Pihilippians 2:5-11

Sunday, April 8
Reading: Luke 24:1-12

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lenten Practices - Week 5
During this fifth week of Lent we are invited to ponder the nature of deep joy. (Psalm 126)

As a Lenten practice you may want to begin your day with a candle and few moments of quiet reflection. You might keep a journal to record your thoughts as you move through your day. You may want to end your day with quiet reflection or shared prayer with your family.

Psalm 126
When Divine Love enters the human heart,
all yearning are fulfilled!
Then will our mouths ring forth with laughter,
and our tongues with shouts of joy;
then will we sing our songs of praise,
to You, O Beloved of all hearts.
For gladness will radiate out for all to see;
so great is your Presence among us.

Restore us to wholeness, O Healer,
like newborn babes
who have never strayed from you!
May all who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy!
May all who go forth weeping tears of repentance,
bearing seed for sowing,
come home to You with shouts of joy,
leaving sorrow behind.
—Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

Monday, March 26
Carry Psalm 126 with you through the week.
Pray this psalm in the morning and in the evening each day.

Tuesday, March 27
In your prayer time invite Divine Love to enter your heart.

Wednesday, March 28
What is your song of praise today?
Make up a song as you go about your day!

Thursday, March 29
Imagine your life restored to wholeness.
How will your life be different?

Friday, March 30
What does it mean to you to "come home" to God?

Saturday, March 31
Share your experience with a family member or with a friend at church on Sunday.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lenten Practices - Week 4
During this fourth week of Lent we are invited to take a close look at our lives and seek reconciliation with God. (Psalm 32)

As a Lenten practice you may want to begin your day with a candle and few moments of quiet reflection. You might keep a journal to record your thoughts as you move through your day. You may want to end your day with quiet reflection or shared prayer with your family.

Psalm 32
Blessed is each one whose wrongdoings have been forgiven,
whose shame has been forgotten.
Blessed is each one in whom Love Divine finds a home,
and whose spirit radiates truth.

When I acknowledged not my shortcomings,
I became ill through all my defenses.
And day and night, guilt weighed heavy in my heart;
My spirit became dry as desert bones.

I admitted my faults to the Most High,
and I made known my regret;
I cried out, "Forgive me, O Comforter,
for those times I have sinned in
my thoughts, my words, and my deeds;"
And the Beloved created a clean heart within me.

Therefore, let everyone who is sincere
give thanks to the Beloved;
For whenever we feel overwhelmed by fear,
we shall be embraced by Love.
Dwelling in the heart of the Beloved,
we are free from distress, free to live creatively.

O my Beloved, you are my guide and my teacher;
Be watchful of me, give me your counsel.
I pray for the gifts of inner peace and wisdom,
For the gift of reverence for life.

Many are the heartaches of those separated from Love.
Steadfast love abides with those
who surrender their lives into the hands of the Beloved.
Be glad and rejoice, all you
who walk along the path of truth!
And shout for joy, all you upright of heart!

—Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill


Monday, March 19
This week carry Psalm 32 with you.
Pray the psalm in the morning and in the evening.

Tuesday, March 20
Remember at time when you were out of relationship with a friend and found true reconciliation. Is there an out of balance relationship that needs attending to now? Offer a prayer for reconciliation.

Wednesday, March 21
Spend this day in gratitude to God.
Meditate upon God’s tender mercy.

Thursday, March 22
Pray for "the gifts of inner wisdom and peace."

Friday, March 23
Take a walk outside and notice signs of Springs transforming work. What new bud is growing in you?

Saturday, March 24
Share your experience with a family member or with a friend at church on Sunday.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lenten Practices - Week 3
During this third week of Lent we are invited to notice our yearning—our "thirst"—for God and to seek rest and refreshment in the heart of God. (Psalm 63)

As a Lenten practice you may want to begin your day with a candle and few moments of quiet reflection. You might keep a journal to record your thoughts as you move through your day. You may want to end your day with quiet reflection or shared prayer with your family.

Psalm 63
O Love, you are my Beloved, and I long for You,
my soul thirsts for You:
All that is within me thirsts,
as a dry and barren land with no water.
So I have called out to You in my heart,
sensing your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is Life to me,
my lips will praise You.
I would radiate your love as long as I live,
becoming a blessing to others in gratitude to You.

My soul feasts as with a magnificent banquet,
and my mouth praises You with joyful lips,
When I ponder Your kindness, and
meditate on You throughout the night;
For You have been my salvation,
and in the shadows of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You,your love upholds me.
The fears that seem to separate me from You
shall be transformed and disappear;
As they are faced, each fear is diminished;
they shall be gone as in a dream when I awaken.
And my soul shall rejoice in the Beloved;
You who open your heart to Love
will live in peace and joy!

Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill

Monday, March 12
This week carry Psalm 63 with you.
Pray this psalm in the morning and in the evening for the week.
If you remember, pray the psalm before lunch.

Tuesday, March 13
Notice when you are thirsty.
Notice what your drink.

Wednesday, March 14
Eat at least one meal with mindfulness.
Put your utensil down between each bite.
Chew slowly and swallow before your hand moves to pick up the utensil for the next bite.

Thursday, March 15
Be a radiator of God’s love!
Be a blessing to others!

Friday, March 16
Meditate today on the nature of joy.
Gaze deeply on the transformation of spring.

Saturday, March 17
Share your experience with a family member or a friend at church.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lenten Practices - Week 2
During this second week of Lent we are invited to take a look at our fears and place them in the light of God. (Ps. 27, see below)

As a Lenten practice you may want to begin your day with a candle and few moments of quiet reflection. You might keep a journal to record your thoughts as you move through your day. You may want to end your day with quiet reflection or shared prayer with your family.

Monday, March 5
Choose a phrase from Psalm 27 to serve as your companion prayer throughout the week. You may want to write out the prayer in your journal. Write it on a slip of paper and put it somewhere where you will see it, maybe on the bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car, or in your purse or wallet.

Psalm 27
Love is my light and my salvation,
whom shall I fear?
Love is the strength of my life,
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When fears assail me,
rising up to accuse me,
Each one in turn shall be seen
in Love’s light.
Though a multitude of demons rise up within me,
my heart shall not fear.
Though doubts and guilt do battle,
yet shall I remain confident.

One thing have I asked of Love,
that I shall ever seek:
That I might dwell in the Heart of Love
all the days of my life,
To behold the Beauty of my Beloved,
and to know Love’s Plan.

For I shall hide in Love’s heart
in the day of trouble,
As in a tent in the desert,
Away from the noise of my fears.
And I shall rise above my struggles, my pain,
Shouting blessings of gratitude in Love’s Heart
And singing melodies of praise to my Beloved.

Hear, O my Beloved, when I cry aloud,
be gracious and answer me!
You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart responds,
"Your face, my Beloved, do I seek;
hide not your face from me."

Do not turn from me,
You who have been my refuge.
Enfold me in your strong arms, O Blessed One.
Though my father and mother
may not understand me,
You, my Beloved, know and love me.

Teach me to be love, as You are Love;
Lead me through each fear;
Hold my hand as I walk through
valleys of doubt each day,
That I may know your peace.

I believe that I shall know the Realm of Heaven,
of Love, hear on earth!
Wait for the Beloved,
be strong with courage of the heart;
Yes! Wait for the Beloved of your heart!

Psalms for Praying: an Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C.Merrill

Tuesday, March 6
Pray your companion prayer in the evening before you go to sleep.

Wednesday, March 7
When you awake this morning pray your companion prayer.
Pray it again in the evening before you go to sleep.

Thursday, March 8
Pray your companion prayer when you wake.
Pray it again in the middle of the day and again in the evening before you go to sleep.

Friday, March 9
Pray your companion prayer when you wake.
Pray it again in the middle of the day and again in the evening before you go to sleep.
Choose one of those times to sing it quietly to yourself.

Saturday, March 10
Share your companion prayer with a family member or a friend.