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Imperfect Signs of Love

“To follow Jesus is to be an imperfect sign of God’s perfect love. They will know we are Christians by our messy love.“ — well said, Jake!

Jake Owensby

During our first year of marriage, Joy and I studied at the Ruhr University in Germany. We were part of a large, diverse foreign-student population. Men and women from Iran, Iraq, Argentina, Ethiopia, and Japan majored in engineering, computer programming, literature, and philosophy. By far the largest group came from China.

The office responsible for exchange students arranged regular, heavily subsidized bus trips to other parts of Germany and to other countries of the European Union. The university’s aim was to encourage international understanding of and relationships with Europe. Secondarily, these trips fostered community among the foreign students.

On one of our excursions, Joy and I sat across from a young Chinese woman whom we had come to know. She asked, “How can you Christians love everyone? I love my family. I will take care of my children as they grow up and my parents as they grow old. But…

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Dark Journeys – Christine Valters Paintner

“There is a power we are each called to claim in the midst of our own dark journeys. Certainly we have all been victimized by life in one way or another, we have all had things happen we wish never had, traumas we carry that continue to wound us. We can continue to be victimized by our stories again and again, we can continue the vicious cycle of betrayal and abandonment upon ourselves by cementing ourselves in these patterns. Or at some point we can make a choice to claim the winter journey as a source of power as well as pain.”

 — Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Online Self-Study Retreat ~ A Midwinter God: Making a Conscious Underworld Journey

Evening Prayer – 18 January 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

Thankful for two days and some good news for my Dad

Thankful for safely making it to Minneapolis

Thankful in advance for sleep and much needed healing

If you would say a little prayer for your Padre, I’d be grateful

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your exhausted Padre…

Evening Prayer – 17 January 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It has been a long and emotionally draining day, Lord

Walking through so many Valleys of the Shadows

Watching those you love slip into darkness

Walking with parishioners and friends

Walking with family

Remembering those who have escaped this physical sphere

Yet also celebrating friendships

Celebrating relationships

Celebrating the light of Your Love

In your mercy, Lord, hear this humble prayer

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Evening Prayer – 16 January 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It has been a long day of traveling

It has also been an emotional day

As we walk through the Valley of the Shadows

As we wonder and pray and seek your guidance

Lord, in your mercy, hear this humble prayer

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Poetry – Christine Valters Paintner

“Poetry has a way of expressing things of the heart so beautifully, of holding the paradox of life and inviting us into a contemplation of the mysteries. When discerning how your own soul is unfolding, keep an ear attuned to poetry or other words that seem to call you to a deepened sense of yourself and of the divine presence in the midst of your listening.”

 — Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred

Evening Prayer – 15 January 2019

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

A long day of travel

Yet also a wonderful time of fellowship

Thankful for safe arrival

Thankful for those who sadly work without pay

Thankful for their great spirits

Thankful for a night’s lodging and peace

Now, as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you, Lord

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…