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The Land of Plenty by Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen (photo and lyrics courtesy of Pace e Bene)

These words of Cohen’s are prophetic as we face these times of rampant materialism, greed, and self-centeredness. May the lights in the land of Plenty indeed shine on the truth someday.

For the millions in a prison
That wealth has set apart—
For the Christ who has not risen,
From the caverns of the heart

For the innermost decision
That we cannot but obey
For what’s left of our religion,
I lift my voice and pray;
May the lights in the land of Plenty
Shine on the truth someday.

—Leonard Cohen

Evening Prayer – 31 July 2020

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

What a wonderful day with dear friends

A time to share stories and experiences

A time to say “see ya later” instead of good-bye

For the many blessings we have experienced these past five years we thank you, Lord

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

On the Eve of the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Statue of Saint Ignatius in the Church on the grounds of the University of San Francisco

As the church struggles to re-invent itself in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there are many challenges and reckonings to face. In a day and age where life is all about the me-first and individual salvation experience, we need to go back to our roots. Those roots are found in worship in homes and the catacombs in the age before the church got into bed with the Empire. The church in Acts cared less about the individual experience and more about holding all things in common and caring for each member of the community as equals.

Thomas Merton had a great deal to say about the communal nature of our faith and the imperative to speak and breathe words of peace in a world Hell-bent on selfish destruction. In the preface to the Japanese translation of his autobiography The Seven Story Mountain he said the following:

By my monastic life and vows I am saying No to all the concentration camps, the aerial bombardments, the staged political trials, the judicial murders, the racial injustices, the economic tyrannies, and the whole socio-economic apparatus which seems geared for nothing but global destruction in spite of all its fair words in favor of peace. I make monastic silence a protest against the lies of politicians, propagandists, and agitators, and when I speak it is to deny that my faith and my church can ever be aligned with these forces of injustice and destruction. (p. 15)

Presently far too many in the church have forgotten the call of the prophet to Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with God. Merton and Ignatius are calling out to the church today to be the voice of the voiceless.

If our church is not marked by caring for the poor, the oppressed, the hungry, we are guilty of heresy. — Saint Ignatius of Loyola

May our lives, dear reader, speak against the selfishness and greed of the Empire. May we indeed, heed the words of the late Congressman John Lewis: Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.

Evening Prayer – 28 July 2020

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

Today has been a full day of Ora et Labora

Work and prayer as we continue the transition

Your Spirit has guided us every step of the way

Thank you for your light which shines, even in the darkness

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Evening Prayer – 25 July 2020

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

The in between times can be a challenge

Working, studying, packing, moving

How can I Be Still

Yet in the midst of it all

The Spirit speaks to my heart

She says she has got this

Walking with you both through the challenges

Be Still and you will find rest for your soul

Be Still

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Mary Magdalene: A Sonnet – Malcolm Guite

The 22nd of July is Mary Magdalene’s day, and, returning to my sequence of sonnets written in response to the church year, I post this for her.

— Read on malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/mary-magdalene-a-sonnet-8/

Loving Imperfect People – Jake Owensby

A wonderful reflection from Jake Owensby from his book, A Resurrection Shaped Life.

Everybody you meet is a mix of the dazzling and the dismal. And these are just the people you’re given to love. Including the one looking back at you in the mirror….

— Read on jakeowensby.com/2020/07/21/loving-imperfect-people/

Evening Prayer – 20 July 2020

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

Thank you, Lord for a time of fellowship

Thank you, Lord for your Spirit’s constant presence

Keep guiding us and sustaining us

As we prepare for our move

As my sweetheart works such long hours

As we prepare worship for August

As I try to keep up with seminary class work

In the midst of it all

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Evening Prayer – 19 July 2020

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It was a wonderful day with family, Lord

It was a beautiful day to be with each other outdoors

Your creation is so amazing

Worship tonight was indeed a blessing

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Evening Prayer – 18 July 2020

Our neighbor — a cute Pika

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

Today was a special time with family

We took a lovely trip up Old Fall River Road

Ranger Cabin in the meadow on Old Fall River Road

A time to simply be still

A time to think of dear friends

Now as my eyelids grow heavy

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…