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Sojourners Verse and Voice – 18 March 2021

Verse of the day   Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2she
Voice of the day 
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. – Arthur Ashe
Prayer of the day  
O God, we pray that you would cultivate within us a soul that finds joy in our service to others. May we always have eyes that see the needs of our communities and the will to strive to meet them.

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 30 November 2021

Verse of the day
Let all that you do be done in love.

– 1 Corinthians 16:14

Voice of the day
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.

– Desmond Tutu

Prayer of the day In my coming and going, may my actions embody your spirit of love.

Evening Prayer – 29 November 2021

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow

It has been a while since I lifted up an evening prayer

Today was a good day at work… until I got home

It hit hard this evening when I walked through the door

The house is so empty with Denise in Florence and with no Pixie to greet me

I distracted myself with laundry and other tasks

At times like this I remember how large the presence of a 4.5 pound sweet puppy was

It is hard today

But now as my eyelids grow heavy and tears fall

I lift this humble prayer to you

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…

Advent as a Sacrament

Advent is the “sacrament” of the PRESENCE of God in His world, in the mystery of Christ at work in History through His Church, preparing in a hidden, obscure way for the final manifestation of His Kingdom. — Thomas Merton (Seasons of Celebration, p. 51)

As the Advent season begins, perhaps it can be a time of reflection not only on the coming Kingdom but also the work of Kingdom building here on earth as it is in heaven. Building a Kingdom where love, justice, mercy, and peace aren’t dreams to be dreamed but a reality to be lived.

Advent One – 28 November 2021

From today’s Carrollton Presbyterian Church Advent Coffee

Today’s meditation moment for the lord first Sunday in Advent is a quote from Thomas Merton: In despair Advent offers HOPE – the hope of a revitalised faith and church, the hope of respect and love for God’s creation that is complete in the hope that Christ brings. My focus in today’s sermon was the fact that Jesus invites us to look for the kingdom in the present. In the midst of challenging times; we are called to look not to the past or to the future. We are called to build the kingdom of God in the here and now… in the present. The below quote further illuminates his thoughts on the Advent presence of Christ in our lives.

…the Church in preparing us for the birth of a “great prophet,” a Savior and a King of Peace, has more in mind than seasonal cheer. The advent mystery focuses the light of faith upon the very meaning of life, of history, of man, of the world and of our own being. In Advent we celebrate the coming and indeed the presence of Christ in our world. We witness to His presence even in the midst of all its inscrutable problems and tragedies.

As we make this Advent journey, may we look not to some distant future, but rather may we seek Christ and our call to build the kingdom of God here and now. May it also be a kingdom of love, justice, mercy, and peace.

Silence, Solitude, and Peace

In the delightful time with friends who are family this past Thanksgiving weekend, I felt my soul nourished. I also craved the time to simply Be Still in the midst of the beauty of God’s creation. The words below from Thomas Merton’s third journal speak to the blessing of that solitude with friends and simply by being still in the midst of it all.

Silence and solitude and peace. Even if everything else is noise, I can be silent within my own house.—November 2, 1959— A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life — The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960

Pace e Bene – 27 November 2021

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. . . . We need to focus on equity, and if the solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.”—Greta Thunberg

Sojourners Verse and Voice – 26 November 2021

Verse of the day
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify [God] with thanksgiving.

– Psalm 69:30

Voice of the day
Continue / To let gratitude be the pillow / Upon which you kneel to / Say your nightly prayer / And let faith be the bridge / You build to overcome evil / And welcome good.

– Maya Angelou, “Continue”

Prayer of the day May we continue to express radical gratitude that aligns with your vision of justice.

A Thanks – Giving Reflection

As I reflect on the blessings of this day… the blessings of family, friends who are family, and those who have touched my life through the years… I am very grateful. I wish for you, dear reader, the blessings of this day… I am also reminded that every day should be a day of thanks-giving. ♥️🍁

These words from two spiritual mentors of mine touched my heart and I hope that they do the same for you.

In Your presence, O God, we make our Sacrament of Thanksgiving.

We begin with the simple things of our days:
Fresh air to breathe,
Cool water to drink,
The taste of food,
The protection of houses and clothes,
The comforts of home.

For all these we make an act of Thanksgiving this day!

We bring to mind all the warmth of humankind that we have known:Our mothers’ arms,
The strength of our fathers,
The playmates of our childhood,
The wonderful stories brought to us from the lives of many who
talked of days gone by when fairies and giants and diverse kinds
of magic held sway;
The tears we have shed, the tears we have seen;
The excitement of laughter and the twinkle in the eye with
its reminder that life is good.

For all these we make an act of Thanksgiving this day. (Meditations of the Heart)

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference. (Thoughts in Solitude)

Pace e Bene – 25 November 2021

image and quote courtesy of Pace e Bene

“Most human suffering on this planet comes not from unavoidable tragedies like accidents and natural disasters, but from human beings themselves. Human trafficking and sweatshop labor, political violence and domestic abuse, racial oppression and gender violence, poverty and war . . . all co-arise with our systems, our perceptions, and our narratives. These narratives are born of trauma and give birth to trauma.”—Charles Eisenstein

Being Present – Christine Valters Paintner

“As we grow in our capacity to be present to the sacred in the rise and fall of each moment, we discover that God’s deepest quality is mystery and the very nature of mystery fosters an experience of tension.” 
 

— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life

What mysteries are unfolding in this season of your life?