Have a prayer request?

Every Saturday, Steven Charleston and friends, gather prayer requests from folks like you and me and offer prayers throughout the day for folks like you and me. I have both asked for prayers and joined the friends of Steven in praying throughout the day. I invite you to do the same. We are all connected …

Today is our day for prayer requests. Please leave your request here. I will pray with you and I know many others in our community will too. If you are joining us in these prayers for the first time please note that we use the “like” option only to let our friends know that we are praying with them. May God be with us all. Go to Steven’s Timeline (you may have to ‘Friend’ him).


A different set of ‘commandments’

Part of what draws me back to the internet each day is the rediscovery of wisdom seen—and marked, partially studied, and partially applied—days, weeks, months, or years ago. The rediscovery keeps me learning and growing. Here is one such rediscovery:

Join me in learning and growing every day.


A collection of views to challenge the heart and inform prayer as the decision-makers (on all sides) think and act …

The ethics of a Syrian military intervention: The experts respond | Religion News Service.

Come Holy Spirit …

From January 1993 until July 1997 I was privileged to share ministry with The Rev. G. Bradford “Brad” Hall. Brad would begin his sermons with a short prayer. As with many sayings, once it is repeated enough the saying ‘sticks’ it becomes part of you. So it is with Brad’s Sermon Prayer: it is part of me, part of my faith journey, a profound part of how I take the next step and the one after that and so on. Here is the prayer:

Come Holy Spirit,
come with your fire and burn us,
come with your rain and cleanse us,
come with your light and reveal to us;
convict us,
convert us,
consecrate us,
until we do something with our lives. Amen.

Two additional items: notice that Brad prayed not just for himself nor for ‘them’ but for ‘us.’ Brad joined his hearers and on behalf of all of us prayed that the Spirit would fill us until we (together) did something with our lives. Second, Brad would sometimes insert a decisive verb in that last line: “¬until we choose to do something with our lives.”

For more on the back story of this prayer see: Come Holy Spirit posted by Stanley Hirsch on our Sunday Morning Forum Blog, Hear what the Spirit is saying.

Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón an introduction

Here’s someone you may never have heard about. Rafeel was only 27 when he died in 1936. I repost here the words of the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey: “Saint Rafael let himself be led by Christ through a series of bewildering contradictions- illness, war, the impossibility of ever pronouncing vows, difficult community relations. Humiliations were constant, but Rafael learned to surrender himself in peace and joy.” Rafael was declared a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 11 October 2009. In the Monks own words:

Saint Rafael Arnaiz Barøn

Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón

Saint Rafael’s monastic life was hardly typical. Four months after entering the Trappist monastery of San Isidro in Spain, he was smitten by a very serious form of diabetes, and he had to return home for treatment. And so it was again and again between 1935 and 1937. And this was at the height of the Spanish Civil War.

On his final return to the monastery, Rafael was allowed only to be an oblate of the monastery, taking the last place and living on the fringes of the community. He died in the abbey infirmary on 26 of April 1938 after a final illness; he was only 27 years old.

Things often do not turn out as we had hoped or planned. And we learn that contradictions and dead ends are part of the journey. But what to do with them? Saint Rafael shows us a way. Despite all he had to endure, he simply refused ever to be selfish or self-absorbed. He simply loved- Christ, Our Lady, the Cross, his brothers.

POSTED BY THE MONKS AT 8:00 AM 27 April 2013

via ST JOSEPH’S ABBEY, SPENCER MA: Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón.


Pope Francis at MassThis was an unexpected joy. The image is from a post on a new favorite blog: Dating God | Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century. The picture “says it all.” You may, however, want to read the post, “Do we honor God or ourselves?” by Daniel P. Horan, OFM.

L:ittle things, simple things, matter. What do you think?

Image: “Vatican News” via Dating God

April 24

Today (4/24/2013), in a gathering called the “Spiritual Day Hike” at St. Margaret’s we listened to a man of Armenian heritage talk about the Armenian Genocide (1915-1918). It is estimated that 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children died in those years because, ‘official’ denials aside, they were Armenian. This man’s mother, father, and uncle were all directly impacted by this event prior to arriving safely in America.

The Episcopal Church has provisionally designated April 24 as a commemoration called Genocide Remembrance. It acknowledges that on April 24, 1915 over 200 Armenian men and boys were arrested and killed by authorities signaling the start of the genocide. Our prayer gives you an idea of why we remember, why we call out to God, and how we hope God will bless us in our day:

Almighty God, our Refuge and our Rock, your loving care knows no bounds and embraces all the peoples of the earth: Defend and protect those who fall victim to the forces of evil, and as we remember this day those who endured depredation and death because of who they were, not because of what they had done or failed to do, give us the courage to stand against hatred and oppression, and to seek the dignity and well-being of all for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, in whom you have reconciled the world to yourself; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Collect for the Day (April 24) in Holy Women, Holy Men emphasis added

On a pilgrimage to Armenia in 2001 Pope John Paul II also prayed in remembrance and in hope:

O Judge of the living and the dead, have mercy on us!

Listen, O Lord, to the lament that rises from this place, to the call of the dead from the depths of the Metz Yeghérn, the cry of innocent blood that pleads like the blood of Abel, like Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more. Listen, Lord, to the voice of the Bishop of Rome, echoing the plea of his Predecessor Pope Benedict XV, when in 1915 he raised his voice in defence of “the sorely afflicted Armenian people brought to the brink of annihilation”.

Look upon the people of this land who put their trust in you so long ago, who have passed through the great tribulation and never failed in their faithfulness to you. Wipe away every tear from their eyes and grant that their agony in the twentieth century will yield a harvest of life that endures for ever. We are appalled by the terrible violence done to the Armenian people, and dismayed that the world still knows such inhumanity.

But renewing our hope in your promise, we implore, O Lord, rest for the dead in the peace which knows no end, and the healing of still open wounds through the power of your love. Our soul is longing for you, Lord, more than the watchman for daybreak, as we wait for the fullness of redemption won on the Cross, for the light of Easter which is the dawn of invincible life, for the glory of the new Jerusalem where death shall be no more.

O Judge of the living and the dead, have mercy on us all!

PRAYER OF JOHN PAUL II at the Memorial of Tzitzernagaberd Yerevan
26 September 2001

The conversation around the table (our ‘day hike’ is more of a spiritual wandering than an actual hike) centered upon our responsibilities as followers of Christ to work in the ways we can, according to our abilities and with God’s grace, so that such horrors cease. We have a long way to go, but we have started.

For further information

Armenian Genocide on Wikipedia

Armenian National Institute (ANI) “Dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide”