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.

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”

What? Me? A shepherd?

Yesterday (4/21/2013–”Earth Sunday”) Katharine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, offered the homily at the National Cathedral. She called me, and you, followers of the Way (that began in Creation and continues—in Love—into our own day with the promise of more to come). Listen:

The 23rd psalm may seem like a romantic idyll, but it’s profoundly about what sheep need – food, water, rest, and the ability to fend off predators. The psalmist describes behavior that is just as essential to human thriving as it is for sheep or goats. In order for any human community to be effective or live in productive harmony, it needs leadership. When we start to talk about godly leadership, or shepherds like Jesus, we mean guidance toward what will nurture the life of the community as well as away from what will threaten or end the project. Good shepherding is life-giving and sustaining, and in the kind of language we use around here, it’s eternal. It is about what is ultimate, gracious, and abundantly life-giving. It seeks the welfare of the whole community, not simply the desires of an individual.

This kind of holy shepherding is meant for all of us, in all our variety.

This kind of holy shepherding is meant for all of us, in all our variety. We aren’t meant to march in lockstep, but to use the varied gifts of our creation and circumstances to gather others and move toward that kind of abundant life ….

Read the complete text of her homily Presiding Bishop uses Earth Day to call for ‘holy shepherding.’ The video of this homily is here.

May we have the grace in our own day to shepherd wisely and well, may we be ‘holy shepherds—a blessing to each other and to all the created order.

Remembering Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This day (April 9) the Episcopal Church remembers Lutheran Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Much has been written and more will still be written. His own words continue to inspire me and so many others:

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

A search will reveal just how much of his writing is on the internet. May the words you hear change the things you do: for the common good and the glory of God.

The Little Way

One of my favorite saints is Thérèse of Lisieux (“The Little Flower”). She is remembered by the Roman Catholic Church on October 1st. I encourage you to take 10 minutes of your day to hear Fr. James Martin, SJ tell the story of Thérèse. Within the video you will hear more about her “little way.” It is a way for you and me, don’t you think?

I do not have the courage to force myself to search out beautiful prayers in books. There are so many of them it really gives me a headache! and each prayer is more beautiful than the others. I cannot recite them all and not knowing which to choose, I do like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, without composing beautiful sentences, and He always understands me. For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.
From Story of a Soul (via Wikiquote)

Read more about Thérèse

Therese of Lisieux on Wikipedia

7/24/12 – Garden & Compost

For one person, spirituality and faith, means "being connected" to all of creationAre you in the 18-35 year old demographic? Do you know anyone in that demographic? Then, this is for you. Waking Youth is a new blog for young and old, alike. We are in this together …

About Waking Youth

Who evolves spiritually? Is it up to old, wise men in caves, preachers in mega churches, or the best-selling new age authors? All of the world’s religions are converging on our shores for the first time: Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and more. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the young people who are waking up? In this culture, people’s spiritual lives tend to be either very public or very private and rarely do they share the inner, guiding parts of life. So, here are stories of seeking, confusion and discovery as experienced by us. You know, the ones plugged into smartphones and meeting friends for drinks. Listen as we open our hearts. See for yourself. Are we lost to the well entertained and superficial, or is there a secret life of deeper longing and curiosity that may just help save us all? If you are a young adult (18-35 years old) interested in sharing your spiritual story of discovery, send an email to wakingyouth@gmail.com

Finding Sanctuary in the Wilds of Creation by Nathan Troutman Blumenshne is one of the posts on this new blog. it is a story of what faith, Christian Faith in this case, is beginning to feel like in the 21st century. Nathan’s is a faith nurtured in a very expansive cathedral as you will discover.

If you are 18-35 please consider making your own contribution to the Waking Youth blog. If you know someone in this age range, someone whose spirituality continues to inform your own spiritual life, please encourage that person to write. Again, “we are in this together ….”

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About Garden & Compost

Image: From the blog post Finding Sanctuary In The Wilds Of Creation by Nathan Troutman Blumenshine