A Prayer for Strength

When things always seem their darkest, when we need an extra boost to get through the next great test, when our patience is pulled to the thinnest, most silken thread, there is always prayer. As short or as long as you want it to be, even a single word can be prayer. You can find prayer in singing just one musical note.

Remember that if you pray through music that Bach told us: To sing once is to pray twice.

Keep the faith!


(Dear God,)
Give me courage
to face the problems that confront me today;
thank you for your sustaining strength.
 – Amen

 

“The angel of the LORD is round about them that fear him, and he delivers them.”
– Psalm 34:7

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Plainsong

 

Te lucis ante terminum

 

(Latin)
Te lucis ante terminum,
rerum Creator, poscimus,
ut solita clementia,
sis praesul ad custodiam.

Procul recedant somnia,
et noctium phantasmata:
hostemque nostrum comprime,
ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta, Pater omnipotens,
per Iesum Christum Dominum,
qui tecum in perpetuum
regnat cum Sancto Spiritu.

Amen.

 (English)
To thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That, with thy wonted favour, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

Amen

 

 

 

First Coming – a poem by Madeline L’Engle

We cannot wait until the world is sane.

– Keep the faith!


Arrival

First Coming

by Madeleine L’Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

 

“First Coming” From The Ordering of Love:
The New and Collected Poems
of Madeleine L’Engle

What lies beyond your hope? – a meditation

We saw quite a bit of down-talking and bad-mouthing about the word “hope” after the presidential elections of 2008 and 212. The word hope was a rallying call, and then… we perceived that nothing happened. Our hopes were not fulfilled. The other team was quick to point out this (marketing) failure.

The challenge is that folks tend to see the word hope as a one-time thing, a passive thing, a “there I did it and now it has to come true” thing.

That’s not it at all.

Our hopes are big, active nouns. They are stepping stones in the process, and not the process itself. To hope is to make that first step. Our challenge with this process is to get to that point, and see what lies beyond. Our hopes point us on to even better ideals, and even larger hopes.

And so we go on, just like the children’s song about Jacob’s Ladder: as every round on the ladder takes us higher, so the accomplishments of our hopes lead us not to complacency and a sense that we are done, but instead on to build even greater dreams, larger hopes, and grander missions for our lives.

St. Clement of Alexandria wrote:

If you do not hope,
you will not find
what is beyond
your hopes.

Keep hoping, keep dreaming, keep praying. And…
Keep the faith!

– Amen

 

We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder
Traditional African-American Spiritual

Based on Genesis 28 (Jacob’s dream)

(11) And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (…)

(15) (God Said,) “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee”

– King James Version (KJV)

 

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Sinner, do you love my Jesus?
Soldiers of the cross.

If you love Him, why not serve Him?
If you love Him, why not serve Him?
If you love Him, why not serve Him?
Soldiers of the cross.

Rise, shine, give God glory,
Rise, shine, give God glory,
Rise! Shine! Give God glory!
Soldiers of the cross.