Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and to the poor.

Amen.

- from Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make a Difference? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 105.

An Advent Prayer of Henri Nouwen

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness,

send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do

seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things

look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways

long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy

seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness,

yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"

Amen.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Intentions for 2008

My Intentions

1. I intend to live in conscious awareness of God's loving presence.
2. I intend to live so as to make plausible and tangible the love of God.
3. I intend to trust God's sovereign love, to abandon myself to God’s providence,
4. I intend to be aware of and to follow the Spirit's leading.
5. I intend to be a good steward of my body, to eat right and less (fewer carbs, less fat, less salt),
and to bike or walk at least five days a week.
6. I intend to read and watch what is beneficial and enjoyable, to watch less TV, and to spend
less time on the computer.
7. I intend to read two books a month.
8. I intend to write more and make available to others what will be helpful, to write what is
positive, beneficial, to be a bearer of light.
9. I intend to simplify my life, to get rid of stuff: possessions, clothes, metings, beliefs that don't
work, all "baggage," etc.
10. I intend to teach well but not to obsess about it to listen more and more carefully, to talk less
and to ask more questions, to teach for depth and to test for breadth.
11. I intend to keep daily times of prayer, silence and meditation.
12. I intend to develop and nurture relationships, taking time to listen, staying in contact with
family members and friends.
13. I intend to “enjoy the life I have been given,” to be thankful, to eliminate criticizing and
complaining, to accept what is, and to be peaceful through vicissitudes.
14. I intend to be open to new ideas and experiences.
15. I intend to have fewer opinions, to listen more & talk less.
16. I intend to be less influenced by trivial, external 'noise'/stimuli and so to be less reactive.
17. I intend to have fewer intentions.