Category Archives: prayer

Father’s Day Meditation

In our current culture, there is sometimes a call to not use the fatherhood of God as a metaphor because not everyone is a father, nor has a father that is a worthy example. But even in Jesus’ time, and even further back into the Hebrew Scriptures, there were lousy or absent fathers. Isaac and Jacob showed favoritism among their sons. Moses didn’t bring his sons under the covenant of circumcision. High priests Aaron, Eli, and Samuel all failed to train their sons to honor God. King David was often an absent father. Throughout scripture God’s people are called to care for the orphan because many had no father. But that is not God Our Father.

27384456692_f88fc2f1f7_oLift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, a father of the fatherless. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Psalm 68:4-6, Matthew 6:26; 7:11)

*Pause for silent meditation on God our Father*


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).

To Our Father we pray, Amen.

photo credit: Asleep in Papa’s arms via photopin (license)

The Pulse of the Day

Recently, I had to reflect on the question: What is the pulse of my day? This question pushed me beyond the Christ is the center of my life answer to determine what person or activity marks off the hours of my day. In other words, what activity or person causes me routinely to change my activity?

pulseThe answer for my Benedictine teachers is prayer, while for me the answer is currently fatherhood/my daughter. While I work on the personal ramifications of that realization of my life, I also began to wonder: What is the pulse of my church? I think small groups, local congregations, and denominations/Christian movements all have pulses. Continue reading The Pulse of the Day

Benedictine Prayer – Liturgy of the House and lectio divina – Oblate Formation

This month’s class had two distinct sections: liturgy of the hours in the monastic tradition (taught by Sister Mary Lou) and lectio divina (taught by Jacquelyn (a completed oblate)).

As always, our meeting began with evening prayer with the sisters. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we sang a version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate to the tune of a traditional Gaelic melody that many of us would know as “Morning has Broken.” We all had Cat Stevens in our minds as we when to class.
Continue reading Benedictine Prayer – Liturgy of the House and lectio divina – Oblate Formation

Benedictine Prayer: Work of God

I did not find this month’s homework particularly challenging in terms of difficulty, but certainly challenging in finding focused time for its completion. Realizing that I needed to make space for something important aligned well with the lessons on prayer, something for which we often do not make time for. This month I found myself preparing for Holy week worship, the Fall 2016 All-15376755283_f441d92d9a_oChurch Spiritual Formation, a new sermon series on emotional health, medical appointments, Girl Scout cookie sales, a book manuscript, and many other good activities. Taking the time to meditate on prayer, an activity with God that we are to do without ceasing, I had to evaluate whether or not I actually made prioritized time for communication with God in my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly activities. Continue reading Benedictine Prayer: Work of God

Benedictine Spirituality for Today – Oblate Formation

The cross specially placed at the entrance to the chapel for the prayer vigil.

The Prioress, Sister Paula, taught the class “Benedictine Spirituality for Today.” Following the homework: prayer, community, and hospitality were the topics of the evening, yet, as with the tri-unity of God, the three were one.

Our evening prayer consisted of a vigil, as one of the sisters had gone to be with the Lord, after residing with us here for 97 years. That prayer time caused me to change my pre-written answer for how I had experienced prayer in the community. Continue reading Benedictine Spirituality for Today – Oblate Formation

Come and Pray as the Bell Tolls

7197918690_028cfe1c76_bListen carefully, my child, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]

Let us get up, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say: It is high time for us to arise from sleep. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]

Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that everyday calls out this charge: If you hear his voice today, do not harden your hearts. Run while you have the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]

Not to us, God, not to us give the glory, but to your name alone . . . What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of God’s grace. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]

Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service. In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing burdensome, nothing  harsh. The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]

Faithfully observing God’s teachings in the monastery until death, we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in God’s Glory for all eternity. Come and pray, as the bell tolls. [Ring the bell]


[Ring the bell]

photo credit: evening toll via photopin (license)

Blessing with Water

This prayer of blessing was used at our oblate formation class on humility. I could not find the source of this blessing to provide a proper citation, although it seems there are several forms of this prayer. I wanted to get this version online because I thought it would make a good ordination prayer. Each part of the body is touched as the blessing is given. In the case of my oblate course, we were touched with water.

May God bless you with integrity and seal you with the sanctifying Spirit.

Bless your Head so that all of your thoughts come forth from the well of God’s Being, filling you with grace and peace.

Bless your Eyes so that you may see God’s Presence and Providence in your life.

Bless your Ears that you might hear the cry of the poor all around you and the whisper of God’s Word.

Bless your Lips that you might freely and lovingly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Bless your Hands to hold and to heal the many lives that are broken, that you may be free to bring hope to the hopeless.

Bless your Feet to walk in the ways of Jesus, to run and never grow weary, to stand up for justice unafraid.

Bless your Heart with forgiveness, with warmth and compassion and a genuine generosity toward all who are in need.

I place my hand on your shoulder to bless your Entire Being. May you be freed from all unforgiveness. May all the wounds of your life be transformed into compassion. May your life belong entirely to Jesus. May you be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

We send you as wounded healers to set others free.

We send you to model the transformed Christian life within your home, your family, your Church, your community.

We send you be become Jesus in the world.

Oblate Candidate Enrollment

rp_obisb-300x291.jpgWe did not have an oblate class this month; instead we joined the sisters for evening prayer, which had a theme of joining a family. Those of us in oblate formation sat in the first row of chorus 1, and each of our sponsors sat behind us. The hymn, Psalms and passage from Isaiah followed this pattern. First, a hymn about union with Christ. Second, a prayer about God and his people as bride and groom. Third, a prayer about the blessing of family and children. Fourth, a prayer about coming to Jerusalem as one family of God. Continue reading Oblate Candidate Enrollment

5 Minute Maintenance

whirlpool-strike-w10542314-ap5650274_01_mOne home maintenance item that hadn’t crossed my mind to regularly check and replace was the dishwasher door gasket. I happened to be doing some work on the baseboard and noticed water discoloration on the backside of the wood.  This was not a major leak, probably just a few drips every time the washer ran a cycle, and there was no damage. Still, the gasket needed replacing. Continue reading 5 Minute Maintenance

Petitions, Prayers, and Personal Refrigerators

Just before Palm Sunday, I took a 1.7 cubic feet refrigerator from my basement, where we keep it for guests, over to the church. As the church planned to offer communion every day from Palm Sunday through Easter, on a drop in bases most days, I thought having a small refrigerator up on stage to hold the elements would be handy.

IMAG0354 smallMy daughter often  comes over to the church with me when I practice music; she enjoys dancing while I play and sing, and she noticed the refrigerator on the stage. “What’s that?” she asked. I told her it was a refrigerator, to which she she replied, “I wish I had my own refrigerator.” I thought she made a bit of an absurd wish. What does a three-year-old need with their own refrigerator? I let her know that was not something she needed. Yet like the widow of Luke 18:1-8, she persisted. Continue reading Petitions, Prayers, and Personal Refrigerators