Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prayer in Old Age

Prayer of a nun from the 17th century

"Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recital of endless details - give me the wings to come to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and the talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so."

Shaped by God

"I used to imagine it was our job to make ourselves holy. I've slowly realized that we often seek for ourselves our own satisfactions and complacency-- even in the most apparently unselfish efforts. God shaped us, not we ourselves. Through life, in ways we would never have planned, God strips us of our ego, prepares us for Godself. For an active person, the hardest penance is to be unable to act. For Jesus at the height of his powers and vigor, the cross meant being passive, nailed down, speechless, helpless. We could not and would not plan these experiences for ourselves. Jesus begged for the chalice to pass from him.

Who would ask for Alzhemier's as a way to go? But if we believe in God's Providence-- and that is not easy-- that must be what he was doing to Moira, who had given him an enthusiastic life. The real achievement of that life was not in her creative efforts or sleepless nights at the service of others, but in her recognition of God's hand in the suffering which accompanied her to the grave."

-- Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

John Stott

"We are called to double listening: listening to the Word, listening to the world."

- John Stott (27 April 1921 to 27 July 2011)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prayer and our heart

"Prayer can bring the truths of faith and life from the head to the heart;
prayer opens the heart not only to God, but to all we meet."

- Sacred Space: the Prayer Book 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trop est avare á qui Dieu ne suffit

"It is remarkable how much self-emptying we all experience as we grow older... Saint John of the Cross, writing the Dark Night of the Soul, saw God's action in all this: as ego recede, God can fill our hearts.

Trop est avare á qui Dieu ne suffit. (You're too greedy if God is not enough for you.)"

- Sacred Space: the Prayer Book 2011

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Illusions of fulfillment

"Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment. I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony."

- Sacred Space: the Prayer Book 2011

New Eyes

"Being a Christian doesn't mean having big ideas, but new eyes."
"It is our wounds that gives us our credentials, not our degrees."

- Shane Claiborne from Dirty Theology
Sermon in Duke University Chapel (4 March 2011)

Listen to the sermon on youtube

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Clarity of Faith

"Not that there are no clarities in the life of faith... But these clarities develop from within... Faith invades the muddle; it does not eliminate it. Peace develops in the midst of chaos... Such clarities come from adventuring deep into the mysteries of God's will and love, not by cautiously managing and moralizing in ways that minimize risk and guarantee self-importance."

- Eugene Peterson, Run with the Horses

Monday, March 21, 2011


"For faith is not a leap out of the everyday but a plunge into its depths."
- Eugene Peterson, Run with the Horses


Heard this Taize chant for the first time in a prayer meeting for Japan last Friday.

"Our darkness is never darkness in your sight: the deepest night is as clear as daylight."