MARK OF THE ETERNAL
Grant us to see things that bear the mark of the eternal:
The beauty that lives with loving kindness,
The transmutation of suffering into wisdom and understanding;
The divine impulse given and received.
Give us to cherish life’s perishable beauty
That it may be imperishably present with us,
And may we so pass through the things that are fleeting
As to be richer in the things that endure.…
I LAY BARE BEFORE YOU
The concern which I lay bare before You today is:
Whatever disaffection there is between me and those who are or have been very close to me—I would seek the root or cause of such disaffection, and with the illumination of Your mind, O God, to understand it.…
I pray today that I may:
Hold on to what is good,
even if it is a handful of earth;
Hold on to what I believe,
even if it is a tree that stands by itself;
Hold on to what I must do,
even if it is a long journey;
Hold on to life,
even when it is easier letting go;
Hold on to Your hand,
even when I have just lost my way.…
God, deliver us from sullen saints!
Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), was a Spanish Catholic mystic, writer and founder of monastic orders. She was canonized in the 17th century. In 1970, she became the first woman to be honored as a Doctor of the Church, a title designating the church’s most significant writers.
QUESTIONS TO GOD
Age after age, O God, You have sent Your messengers into this pitiless world, who have left their word:
“Forgive all. Love all. Cleanse your hearts from the blood-red stains of hatred.”
Adorable are they, ever to be remembered; yet from the outer door, I have turned away today—this evil day—with unmeaning salutation.…
In these hushed moments in Your presence, O God, speak to my condition.
I bring before You my hidden fears and secret hopes, my personal perplexities and social responsibilities.
There are decisions to be made and problems to be solved.
There are relationships to rebuild and broken friendships to be reestablished.…
We thank You, God of heaven,
For all the joys that greet us,
For all that You have given
To help us and delight us
In earth and sky and seas;
The sunlight on the meadows,
The rainbow’s fleeting wonder,
The clouds with cooling shadows,
The stars that shine in splendor—
We thank You, God, for these.…
O God, draw us from the circumference of life, where we have been living, into the Center. Draw us from preoccupation with ourselves into Your presence. Draw us from our claimful selves, and give us Yourself. In Your presence, we find simplicity amidst complexity; and compulsive activities yield to a willingness to live with singleness of heart.…
Nameless One—of many names
Eternal—and ever-changing One
Who is found nowhere—but appears everywhere
Beyond—and within all.
Timeless—circles of the seasons,
Unknowable mystery—known by all.
Lord of the Dance—Mother of all life:
Be radiant with us,—
Engulf us with Your love,
See with our eyes,
Hear with our ears ,
Breathe with our nostrils,
Touch with our hands,
Kiss with our lips,
Open our hearts!…
O God, forgive our wanton waste of the wealth of the soil and sea and air; our desecration of natural beauty; our heedlessness of those who shall come after us, if only we be served; our undue love of money; our contempt for small things and our worship of what is big; our neglect of struggling peoples, For such wrongs to our natural and human heritage, and for many things left undone, forgive us, O God.…