Tag Archives: be of service

Dorothy Day: One who Served Well

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April 9, 2017

SERVE do something for those who can't repay

Dorothy Day: One who Served Well

A good many people know of Dorothy Day, of her love for the poor and her lifelong work in social settings that were gritty, ugly, even heartbreaking. She began as a journalist, converted to Catholicism, and started publishing a small newspaper called “The Catholic Worker” which shook large parts of the American society. (Especially the managers and owners of different companies and corporate leaders.)

However, some people do not know about how increasingly important Christianity had become to Ms. Day. “Her Christianity was deeply formed by prayer and study of the Gospels.” [1] Plus, she always strives to live exactly the way that our Lord Jesus lived, showing compassion, care and mercy to all she could, in such desperate and hopeless situations.  It takes someone with a strong stomach and constitution to read the words Ms. Day writes in her memoir.

“Yes, we have lived with the poor, with the workers, and we know them not just from the streets, or in mass meetings, but from years of living in the slums, in tenements, in our hospices…We have lived with the unemployed, the sick, the unemployables. The contrast between the worker who is organized and has his union, the fellowship of his own trade to give him strength, and those who have no organization and come in to us on a breadline is pitiable.” [2]

Ms. Day could not turn away from these horrible situations, duplicated time and time and time again. Instead, she suggests that people of all levels of society show strength and fortitude, through the most desperate places, happenings, and lack of resources. Why not give downtrodden, down-and-out Americans, a real opportunity? And, enough food, shelter and dignity to hold mind and body together?

Dear Lord, help me to sit with this example of Dorothy Day for a while, and then to act. To do, to listen, to walk with, to accomplish needed and valued gifts and activities. And at last, my Judge will be the King from Matthew 25. I know what my marching orders are. Lord, give me the strength, the willingness, and the love and mercy necessary. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

 

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 211.

[2] Ibid, 212.

Meister Eckhart: Be of Service

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April 7, 2017

serve one another, Mark 10

 

Meister Eckhart: Be of Service

We come to another medieval spiritual writer, Meister Eckhart. Yes, and much more than that. He entered the Dominican order, studied in Paris and Cologne, became Dominican prior at Erfurt, and soon started serving as Professor of Theology at Strasbourg. All the while, he also preached and served as spiritual director. Although he was brought up on charges by inquisitors in Cologne, some time later these charges were found to be largely fabricated and politically motivated—but, too late. Meister Eckhart had died while traveling to clear his name. [1]

This excerpt from one of Eckhart’s sermons features Martha and Mary. He lifts up Martha as mature and a person of depth. Interesting that she was more of the servant of the two sisters. “Now Martha says, ‘Lord, tell her to help me.’ Martha did not say this out of anger. She spoke rather out of a loving kindness because she was hard pressed. We must indeed call it a loving kindness or a lovable form of teasing.” [2]

Now, let’s look at Mary, sitting at our Lord’s feet. Eckhart’s words: “she yearned without knowing what it was she yearned after, and she desired without knowing what she desired!” [3] Ah, to be Mary, and to think “that she can already do what she wishes so long as she is only seated beneath your consolation.” [4]

Indeed, as our Lord Jesus says to Martha, only one thing is necessary: “I and you, embraced one by the eternal light—that is one thing.” [5] Yes, Jesus calls us to serve. And, yes, Jesus calls us to study, sit, and drink in the presence of the Lord. Both/and, not either/ or. As I reflect upon this interpretation of Martha and Mary, I tend to agree with Richard Foster. Yes, I appreciate Eckhart’s central point. Yes, “spirituality and service are inseparable twins.” [6]

Dear Lord, as I read this narrative again, I am also reminded of my tendency to swing to extremes on the pendulum. Help me—help all of us—to find a healthy balance. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 205.

[2] Ibid, 206.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 207.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid. 209.

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 16, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Today’s reading hit the bull’s eye. Pray. That’s it. Pray for help from God as you understand God. That’s it. [1]

Yes, as the reading today instructed, I can pray that I come to know the Twelve Steps better. And, you and I both know that I wrote a year-long blog about being helpful and being of service. (365 days of being helpful!)

I try to be a good example. I want others to know that if they need anything, they can call on me. I will do my best to get them help and assistance.

Now, there is one caveat. One presupposition, if you will.

I need to believe in a loving, caring God, a God who is intimately involved with all of the humans in the world. A God who will come alongside those who are struggling, and assist. No matter what. (It’s a good thing that I do believe in such a loving, caring God.)

A distant, neutral, even vindictive Higher Power? Sorry, but I cannot pin my faith to some old acquaintances, or in some dinky understanding of an HP. Much less to an arbitrary God who doesn’t even care whether I live or die.

I appreciate the Action for Today from today’s reading: “Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.” So be it. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 16 reading.

Day #10 – Fix It, Tack It, Nail It! Or, Not.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 27, 2015

daisy growing through difficulties

Day #10 – Fix It, Tack It, Nail It! Or, Not.

Today’s suggestion? I loved it! It’s almost second nature for me to be helpful. Be of service. Be kind. As a matter of fact, I wrote a blog in 2014 called A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service. (at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com) This blog told about my adventures with kindness, service and being helpful, each day. I was successful in making blog entries every single day in 2014, including Feature Fridays, when I would feature someone else being kind.

But, enough about my blog. My other blog, that is.

As I said before, I loved this post from 40acts today. I really wanted to do something for someone else, but stuff happened. I became preoccupied for most of the afternoon, and my plans of the morning never got carried out. (I would appreciate some prayer. The situation is continuing, and God knows what it is. Thanks so much. You are awesome. Seriously.)

This got me to thinking as the evening was drawing to a close: what if I don’t have time to complete today’s suggestion? What if I can’t, or for some reason, unable to complete it?

Actually, I did do a kind act. I went to the jam-packed YMCA this morning. After exercising and before I left, I took a quick shower. I noticed one of the bathroom stalls did not have toilet paper. On my way out, I mentioned the need to one of the janitorial staff. (And believe me, it was a need, with such a crowd there this morning!)

The staff member was very grateful I had spoken up! And, I knew I was doing a kind deed. Not quite on the level of Bear Grylls, but still, I can tell you that many women go in and out of those locker room bathrooms! So many, in fact, the paper supplies must be supplied frequently. I’m glad I was there to make note of the need, and to suggest that the janitor changed things. Like the toilet paper. I was heartily glad I could help. Thank God!

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net