Tag Archives: healthy

Sorrow, Healing, Forgiveness—in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, May 30, 2015

FORGIVE thanks for the beautiful life, forgive me for not loving

Sorrow, Healing, Forgiveness—in Prayer

After spending the last few days with my daughter in Washington D.C., I am back at home. Preparing for service tomorrow, and getting ready to preach a sermon for Trinity Sunday.

However—I need to give another installment of Ignatian prayer, meditation and spirituality. I know we have barely scratched the surface of Margaret Silf’s book Inner Compass and the helpful ways she lifted up St. Ignatius and his manner of prayer. We are almost finished with the month of May, and another mode of prayer awaits us for June.

We will take a closer look at the next step in what Silf imagines as St. Ignatius’ Daily Examen, the examination of the internal workings of our intellects, feelings, our very souls.

The next step is Sorrow. “With hindsight you may realize that much of your reaction to the events of the day has been centered on your own kingdom. . . . Whatever inadequacies you find in your day’s living, let them be there before God now, not for judgment, but for His Spirit to hover over the mess, bringing wholeness out of brokenness. Express your sorrow to God, and confidently ask for His healing and forgiveness.” [1]

I see this as a healthy sorrow, not a constant or continual recitation of every single, minute sin ever committed (or omitted). God’s grace and mercy are wider, deeper, and more comprehensive than anything I could have ever imagined.

Yes, we can discuss this tremendous grace and mercy, but I suspect this needs to be felt. Not just intellect, but feelings and emotions, too.

Praise God. Help me to see my inadequacies and sinful behavior, dear God. As John 3:17 says, God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Thank You, Jesus, for extending Your grace and mercy to all those who are anxious and worried. Thanks, God!

. @chaplaineliza

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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] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 59

A Prayerful Look at Trees

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – February 7, 2015

green trees

A Prayerful Look at Trees

What an unusual suggestion! The prayer guide today had quite the recommendation for me. I still am not sure I can manage it. I’ve been praying about it! Not quite following it, but I will attempt to do so.

I am supposed to look for (or think of) two trees. One which resembles the kind of person I would like to be, and the other which expresses in some way the kind of person I see myself to be now. And—I need to decide what I need to do in order to change from the way I am now to the way I would like to be. Or—the way that God wants me to be.

This is complicated. First, the idea of a tree that is somehow stunted or not completely hale and healthy comes to mind.

I know I am not completely healthy. I have very poor eyesight. If I were not born in a first world country with access to glasses or contact lenses, I would be out of luck, as far as seeing anything more than nine inches or at most a foot away from my eyes. Second, I had a stroke when I was a teenager. My language center was affected. I may not seem—outwardly—like I am markedly different from most other people. And, perhaps I’m not. But, I seem like I am. I notice little things, like my hesitation at finishing sentences, and how I sometimes stumble over words. Those are two big areas for me. At least, they seem big.

Second, I think of a tree that is healthy, green and growing. I think of the tree represented in Psalm 1. I am not only in good physical health, but also in good mental, spiritual and psychological health, too. I can see myself stretch out my arms/branches to the sky, and my feet/roots grow deeply, connecting with the source of food and drink, health and all good things.

But how to get from where I am now to where I want to be? Other than asking God for help and working—one day at a time—to do my best for God, wherever I am placed,

Did You hear, God? Please, help me to do my best. For You.

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

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

Gratitude List

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, January 4, 2014

forest and rainbow

Gratitude List

God, I haven’t intentionally written a gratitude list for some time. Several of my friends and acquaintances write gratitude lists on a regular basis. It’s definitely a worthwhile practice! However, I have never gotten into that particular habit.

Still, I have written them on occasion. A gratitude list came to my mind for some reason this evening. I will take advantage of my being at the computer. I’ll start writing my list.

I am grateful for good health—for me. Without that, life would be very different. I am grateful for my husband and family. My husband is a wonderful, interesting, intelligent, straight-forward person, and I thank God for him. My family—three lovely daughters and one good-looking son—is a joy and a blessing to me. (Even though the second two are still teens.) All are healthy, all inquisitive, all intelligent. I love my children and am so grateful for them.

I am grateful for friends, for acquaintances, even for people I see on an occasional basis but don’t know their names. These people are touchpoints and my foundation, and without them my life would be infinitely poorer. I am grateful for the varying places in my life, my community, my church, my workplace. These are all the scenery and backdrops for my life.

I am grateful for our snug condominium and the fascinating, diverse town where we live. I am grateful for the excellent public transportation system in our town (linking us to downtown Chicago—the big train is four blocks from our house, the Elevated train two blocks away, and a bus stops on the corner). I am grateful for employment—my husband full-time and me part-time. I am grateful for a working car and for money for gas and car expenses. I am grateful for computers (plural—we have several laptops).

I am grateful for food to eat, extra food in the cupboards, clothes and shoes to wear. I am grateful for enough. I am grateful for a piano (thank you, Grandpy!), for music—in general, and for the gift of being able to make and enjoy many different varieties of music. I am especially grateful for the endless inventive and creative nature God has given to humans so that they might compose music, write books and produce artwork of all kinds. I am grateful that I have the use of all of my limbs and my physical capabilities, and I show my gratitude by going to the gym on a regular basis. Sure, I have complaints. Gripes. Things may even be significantly wrong, or at least not to my liking. I wonder what God is doing, sometimes! But if I look at the big picture, my life is amazingly blessed.

Let’s pray. Thank You, God, for blessing me and my family with such abundance. Thank You for graciously providing for our needs, one day at a time. Forgive me for my gripes and complaints, even though You pour out your abundant blessings on us, new every morning. Thank You for the gift of Your grace and Your glory poured out upon us. I know I can never thank You enough, but I can try. Thank You again.


Be Thankful. No Matter What.

matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, November 28, 2013

I woke up this morning, went out to the car to do an errand, and found it had a flat tire. On Thanksgiving morning.

I was able to get the tire half-inflated, and drove over to the nearby car repair shop, which WILL be open tomorrow. However, that incident throws a monkey wrench in our Thanksgiving Day plans.

Upon reflection, that monkey wrench does not seem TOO serious. My family is currently all in one piece—no accidents or catastrophic events. We are healthy, have (lots of!) food in the refrigerator, a warm place to live, and plenty of warm clothes in our closets. It may not always be that way, but it is for right now.

I do have friends who have sick relatives, one whose sibling just died several days ago, and several more who have chronic health concerns of their own. But God can see us through. God has not failed me yet. I understand from many, many people that God hasn’t failed them, either.

I think of the verse from the first letter to the believers in Thessalonica, where Paul advises the Thessalonians to “be thankful in all circumstances.” I know that Paul was familiar with trials and tribulations in his journeys and voyages around Asia. He did not have an easy time of it, all the time, either. He also had faith that God would be with him, no matter what happened to him, where he went, or who he was with. I ought to follow the example of the Apostle Paul, instead of griping about my personal trials and tribulations. Happy Thanksgiving Day, indeed!

Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for a day set aside to give thanks. Thank You for seeing me through my various trials, just as You have been with countless believers in You, over the centuries. Dear God, be with all those who are lacking provision for their physical needs, today. Lead them to people and places that can provide for them. And thanks for the promise we have from Matthew 6, that You do provide for us, one day at a time. What a great Thanksgiving. Amen.