Tag Archives: precious

Celebrate with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, May 17, 2017



Celebrate with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Such a fascinating, multi-faceted man the editors bring to us today. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born a devout Catholic and entered the Jesuits in 1899. He met two paleontologists and was so struck by this discipline that he chose to study it at the Sorbonne.

De Chardin was a prolific scientist and writer. Richard Foster notes his varied writing was of two sorts: scientific and spiritual treatises. De Chardin also brought the sacred into his scientific writing (which strikes me as a fascinating premise).

However, this excerpt is not scientific, but celebratory—and spiritual. De Chardin writes for a wedding, a sermon for the joining of a couple who have been raised a continent apart—in France and in Asia. He gives some background for both the groom and bride, in terms of both place and family.

“And it was then, Mademoiselle, in that very habitation of souls in which it seemed impossible that two beings should find one another, that you, like the princess in a fairy story, quite naturally appeared. That, among some thousands of human beings, the eyes of two individuals should meet is in itself a remarkable and precious coincidence what, then, can we say when it is two minds that meet?” [1]

Ah! Such remarkable writing! De Chardin is able to weave together a tapestry of words that seem so fair, so fine. He goes on to talk of the wonders, the glories of the universe, and describes all of these in such glowing language. Truly, sparkling words and phrases.

And, then—“If you want, if both of you want, to answer the summons (or respond to the grace, for that is the better word) which comes to you today from God-animated life, then take your stand confidently and unhesitatingly on tangible matter; take that as an indispensable bulwark—but, through and above that matter, put your faith in the bulwark of the intangible.” [2] And, finally, “At this very moment can you not feel this spirit, to which I am urging you, concentrating upon you; can you not feel its mantle spread over you?” [3]

Yes, my marriage was performed by a dear former pastor of mine. His word craft was good, certainly, but not one quarter as fine as de Chardin’s words! These words make me think of a good plain doughnut (my former pastor) versus an exquisite French pastry (de Chardin).

God’s blessings on all brides and grooms to be married in these next weeks. May they receive abundant blessings like those of de Chardin’s.


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), 322.

[2] Ibid, 323.

[3] Ibid, 324.

PEACE is Believing, Not Doubting

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 15, 2016


PEACE is Believing, Not Doubting

Today is a special day. I am featuring a special family: Joe and Gladys Limmo, and their son Levi.

Members at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove, Joe and Gladys are an integral part in the life of the church. Not to mention their son Levi! He is precious to the whole congregation, and daily evidence of God’s love, grace and goodness.

I wanted to highlight this wonderful family! And, Joe and Gladys gave their personal definitions of PEACE for this #PursuePEACE project.

Joe’s definition had two parts: first, PEACE is “no doubt.” Second, “but believe.” Joe said, “What is peace? Peace is ‘no doubt, but believe.’ I have a scripture reference, John 20:24-29. Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you.’ So, peace comes from God.”

Wow! Such a profound truth. Yes, in one of the first post-Resurrection appearances of the risen Jesus, that was exactly what He said. “Peace be with you.” I am sure Jesus’s appearance must have been shocking. I would imagine some of the disciples being scared to death. Jesus must have known He needed to reassure them.

Jerusalem was in a tumultuous time, right after the death of Jesus. No wonder the risen Jesus brought words of PEACE! And belief? Believing is the response to the words of Jesus.

Now, Gladys. Gladys was shy of having her photo taken, although she set right to, writing a definition of PEACE. She was shy to show her definition, too since she says she wasn’t very articulate in her writing. Gladys wrote “PEACE is obtain through God that you can keep within your self and your soul.” Both definitions are strikingly similar. God is operative in both!

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for Your expression of peace. Thank You that You are the way to peace. The Prince of Peace. We also thank God for Joe, Gladys and Levi, and pray that You will draw them closer together as a family. Thank You for your love for the Limmo family, and thank You for your gift of peace that is available to us all. Amen.



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

Grace and Mercy? In Prayer!

matterofprayer blog post for Sunday, September 14, 2014

FORGIVE we must learn to forgive

Grace and Mercy? In Prayer!

One of my favorite psalms of all time is Psalm 103. One of my favorite verses of all time (well, at least for right now) comes from that psalm, verse 12: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has [God] removed our transgressions from us.”

This verse is precious to me. Precious beyond all measure. I hold it close to me, on occasion, when I feel lost. Alone. And especially, sinful. Dirty. Defective. Worthless. But how do I turn my negative thoughts around? How can I start thinking in a positive direction? A direction that is worthwhile, upbuilding, and pleasing to God?

If I think of verses from this psalm, I will naturally be oriented towards positive, loving thoughts. For example: God loves me. God has compassion towards me. God shows me grace and mercy. I can kick those negative, mean, depressing and hateful thoughts right out of my head.

Sometimes, those negative thoughts can come from outside. From thoughtless or mean comments that some people make, or from sad or mad situations that occur in each of our lives. Yes. And sometimes, similar negative thoughts start from inside of us. Negative self-talk is so self-defeating. (“I’m no good,” “what use am I?” or “that was a stupid remark/action.”)

Knowing that I am loved, that I am regularly shown compassion, that God extends grace and mercy toward me? All of these things are priceless! Priceless, like me! And—know that God extends all of these things towards you, too.

It’s so hard to be loving and caring towards other people when I don’t feel good about myself, when I feel that somehow I am faulty and defective. I suspect you have found that to be true, too. But when I feel that God loves me, cares about me, has compassion towards me—even forgives my sins and transgressions, I feel so wonderful! It is then that prayer comes naturally to me! Prayer of gratitude to God, prayer of thanksgiving for what I receive, prayer of intercession for others. Thank You, God.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for loving me. Thank You for extending Your grace and mercy towards all of us who love you. Thank You for not treating us as our sins deserve. Lord—who, then, could stand? But with You is abundant forgiveness. Thank You, God! Thank You for Your compassionate, caring presence, now and always, amen.


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net