Tag Archives: thoughtful

Still More about Meditation, and Psalm 62

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 13, 2017

Psa 62 my soul waits

Still More about Meditation, and Psalm 62

Early in his ministry, Dietrich Bonhoeffer held a position as a pastor-in-training, and served as assistant pastor at a German-speaking church in Barcelona. He preached a sermon on Psalm 62. (I have found this sermon especially thoughtful and thought-provoking.)

Being a mother (and formerly, a daughter and niece of elderly relatives who have since died), I know well the seemingly bottomless list of errands, appointments, going to and fro. On top of that, the worries and concerns of daily life, family life, and all of the other frustrations, snags, roadblocks and blank walls that just happen. Life happens. It sneaks up on us, and sometimes will drown God’s voice out.

Most penetrating, “we are much more afraid of God—that he may disturb us and discover who we really are, that he may take us with him into his solitude and deal with us according to his will.” [1] How do I deny this? Do I have a creeping, sneaking fear that God will overpower me, and that there will be nothing left of _me_, of who I am as a separate person?

I seem to have gone past that fear…usually. Yes, I have experienced God’s warm love—more than several times. But, it is not an always-kind-of-a-thing for me, not even a usual-kind-of-a-thing. God’s love still sneaks up on me. Yet, isn’t that the way it ought to be? Leaving me so expectant, so much looking forward to my times spent in meditation and prayer, that I can hardly wait for the time that God and I can spend together?

I am still trying to figure all of this out. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a wonderful guide for my times of meditation and prayer. Dear Lord, help me to continue to pursue You. Continue to make me welcome in Your presence, just like a child coming home to rest. Thank You, Lord.



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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] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 50.

PEACE: Experiencing God’s Presence

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April 8, 2016


PEACE: Experiencing God’s Presence

This is the last day (for a while) I’m going to be visiting St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights. As I’ve mentioned before, I am grateful I had the opportunity to engage with anyone who came up to the table I had set up on one side of the large lunchroom.

I set up a small sign on one side of the lunch room, and stood by the table. Waiting. I didn’t have to wait long. I had young people come up to the table pretty consistently, all the time I was there. I made up two small hand-held signs, as well. One read “Personal definition of PEACE” and the other “What is PEACE to you?”

Not a great big number of people came up to my table. However quite a number sat still (even stopped eating and talking) when they read my signs, from a distance. I was glad I could have a thoughtful, positive effect, causing them to think. And, maybe talk about PEACE.

Today I have the opportunity to present Fr. Corey’s personal definition of PEACE. Fr. Corey Brost is the principal of St. Viator’s, and a wonderful person. I asked him, initially, if there were a group of young people at the high school who I could ask about their views on PEACE. He was kind enough to invite me to all three lunch periods.

Fr. Corey’s personal definition: “PEACE is experiencing God’s presence in the midst of personal and societal upheaval.”

He did not have much time at all to talk after writing out the definition, but he reminded me, “Peace is in the midst. Never replacing God’s presence.”

It’s true that a lot of things can try to rob us of peace. Or, replace peace with something else, something far inferior. Thank you, Fr. Corey, for reminding all of us that God offers us the peace that passes understanding. Peace that will guard our hearts and minds, no matter what. In the midst of the storm as well as on sunny days. God is always present, by my side, even when I can’t see or feel. (Thanks, God!)

(Tomorrow, I am excited to begin a series of personal definitions of PEACE from people who attend the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove! Stay tuned.)


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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

PEACE is Love, and No Animosity!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, March 7, 2016


PEACE is Love, and No Animosity!

Last week, I was invited to the senior group at St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Morton Grove. I spoke to them about PEACE. I gave a small presentation about the lack of PEACE and what we can do about it. I included several ideas about how to lessen the animosity between people and between groups of people.

I also gave them some background on my Pursuing PEACE Project, and asked if any of the seniors would be willing to give me their personal definition of PEACE.

One of the officers of the senior group was eager to give me her point of view on PEACE. Joann Brelin’s personal definition: PEACE is LOVE! Plus, a lack of animosity.

This was a two-part definition, for Joann. The first part is important to her. (Peace equals LOVE.) And, the second part is just as important. (Peace is a lack of animosity!)

As Joann explained, “If we have love in our hearts, that is all that is necessary. (On the positive side.) Plus, lack of animosity is also important. If you are able to listen to people, really listen to what they say, animosity will melt away.”

I appreciate Joann’s definition, which shows two distinct parts: the positive and the negative. What PEACE is, and what it is not.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for such a thoughtful definition. Looking at several sides of a difficulty or a challenge is truly a gift. Dear God, help me to be more that way: more thoughtful and more reflective. In Jesus’ name we all pray, 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

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 28, 2015

pray for the world

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Ever hear something (or read something) and immediately have a scene from your past pop into your head? That was me, when I read today’s excellent suggestion from Ruth.

As I went through the colored action suggestions at the end of the blog post, my eye fell on the first one, the green one. And I immediately went back several decades, to when I was twelve or thirteen years old.

My dad was alive then. We were in the little brick house in Chicago where I (and my older brothers and sisters) all grew up. My dad was a statistician, and particularly precise and conscientious where saving money was concerned. We didn’t have too much to spare, especially with my older sisters at the University of Illinois. (Yes, both at the same time.) He drilled it into all of our heads to be thoughtful and careful with what we used, how much we used, and why we used it. This was the same with food to paper products to utilities.

I particularly remember several times when I was either twelve or thirteen. It was winter time, so a time of earlier darkness. A time of more artificial lights. I would go into a room, find what I needed, and automatically flip off the light switch as I left the room.

“Hey! I’m still in here!” was what my dad said, disgruntled. This happened several times. (At least.) I would look back, chagrined. Sorry. Apologetic. “I’m just doing what you said. What you taught me.” I distinctly remember saying that, at least a couple of times.

I know our family was thinking about saving money when we grew up. We needed to count our pennies. (Pennies were worth something in those days! But, I’m showing my age.) Now, when I think twice about turning on lights, or turning down the heat in my condominium, or using that reusable insulated cup for my coffee or tea in the morning, I am also thinking about being a good steward of creation. Of the gifts and blessings God has given me. What a good reminder of what I can do, to make a difference.


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 from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 14, 2015

vintage Valentine pink hearts

Praying through Action—an Act of Consolation

What a prayer suggestion for Valentine’s Day! Lo and behold, another surprise. My prayer suggestion for the day was to write a note of consolation and support for someone who has lost a dear one in death or is presently suffering some tragedy in their life, and let them know that God loves them. My goodness . . . not exactly a cheery thing to do on Valentine’s Day.

A dear person immediately came to my mind. I had purchased several cheery Valentine’s Day cards yesterday for several lonely people. Accordingly (I peeked at today’s suggestion a day ahead of time), I also chose a card for this dear one. A number of months have passed since my friend lost a close relative to serious illness. I had been thinking about this dear one several times in the past week or so, and I knew without a doubt that this was why I had been mentally nudged. Because I needed to write this card.

I’ve served as a chaplain for most of the last ten years. I know that significant holidays sometimes are poignant reminders of recent deaths. Even, not-so-recent deaths. Valentine’s Day might not seem so significant at first . . . but if you think about it, you might change your mind.

Consider an elderly parent who—without fail—sends their adult children a sweet Valentine’s Day remembrance each year. Until they are gone. Or, think of a significant other or spouse who remembers their loved one with a romantic Valentine card each February 14th. Until they can’t any longer. Or, what about a growing child, become a young adult, sending their parents a loving Valentine’s Day card wherever they are, in whatever part of the country they happen to be. Until they have an untimely death.

So, I wrote a cheery, thoughtful note on this pretty Valentine’s Day card I bought yesterday. And, I closed with the reminder that God is caring for this dear one and keeping them safe within God’s loving, everlasting embrace.

Dear Lord, please be with all who mourn today, and all those who are missing someone near and dear to their hearts. Extend Your arms of comfort, care and encouragement to all of these dear people, today. Including several of my friends, Lord. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers. Amen.

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.