Tag Archives: www.dailyoffice.org

Prayer, and the Holy Family

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 30, 2018

Refugees - Jose, Maria y Jesus

Prayer, and the Holy Family

Yesterday, December 29th, was the Feast of the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. I have become more aware of the feast days in the Church since I have been reading and praying with my Episcopal friends for a number of years, on www.dailyoffice.org. This is an online webpage and prayer site out of the Diocese of Indianapolis. It’s run by my friend and online Vicar Josh Thomas, and I have found my prayer life and liturgical appreciation growing by leaps and bounds. (I am sure that makes my Episcopal friends rejoice.)

Not only have I become even more aware of the movement of the liturgical year (which I was aware of before, only now even more so), I also have become familiar with several Catholic friends, through my chaplain connections and online friendships. Although I do not know Fr. James Martin, SJ, I am a devoted follower of his on Twitter. Not a single day goes by that I do not “like” or “retweet” one of his thoughtful, mindful posts; especially two of his posts, one from earlier this week, and the other today for the Feast of the #HolyFamily.

The first post is from December 26th, and runs as follows:

James Martin, SJ‏   @JamesMartinSJ Dec 26  “How sad that so many people are blaming the parents of migrant children for their deaths! Their parents are fleeing to a safer country precisely to protect their children. One might as well blame Mary and Joseph for fleeing to Egypt to protect their son Jesus (Mt 2:13-22).”

The other post ran yesterday, and was retweeted today:

James Martin, SJ‏ @JamesMartinSJ Dec 29  On the Feast of the #HolyFamily, let’s remember all members of the human family: the refugee, the migrant, the internally displaced person, the unborn child, the homeless person, the LGBT person, the incarcerated person, the person at the end of life. All are members of God’s family

Fr. Martin posted a number of other heart-breaking posts in the past few days, mentioning the Feast of the Holy Innocents on Dec. 28th, the death of children at the United States-Mexico border, and other continuing, horrifying injustices occurring here in what is known as a “Christian” country.

While I acknowledge that many hold different political points of view, I am also a mother. I am also a pastor and a former hospital chaplain. I have a heart that breaks regularly, seeing trauma, horror, heartbreak, fear and danger in so many places—including on the U.S.-Mexico border. Including among those incarcerated by agents of the U.S. Federal government for duly presenting themselves at the border as fleeing refugees. I cannot help but think that Jesus’s heart is breaking, too.

Dear Lord, gracious God, forgive us all, including those dear ones who are incarcerated. Help us—all of us, no matter where we were born—to come to You in spirit and in truth. You love everyone, no matter what country we came from, or from which side of the tracks we grew up. This is such a deep divide, and such a heavy burden. Help us come through these fiery trials and ford these rivers of sorrow. Thank You for Your presence, and Your promise that You will never forsake us. In Jesus’ name we pray, 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

In Which We Have an Election (Prayer)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, November 8, 2016

prayer-candles-on-blue-cloth

In Which We Have an Election (Prayer)

It is seldom I have difficulty formulating a thought. This evening, however, I am having that kind of difficulty.

The last few months have been challenging, divisive, and…difficult. To say the least.

I am so grateful to my good friend Episcopal Vicar Josh Thomas, and the website he maintains, www.dailyoffice.org. I humbly offer this Election Day prayer which he wrote, in hopes that it will begin to patch up the icy rifts and hurtful holes and jagged gashes in our American society, and between individuals, friends (sometimes former-friends), and even within families.

This has been quite an election season. Please God, may we roll up our sleeves and get to the business of forgiving, healing, working, and loving.

Here is Josh’s prayer:

For U.S. Election Day 2016
By Josh Thomas

Holy God, we ask your blessing on the election of a new President and Congress of the United States. This is such a divisive year, with very different visions offered by the candidates, with a background of war in many nations and the reality of violence at home. The results of our choices will resound throughout the world. Bless the candidates and voters; make all of us responsible for our actions; give us a clear result and a humble acceptance of the outcome, that peace and justice may prevail in this and every nation; through Jesus Christ, who came to save us from discord and violence and lead us to your heavenly home. Amen.

(Dear God, 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

A Day in Which I Pray Several Times

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Day in Which I Pray Several Times

definition-of-prayer

Prayer is what this blog is about. Mostly, that is.

I prayed several times today. And, this evening. Today was the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. I prayed with my online prayer group, www.dailyoffice.org – and then, a little while later, I prayed by myself. Benedictine Rumination, on John 1. I prayed in the afternoon, and then the evening.

Who struggles with prayer? I know I do. Finding time to pray. Finding the words to pray. Your mind wanders or your emotions are all over the place. Or, you’re so competent, and in control, so you don’t need to pray.

What is the matter with all of these difficulties? Interacting with God puts our lives into proper focus. God wants a relationship with us.

What do people do when they finally figure out that there is much in life that is NOT in our control? (Not much is, actually.) There are NO right or wrong answers to these questions. They are to get people thinking about prayer. I try to think about prayer on a regular basis. I really do.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for giving us a way of connecting with you on a personal level. In an intimate way. Help me to draw close to You on a regular basis. Lead me—lead us in Your ways. 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

PEACE: They All Have Names

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, May 30, 2016

Veteran's day candle and flag

PEACE: They All Have Names

I am departing from my series of posts, the personal definitions of PEACE from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (I am sure Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal, will forgive me.)

On this special day—Memorial Day—I return to the Episcopal Daily Office, to Morning Prayer. (Thanks to the online Vicar of www.dailyoffice.org, my friend Josh Thomas.) Each Tuesday on the Morning Prayer webcast, Vicar Josh and Subdeacon Clint feature They Have Names™. I know today was Monday, but the webcast featured a special They Have Names™ for Memorial Day. A 19 year old sailor from Utah lost his life last week. Connor Alan McQuagge, GMSN.

They all have names. Even the unknowns, buried with honor. Even the missing in action, and even those whose remains were never found. God bless them all, no matter where they were born, no matter which side of the tracks they came from, no matter what color their skin happened to be, or what religion they practiced, or what language they spoke. God bless them all.

The following prayers are taken from the Daily Office.

Prayer for Heroic Service: Memorial Day

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God bless their memories, and give their families and loved ones comfort.

@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

Pray. End of the Month.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, August 31, 2015

Guide me, Lord - Evening Prayer dailyoffice.org

Pray. End of the Month.

As I started to unpack the last few mitts of great awareness on this 31st day of August, I knew what I would be writing about. Simeon’s song, at the end of Compline. (Also known as the Canticle of Simeon, or the Nunc dimittis.)

Simeon’s words were sung when the baby Jesus had been brought to the Temple. And, Simeon recognized who the baby Jesus was and what He would grow up to be and become. This reading from the Gospel of Luke holds huge significance to me. In the Lutheran church where I was a child, I remember the Nunc dimittis closing each Sunday morning worship service.

In the structure of Compline (or, Night Prayer), “The service concludes with 1) a calling on God for protection through the coming night and 2) a simple blessing.” [1] The Canticle of Simeon is a most appropriate ending to prayer.

I will miss these reflections on the website’s www.dailyoffice.org Evening Service. I have greatly appreciated this month. Tomorrow begins another month. Another practice of prayer.

It is so appropriate to close tonight’s prayer with the Nunc dimittis:

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Amen. Alleluia.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/night/introstructurenotes.aspx

Pray. (Insert Free Intercessions and Thanksgivings Here)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 30, 2015

making prayer personal

Pray. (Insert Free Intercessions and Thanksgivings Here)

Another August evening, another opportunity to turn to http://www.dailyoffice.org and my laptop. As I prayed through the Evening Prayer tonight, I was struck by something significant. Here I’d been praying the Late Night prayer nightly for one month. And, I had never really noticed one particular phrase: “(Silence may be kept, and free intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered.)”

I don’t know why I never noticed this sentence before. I mean, I’ve followed this direction many times. Yes, of course I often offered intercessions and thanksgivings of my own. But I don’t think I ever thought deeply about this sentence before.

This prayer comes from the Book of Common Prayer, an Episcopal prayer book.  Both Episcopal and Anglican tradition use written prayers. Almost their whole service is scripted. I can appreciate that tradition! I, however, have some roots in the Evangelical and Free church traditions. (Though I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church, which also uses scripted prayers and liturgy.) My memories of prayers in the church(es) I was familiar with? All over the board. Some fervent, carefully scripted and written out. Some also as fervent, and also off the cuff.

I can do either. Go either way. Scripted or unscripted.

I went to what I now consider my go-to source for finding out more about Evening Prayer or, Compline: the website for the Church of England (see below, in the footnote).What did I find?

“The offering of intercession is as integral as praise to the nature of the services, and should not be minimized.” [1]

Nothing is said on the webpage here about scripted or unscripted, except that prayer is integral to the service. Accordingly, I wholeheartedly pray for people, places and things that I know can use my prayers and intercession. God willing, I hope to be able to continue in prayer and intercession for many.

God, You know the difficulties and challenges in all of our lives. Help us to come before You in spirit and in truth. Help each of us to lift names, emotions, feelings and situations to You. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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] https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/morneve/intro.aspx

Pray, Celebrate, Keep Coming Back

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 29, 2015

keep life simple

Pray, Celebrate, Keep Coming Back

Once more, I prayed through the Evening Prayer from www.dailyoffice.org on my laptop this evening. Just like last Saturday, I noticed one piece of the service, in particular. In the Collect for Saturday: “Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

I particularly noticed this sentence last week, it seems, out of the clear blue sky. Last week, I subbed for a pastor friend of mine, who was on vacation. And, celebrated Communion. This week, I led a Communion service at my church. A special Communion—or, Eucharist Service, for people who have a Christian concept of God as their Higher Power.

Higher Power? Isn’t that a Recovery concept? Well, yes, it is.

This Communion Service was (and is) for those in Recovery and for those who find the 12 Steps useful in their personal lives. And, who also have a Christian concept of God as each one understands God. (I have led this service on three occasions, and we’re planning for a fourth, next month, on Saturday, Sept. 26.)

The Paschal mystery part of the prayer? That part intrigued me, again.

As someone who finds the 12 Steps useful to my way of living life, I tried to incorporate these principles and way of life into an ecumenical Communion service. All the while, the Paschal mystery was bubbling away, on the back burner of the stove in my mind.

I remember what I found out last week. The Paschal mystery hearkens back to the narrative of manna in the wilderness. God was faithful in supplying the manna for huge numbers of the nation of Israel! As well, God is faithful in expressing love, caring and help for all those who are on the path of Recovery.

I’m keeping it simple. One day at a time.

@chaplaineliza

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

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

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