Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 6/27

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In the day ahead of me, Lord...

help me see the world with your eyes:
clearly, with wisdom and insight...

help me hear others' words with your ears, Lord:
listening with compassion and understanding...

Help me touch others' hearts with your hands:
gently and firmly, with healing...

Help me taste of life with your tongue:
savoring the salty, relishing the sweeet...

Help me smell with your nose:
sniffing the world for the scent of your presence...

In the day ahead of me, Lord,
help me use all my senses to come to know you,
serve you and love my neighbor...

In the day ahead, Lord and through the night to follow:
help me to see, hear, touch, taste and smell
your glory in the world all around me...



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Monday Morning Offering: 6/26

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

Today, Lord...
I offer you the musings of my mind
and pray that you’ll enlighten me
with reason, truth and prudence…

I offer you the words I speak,
the words I write and post,
and pray you'll sift them through the sieve
of charity and wisdom...

I offer you my soul's desires,
my passions, thirsts and hungers,
and pray you'll tend and tame me
with integrity and grace…

I offer you the things I do,
day in, day out - my deeds,
and pray you'll teach my heart to give
with selfless generosity…

I offer you my attitude,
my feelings and my moods
and pray you’ll heal and lift me up
with hope, in peace, to joy...

I offer you my weaknesses, 
my failings, faults and sins
and pray you’ll pardon all of them
with mercy undeserved…

I offer you today, O Lord, 
the whole of who I am:
bend me, mold and shape and change me:
recreate me in your love…

I offer you the week ahead, 
its trials and its troubles:
I pray you'll stand right by my side
to hold me fast and faithful...  


Homily for June 25

Photo by Gates Dupont

Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

(Technical glitch: no audio for this homily)

Note carefully that Jesus does not promise
that the Father's beloved sparrows will not fall to the ground.

Rather he promises that when they fall,
and they will fall,
the Father will not be unaware...

There may be times in our lives
when we think that the Father has promised (or should promise)
to keep us from falling, from being hurt, from suffering...
Or times when we think that the Father has promised
to keep those we love from falling, from being hurt, from suffering…

Of course, not even Jesus, God's only Son
was spared any of that.

But the Father knew every moment of Christ's pain and suffering
and when Jesus fell into into the arms of death
-- the Father allowed him to fall...

Most of us aren’t surprised that God allows those he loves to suffer
until we are the ones suffering.

But no one is a stranger to suffering -
even those we may think have been spared all suffering.
We never know the suffering hidden in the recesses
of another human heart, in every human heart.
God knows our every hurt and disappointment,
our every injury and pain, our every loss.

Even when we or someone we love
falls into the arms of death,
God’s mercy is the safety net
that assures us that God's watchful eye on our lives
is ever faithful and never in vain.

And of course there are countless times when the Lord calls on us
to be safety nets for one another,
to keep an eye on the well-being of others.

How many times in a day, in a week, in a year, in a lifetime,
how many times might you and I be the nets that rescue others
from loneliness, from poverty, from judgment, from hurt?

Just as the Father has his eye on the sparrow and on each of us,
so are we called to keep our eyes on one another:
on every one in our family
(yes even him whom you just thought of,
ever her who you find most difficult to deal with)
and all our neighbors,
in the parish, in the community
and far beyond our physical reach, those who suffer
all around the world.

Many if not all of us know the experience
of watching the suffering of someone we love
and knowing that we can’t make it all better,
that the best we can do
is to keep a watchful, prayerful eye on the one we love…

It’s a mystery to us why God allows suffering in the world,
and especially the suffering of the innocent and the poor
but though God allows such suffering,
he never takes his eye from us.

He never took his eye of his only Son, Jesus
and finally raised him up
from all suffering, all injury, all harm all hurt.

And that’s what he promises us as well.
Here at the altar Jesus draws us close to him,
under his watchful eye,
to nourish and nurture us,
with the strength and healing,
with the mercy and blessing,
with the grace and peace of the Eucharist.

To be worthy of such a gift,
God calls us to keep an eye on one another
as his eye is on the sparrow,
as his eye is on each of us.

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Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 6/25

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You know all my working parts, Lord,
you're familiar with each one:
you know all my moving parts,
you're the master of them all...

You know all my broken parts,
the tired, worn out pieces,
the parts of my life waiting
for retooling and repairing...

You know the parts I haven't nurtured,
the ones I haven't tended,
the parts in need of mending,
the ones that ache for healing...

You know the parts I just ignore,
and the ones I don't acknowledge,
the parts I won't embrace
but need to work on and accept...

You know the cheap parts I've installed,
poor replacements for the real,
not equal to the genuine
that only you can give...

You know the parts that work quite well
(the ones I often take for granted)
the parts you made for me alone,
for which I owe you all the praise...

You know all my working parts, Lord,
you're familiar with each one:
the hardware and the software
of what makes me who I am...

Tune the parts that make me
who you first made me to be
and restore, rebuild, replace the parts
in need of your repair...

Be merciful and gentle
when you touch my hidden parts:
the broken ones within my heart
and deep within my soul...

With my broken, rusty parts, Lord,
I always need your help:
your work on me is never done,
there's always more to do...

So with all the parts that make me
who I am and want to be,
make me patient with each one of them
as you, Lord, are with me...



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Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 6/24

Photo by Jen Shiller in SC

When the sun sets on this day, Lord,
when your glory paints the ocean silver blue,
when the clouds begin to wisp away before the darkness settles in,
when evening breezes stir and bend tall grass along the shore
     - what kind of day will I have left behind, Lord?

What words of mine will echo in the hearts of friends and foes?
What help will I have given, freely, to someone deep in need?
What smiles will I have shared
   with those who quietly weep for hope?'
What truth will I have spoken
    in healing, grace and mercy?
What peace will I have made
   in my family's broken circle?
What price will I have paid
   in keeping true to my beliefs?
What love will then be mine
   because I've walked this day with you?

When the sun sets on this day, Lord,
when your glory paints the ocean silver blue,
when the clouds begin to wisp away before the darkness settles in,
when evening breezes stir and bend tall grass along the shore
     - what kind of day will I have left behind, Lord,
           what kind of day?


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Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 6/23

Photo by CP

Approaching the bridge on my morning walk
you surprised me, Lord,
with a fragrance I hadn't noticed yesterday
or the day before...

For a moment I thought:
you saved this for today!

But the fragrance came from lilac trees
whose branches now for two days past
had given shade and shelter
to my pausing here and to my prayer,
to my encounter with your presence
in the waters rushing by...

I want to breathe you in, Lord,
until your scent, your breath,
become my own...

I'd heard you in the rapids' rush,
I'd seen you in the foamy flow,
now I've inhaled you:
the scent of sanctity, thick upon the air,
near the corner of 8th and Taos
in Georgetown, Colorado....


Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children,
and walk in love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering...
- Ephesians 5:2


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I'm visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Georgetown Colorado.
A morning walk takes me across a small bridge over these rapids,
runoff from winter's snow in higher elevations...
"Springs of water, bless the Lord!"  (Daniel 3:77)

Thank you, Lord, for rushing streams
alive, your Spirit's power
flowing free in whitecapped glee,
rolling, tumbling, spilling over
seeking deeper waters,
downstream, far away...

Thank you, Lord, for melting snow,
the last of winter's frost and freeze
vanishing in spring's warm thaw
and giving up the ghost, a holy end,
a gift for all who cross this bridge
and stop to say a prayer...

Thank you, Lord, for time to walk,
to pause and ponder all your gifts,
for time to talk with you
and bare my soul,
to listen for your voice in waters
running swift with grace and joy...



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Pause for Prayer: WEDNESDAY 6/21

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Here's a little easy listenin' music
for catchin' up with the Lord this summer...

Texting with God

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Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 6/20

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In my part of the world, school is out and kids are beginning their summer vacation. I remember childhood summers that seemed to have no horizon: a time and place as close to heaven as any young heart might ever dream.  A child’s summer joy comes, I'm sure, a gift from God: a taste of timelessness, a promise of perpetual play, a season of sun and unending  joy. Only God might offer such a gift! Oh, but where have those childhood summers gone? Have I lost my hope in summer's promise? If I don't believe in summer, how will I believe in heaven where summer's joy must surely never end, where summer's timeless stillness calms with peace all other seasons' grief?

Let’s pause and pray…

Come summer with me, Lord,

come summer deep down in my soul…   
Restore my faith in summer’s time, 
in rest, in joy, in play, in you...
Summer in my heart, Lord, 
and dwell there as if the summertime would never end, 
as if all time were a child’s time, 
eternal time, 
when school is always out and joy is ever in...

Come summer with me, Lord,
come summer deep down in my soul…  
In these long-awaited days, Lord, 
slow me down and give me time 
for nothing to do but to be with you 
and to know again that you're with me.   
Help me put the brakes 
to my merry-go-round-go-nowhere pace... 
Slow me down… 
Let any summer doldrums lull, calm and call me 
to a place of peace, of prayer, of meeting you again 
-- as if bumping into an old friend, 
on the streets of my vacation...

Come summer with me, Lord,
come summer deep down in my soul…  
Help me relax, Lord, 
and find a peaceful pace and place 
where I can meet you face to face.   
Remind me of the times you took your own rest, Lord: 
leaving the city and crowds behind, 
going out into the desert, up the mountain, 
across to the opposite shore and off by yourself 
- or away with just a few friends, 
to pray...

Come summer with me, Lord,

come summer deep down in my soul…   
Slow me down, Lord, 
and let the busyness that runs me 
and the work that runs me down 
settle to a pace and peace that lets me be, 
just be with you, 
in a quiet shade where my heart speaks to yours 
and yours to mine 
and I can hear your word. 

Come summer with me, Lord,
come summer deep down in my soul…      
Even if my summer time is crowded with work and things to do, 
even if vacation time is short or not at all in sight, 
even if responsibilities burden as the summer's heat - even then...  
Come summer with me, Lord, 
come summer deep down in my soul every day:
as the sun comes up at morning and disappears at night... 
As the stars shine bright by the moon light 
and soft rains fall upon me - 
come summer with me, Lord, 
come summer deep down in my soul...

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Monday Morning Offering: 6/19

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

I offer you my praise and thanks, Lord:
for the universe and all it holds;
for the planets - for Earth, my home in your vast world;
for the continent on which I live and the nation I call home;
for this Bay State where I was born, and for those who gave me life;
for the Church of Boston which I serve and my parish which I love;
for my friends who keep me going and the gift of faith within my heart
where my mind and soul and life and loves are met 
and all made one
in you... 

From the impenetrable reaches of the universe,
to the depths of my heart your grace courses 
through my veins and through my nights and days 
giving life to who I am and all I do:
and for this I give you thanks and praise...

All I have, all I am and all I hope to be 
is pure gift: 
shaped by your hand, crafted in your wisdom
and offered for the taking...

My thoughts come and go but not one passes
without your knowing it...

My most secret desires are deeply hidden, yet every one of them
is laid bare in the light of your eyes...

No pain, no hurt has ever touched my heart without touching, too,
your heart's love for me...

No burden has ever weighed upon my shoulders
that you've not reached to lift and help me carry...

No grief has ever pierced my soul 
without your gentle hand reaching 
to dress and close a wound I feared might never heal... 

I offer you my thanks and praise, 
Lord of the universe, my God,
for you bend low and tend to me
as a mother nurses the child in her arms,
as a father fends for his family,
as the lover gives ear to the needs of the beloved...

I offer you my thanks that your love and grace
have brought me safe thus far:
through times and troubles I thought I'd not survive,
through difficulties I thought would never be resolved,
through pain I thought I could not long endure, but did...

I praise you for the times when, with your help,
I've done what I thought I couldn't do,
when I've survived what I thought to be
impassible and impossible...

Only by your grace, Lord, am I here today, 
in the place where I am,
trusting that this day's problems, too, 
are on your mind, in your heart and in your care... 

I praise you for this mystery, Lord:
that you, eternal God, 
have time and love to spare and care for me,
to share in my heart's struggles
as if they were your own...

Make me mindful, Lord, of others 
whose paths cross mine today:
if you have time for each then certainly I have time
to care for those whose needs, like mine, 
rest in your heart and hands... 

Receive my morning offering, Lord,
God of the universe:
hear my prayer today, tonight
and through all the week ahead...



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