“It is in this darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or comfort our own minds, when we seem to be useless and worthy of all contempt, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close to us for us to identify is stripped away fro our souls. It is in this darkness that we find liberty. It is in this abandonment that we are made strong. This is the night which empties us and makes us pure.”
“For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.” 1 Pt. 3:18
This weekend our nation celebrates Memorial Day reflecting on sacrifice, freedom, and peace. Here is a prayer for Memorial Day from the Center of Concern (https://www.coc.org/).
On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls
of all those soldiers who died in war.
We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mothers, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.
To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world
So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.
We ask Mary, who held the lifeless body of her son
And was pierced by the sorrow of his suffering and death,
To grant us the compassion and wisdom to affirm life
And honor the dead through forgiveness and peace making.
May God have mercy on the souls of the departed.
Grant them peace, O Lord.
May we have mercy on the living.
Grant us peace, O Lord.
In Your name we pray.
As we deepen our commitment to work for peace may we remember that peace is a gift of God given through the sacrifice of His Son who was put to death in the flesh but brought to life in the Spirit.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
You are in on the deal, and yes, the really big deal. You are all a very small part of a very Big Thing!
Christ shows us the way to life, and those who embark on this way are like a fountain of living water bubbling forth from the earth, which steadily moves in all directions in spite of the obstacles blocking it. One who follows Christ’s way can just as little ask what he must positively do as the spring of water flowing from the earth can ask such a question. It flows, refreshing the soil, the earth, the trees, the birds, the animals, and people. The same is true for the one who genuinely believes in Christ.
It is good to write each day and if necessary oblige myself to do so. It is my handwork, as someone else pounds dough and makes bread. It is the means of a fundamental independence.
Br. Roger of Taize
“Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men refuse it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not. A young man should weigh well his plans. Integrity should be preserved in all events, as essential to his happiness, through every stage of his existence. His first maxim then should be to place his honor out of reach of all men. In order to do this he must make it a rule never to become dependent on public employments for subsistence. Let him have a trade, a profession, a farm, a shop, something where he can honestly live, and then he may engage in public affairs, if invited, upon independent principles. My advice to my children is to maintain an independent character.”
“Here [in the spiritual realm] birth is not the result of intervention from outside, as happens with bodily creatures who reproduce in an external way. Spiritual birth is the result of free choice and we are thus, in a sense, our own parents, creating ourselves as we want to be, freely fashioning ourselves according to the pattern of our choice.”
Gregory of Nyssa
On my arrival in the United States it was the religious aspect of the country that first struck my eye. As I prolonged my stay, I perceived the great political consequences that flowed from these new facts. Among us, I had seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom almost always move in contrary directions. Here I found them united intimately with one another: they reigned together on the same soil.
Alexis de Tocqueville quoted in Noll, American God p. 6