The American Declaration of Independence says we have an “unalienable right” to the pursuit of happiness. God created us to be happy and joyful “in this world and the next,” and Jesus says the same several times in John 14- 17. The only difference between the two is that any happiness that is demanded from life never becomes happiness because it is too narcissistically and self-consciously pursued. The “joy the world cannot give” (John 14:27) always comes as a gift to those who wait for it, expect it and make room for it inside themselves. The first is self-assertion, the second is self-surrender. The first is taking; the second is receiving. The two entirely different human dynamics. You do not catch a butterfly by chasing it. You sit still and it alights on your shoulder. Then is chooses you. That is true happiness.
— Richard Rohr from Preparing for Christmas
Giving and Receiving
This prayer is based on the scriptural imperative to give of what we have received. Our gifts are recalled and named so we can see our abundance. We then respond with our willingness to share this abundance with others … Continue reading “Advent Day 27: The Gift of Christmas …”
I am making the whole of creation new. . . . It will come true. . . . It is already done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
— Revelation 21:5-6
Is this Jesus of Nazareth speaking here or Someone Else? Whoever it is, is offering an optimistic arc to all of history, and it is not just the humble Galilean carpenter. This is much more than a mere “religious message”; it is also a historical and cosmic one. It declares a definite trajectory where there is coherence between the beginning and the ending of all things. It offers humanity hope and vision. History now appears to have a direction and a purpose; it is not just a series of isolated events!
— Richard Rohr adapted from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Original Post: Daily Meditations) Continue reading “Advent Day 24: Alpha and Omega …”
God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us. Continue reading “Advent Day 09: A Star To Guide Us …”
Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
— Edward Hays from A Pilgrim’s Almanac
Continue reading “Seeking the Light: Advent Prayers …”
Awaken, you buried seeds
asleep in your earthen tombs!
Rise up with joy to break forth
the hard coffins of your shells!
Your Eastertime has come;
the song of the dove
is heard over the softening land.
Winter has hidden,
and Spring now dances on your graves
to waken the dead.
Awaken, seeds of holiness
buried deep within me.
Rise up to fulfill your destiny
whose time has come.
For sanctity is scribbled
bold within my blood and brain.
Onward and beyond
have I been called
even before I felt the sun
or knew the earth around me.
May spring enchant the saint,
shy and hesitant within me,
and set the rhythm for my sluggish feet
in a dance of holy yearning.
— Fr. Edward Hays from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim: A Personal Manual for Prayer and Ritual
O Come O Come Emmanuel
I pray with upraised eyes.
Drop down, O Dew of Heaven,
that God might walk and talk on earth
might heal and feed our sin-soaked world.
O Come O Come Emmanuel
my prayers like searchlights
comb the starry winter skies.
Descend from the black hole of some neighboring galaxy
to green with your grace
our barren earth.
Such an Advent waiting prayer
can be a lifelong profession of patient longing
unless I know, with all my heart
that Emmanuel not only comes down
but also comes forth and emerges.
O Come O Come Emmanuel
come forth from deep within me
with Christmas luminous beauty.
For my heart has become the sacred crib,
the birthing place of God-among us.
Peace on earth and justice for all
will only become manifest in our lives
when enough of your sons and daughters
awaken to your divine design
that has made each of us
an emerging Emmanuel.
— Edward Hays from Prayers for a Plantetary Pilgrim: A Personal Manual for Prayer and Ritual