Comfort of the sad

A prayer requiring us to be part of the answer.

Comfort me

Almighty and everlasting God, the comfort of the sad, and strength of them that suffer; Let the prayers of Thy children who cry out of any tribulation come unto Thee, and unto every soul that is distressed grant Thou mercy, relief, and refreshment; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gelasian Sacramentary (8th century, CE) in Albert E. Campion, Ed., Prayers For Christian Healing (New York: Morehouse-Gorham Co., 1958) p. 26 [Out of print]

As we continue to grieve and suffer with those who hurt or harmed by violence in so many parts of the world: let us turn to God who is “comfort of the sad, and strength of them that suffer.” Beyond prayer, let us listen for the Spirit’s guidance in order to be the “mercy, relief, and refreshment” of God in Jesus Christ. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.


A prayer in the aftermath of terror

In the aftermath of evil: a prayer of confidence in God

A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester.

To Bend Light is a Blog of “Jewish Prayers from the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy.” Let his prayer “For Manchester and England” touch your heart and inform your own prayers this day. ~Fr. Dan


Begin quote

For Manchester and England
Author of life,
Grant peace and consolation
To the victims and the injured
After the attack in Manchester,
Where youths, teens and their parents were murdered
In an act of calculated terror.

Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of this attack,
Whose lives were cut off
In an act of witless aggression.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

Remember the survivors of this horror.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and courage.
May their healing —
And the healing of this nation —
Continue with devotion and courage.

We also remember the victims
And survivors of the 7/7 and Westminster attacks,
Praying for their souls and their healing.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger and hatred,
Bigotry and fear.
Let terrorists put down their weapons
To discover a new path.
May the victims of all violence
Find hope and renewal.
Lead us to a time when no one
Suffers or dies at the hand of another.

,עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ
וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְעַל כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן

Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu,
V’al kol Yisraeil, v’al kol yosh’vei teivel, V’imru, Amen.

May the One who creates harmony above, make peace for us,
For all Israel, and all who dwell on earth. And say: Amen.

Visit TO BEND LIGHT and find more prayers in the Jewish Tradition by Alden Solovy.

See also: To Bend Light on Facebook

Image: Reuters—A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Sneeze into your arm

Help those around you stay healthy.

Man sneezing into arm

This first appeared in 9 Healthy Habits You Can Do in 1 Minute (Or Less) from LiveScience on July 5, 2013.

Begin quote

When you don’t have a tissue handy to cover your mouth and nose, your best bet is to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, or upper arm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The point is to avoid using your hands, which may not be that clean, and can also easily spread germs around. Covering up also prevents germ-laden droplets from getting launched into the air, where they can land on frequently touched surfaces and infect others.

This simple technique is not only good advice for adults and kids to remember during cold and flu season, but it’s also a smart health move any time — when allergies strike, or a bug is going around.

Save us from admiration

Admiration is not enough.

Follow along

O Lord Jesus Christ … save us from the error of wishing to admire you instead of being willing to follow you and resemble you.

Søren Kierkegaard, (1813-1866) in Horton Davies, Ed., The Communion of Saints: Prayers of the Famous (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company., 1990) p. 33

It is a momentous step to move beyond admiration to action. Let us walk with and resemble Jesus today. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.


Be strengthened to walk with the Risen Christ

A blessing for you in the Easter Season.

The butterfly: symbol of the resurrection.

God the Father,
by whose glory
Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him
in his risen life, and
the blessing of God almighty,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you for ever. Amen.

A Prayer Book for New Zealand, p. 538

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Watercolor by Elanie Moore and used as the cover art for the Easter Season Worship Booklet at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church in Idyllwild, CA.

O wonder of wonders!

A prayer flowing with joyful ecstasy.

Splash on water

O wonder of wonders! when I think of the union of my soul with you, O God! You make my soul flow out of herself in joyful ecstasy, for nothing but you can content her. A spring of divine love surges over my soul, sweeping her out of herself into you, O God, her original source.

Meister Eckhart in Michael Counsell,  2000 Years of Prayer, Church Publishing Inc., Kindle Edition.


Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.


Come Lord! Do not smile …

A prayer to make us uncomfortable enough to make a difference.

A Lion in the heavens

Come Lord! Do not smile and say you are already with us.
Millions do not know you and to us who do, what is the difference?
What is the point of your presence if our lives do not alter?
Change our lives, shatter our complacency.
Make your word flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood and our life’s purpose.
Take away the quietness of a clear conscience.
Press us uncomfortably.
For only thus that other peace is made, your peace.

Dom Helder Camara in Carrie Leadingham, Joann E. Moschella, Hilary M. Vartanian, Peace prayers: Meditations, affirmations, invocations, poems, and prayers for peace, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrnaciso, 1992), pp. 80-81

Even in the Easter Season we are reminded that we are a work in progress. Christ, the Risen Christ, calls us to new life in a variety of ways. And, our new life, is meant to be transformative in many dimensions. Let us not be complacent. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.