A “Franciscan Blessing”

 

A Palm Sunday Watercolor

May God bless you
with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you
with anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people
and all creation
so that you may work for justice, freedom, healing and peace.

May God bless you
with tears to shed for those who suffer pain,
rejection, hunger, and war,
so that you may reach out your hands
to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

May God bless you
with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
and do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

The Sundays in Lent are not counted in the 40 days of Lent. On the Sundays in Lent we will share words of blessing. As Holy Week begins on the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday, I offer this “Franciscan Blessing.”

I do not know the original source of the Franciscan Blessing. I have seen this blessing in several different (almost-the-same) forms. As one Franciscan author puts it: “I do not know the origin of this ‘Franciscan’ blessing but, … it is a good counterbalance to the cosy ‘Francis of the birdbath’ spirituality!”

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

Image: Watercolor by Elanie Moore for St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church in Idyllwild, CA

The work and joy of creation

Let us share in God’s ongoing work of creation.

the joy of creating

God who wrestled with chaos to create matter, and overcame death to bring us to eternal life, give to writers, musicians, and artists a share in the work and joy of creation, that, like you, they may draw forth beauty out of nothingness, and reveal to us some glimpses of your eternity, where you are enthroned, Life-giver, Pain-bearer, Love-maker, alive for ever and ever. Amen.

A prayer by Michael Counsell (1935- ) in his book 2000 Years of Prayer, p. 564

The “work and joy of creation” continues in every moment. All of us—not just those who are called writers, musicians, and artists—all of us, are invited to join God in the work and joy of creation. Today, let the creative work and the joy of God flow through you. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: GraphicStock.com

Reaching out in love

The Way of Love has a wide embrace.

The cross in perspective

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, 101

This prayer for mission from the Office of Morning Prayer beautifully proclaims a truth we (as Christ-followers in the Anglican tradition) hold dear: Christ did stretch out his arms of love on the hard wood of the cross so that the whole world might know the embrace of God’s love. We boldly ask God for the same Spirit, the same grace. May it be so. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning

Image: ChurchArt.com

A heart overflowing with compassion

An angel to minister in a time of great need.

Archangel Raphael

Loving God, your heart overflows with compassion for your whole creation. Pour out your Spirit on all persons living with illness for which we have no cure, as well as their families and loved ones. Help them to know that you claim them as your own, deliver them from fear and pain, and send your archangel Raphael to minister to their needs; for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

A Prayer “For People with Diseases for Which There is No Cure” in  Enriching Our Worship 2, p. 65

Even when there is no cure there can be peace as one falls into the presence and peace of a loving and compassionate God. And, there is the hope that from this heart overflowing with compassion an angel will be sent at just the right time to dispel fear and pain in the time of great need. Perhaps you will be that angel sent by God. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: Archangel Attunements

Where there is darkness, light

May we be what we pray

Burning candles dispelling darkness

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is
in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis in The Book of Common Prayer, p. 833

As the Lenten Journey continues, Jesus comes closer and closer to his death. Yet along the way he continues to share peace, love, and pardon. He shows the Way to faith, hope, light and joy. And, finally, the Way passes through death to life. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning

Image: GraphicStock.com

God did not call us to succeed

May our faithfulness and love inspire hope.

Acorns

God did not call us to succeed,
God called us to serve.

God did not call us to win,
God called us to work.

God did not call us to live long,
God called us to live for Him.

God did not call us to be happy,
God called us to be hopeful.

God did not call us to fame,
God called us to faith.

God did not call us to seek power,
God called us to seek peace.

God did not call us to loot the earth and each other,
God called us to love our earth and each other.

O God take our tiny acorns of service and
turn them into towering oak trees of hope.

A prayer of Marian Wright Edelman in  Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995

The opening lines of this prayer by Marian Wright Edelman help to calm and center me when I’m caught up in believing that I must succeed. I find great hope in using this prayer when feeling overwhelmed or insignificant. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: ChurchArt Online

A Blessing: Today, a very good day

The one day that is given to you: today. Respond with gratefulness.

The Sundays in Lent are not counted in the 40 days of Lent. On the Sundays in Lent we share words of blessing. Be blessed ~Fr. Dan

Gratitude is today’s blessing:

A Moving Art original short. This inspirational video was well responded at TED conferences and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg motivates those around him as happiness is revealed. Spoken word and music montage created and composed by Gary Malkin. Narration written and spoken by Brother David Steindl-Rast. ~YouTube Description

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