Monday, December 31, 2007

Have a Great 2 0 0 8

Prayer for a Blessing on the Gift of a New Year~ who knows what it may hold...
Let us Pray
O sacred and adorable Trinity, hear our prayers on behalf of our holy Father the Pope, our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, we beseech You, during the coming year, the whole Catholic Church; convert heretics and unbelievers; soften the hearts of sinners so that they may return to your friendship; give prosperity to our country and peace among the nations of the world; pour down your blessings upon our friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and upon our enemies, if we have any; assist the poor and the sick; have pity on the souls of those whom this year has taken from us; and be merciful to those who during the coming year will be summoned before your judgment seat. May all our actions be preceded by your inspirations and carried on by your assistance, so that all our prayers and works, having been begun in you, may likewise be ended in You. Amen.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Prayer

Lord, in this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance. Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Being the Manger

A manger must be ready and willing to receive and to accept. It gets no choice as to what is being placed in it. I need to let go of self will, plans and opinions if I want to be empty. A filled manger is not helpful and gets by-passed. True, it’s hard to wait in emptiness for Jesus to come. The paradox is that a filled manger may be useless but when I’m empty I feel useless. I have to be comfortable or at least peaceful being empty of myself. If I fill my manger with things or people that don’t belong there I’ll still be empty…wanting. So I can’t get past it. In emptiness is my fulfillment.

When I give up my things and opinions my wants and plans I have to stay soft. Can’t get crusty! I’ll need to smile, to welcome, and to forgive others. My eyes still need to tear and my heart needs to melt at the sight of others’ pain. Forgetting myself cannot make me cold. I have to practice tenderness in dealing with others – seeing each one as God’s special child and welcoming them into my day. I need to figuratively stop looking in mirrors. It’s all about meekness, 1Cor 13-ness and simplicity.

How much do I want Jesus to stay in my manger?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Be the Manger

A manger must be available, receptive, empty, waiting, and patient. Most of all a manger fulfills its tasks in humility, going unnoticed.

To become the manger I need to transform. I need to change what I look and act like, giving up part of myself to receive Jesus. It may hurt to let go or lose what I’m holding on to. I’ll need some extra help and grace.

The important part about being the manger that receives Jesus is that it be empty. A filled manger is useless.

A manger for a newborn should be clean, free of any kind of sinfulness.

It’s important too that the manger be soft and warm so Jesus can rest comfortably there. No hardness of heart or mind can offer that.

A manger needs to be stable and balanced so as to contain the Lord safely. It must be steadfast and never allow harm to come to Jesus or to anyone who represents Him.

Lastly it needs to be filled with softness and warmth, which are our acts of self-denial and good deeds. Fill your manger every day if you can with an act of selflessness or generosity to others.

When Christmas Eve comes make of yourself an invitation to God: “Come, dwell here!” Then wait. He will surely come.