Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Oh God, creator and giver of all my appetites and desires, forgive me when I try to satisfy my hunger for You with anything but You.

Forgive my exaltation of the desires of body and mind to idolatrous levels demanding obscene piles of foods for both. Forgive me the full-focused, obsessive pilgrimage for exactly the right vinegar or coffee or CD or , and the picayune critique of the vintage waters, and the need to have things "just so."  Forgive me the trained inability to wait, even for a moment, for what I want - what I have convinced myself I deserve. Forgive me for entertaining myself into mindless oblivion. Forgive the relentless quest for the new, the best, the latest, the revolutionary - when what I have, works well.

Oh God, help me to recognize my flat-lined existence as a cry for deep life which will only be found in life's grand adventure with You. Help me to find as much pleasure in your provision of bread and water as in your provision of much more. Teach me the ways of waiting. Enable the discipline of hungers and desires so that they serve rather than rule. Lead me to simple, sparse joys. Let me enter joyously and fully into the feasts that celebrate community, and into the fasts that create separation. Guide my paths into places of satisfaction in You - and You alone. O Lord, Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God. I am a sinner. Please, have mercy on me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


O God, Who is all that I will ever need, forgive me for living as if that were not so.

Forgive me for the covetousness which simply wants what someone else has. Forgive me for the greed which wants more of it than anyone else has. Forgive me for the avarice which, having it all, still wants more - permanently unsatisfied. Forgive me for the selfishness at the root of them all. How empty a universe filled with nothing but me. Forgive me the grasping grip of anxious hunger, seeking satisfaction in what is not You. Forgive me for the craziness that leads me to believe that having more will make me happy - and that more yet will make me happier still. How deadly is such algebra. Forgive me for such surrender to the spirit of this age.

O Lord, please loosen the grip of my icy heart on what is not mine so that I can live generously, freely, not defined or limited by what I cling to. Show me the freedom of owning nothing and enjoying everything - and especially the everything that is at hand. Help me learn that You are my source, You are my life, You are my all in all, You are my sufficiency, You are my adequacy, You are more than enough. Teach me how much is enough. Let me be content with that. Enable me to be courageously, fearlessly generous - open hand and open heart. O Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God. Have mercy on me, a sinner.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


O Lord God Almighty, who lives at once completely still and completely involved, help me in my default to laziness justified as rest.
Forgive me the slack eyed non-response to something that should stir me to action, but barely elicits a yawn before the remote control switches to something more entertaining and less demanding. Forgive me for the passive acceptance without thought of somebody else's ideas and for the systematic way I avoid having to think deeply about anything. Forgive me the complacency with which I refuse to take responsibility, preferring instead to complain and talk about what someone else ought to do. Forgive me for letting love die when it demands action in order to live. Forgive me for not caring enough to mourn its death. Forgive me the dainty, shallow mediocrity of my following of Jesus, content to float along on the stream of some one else's spiritual passion - or not.

O God, help me be a participant in my own life, and not just a passive observer - a watcher of the passing scene. Help me to choose rest and learn to do nothing well as an act of faith and trust, rather than to default to the doing of nothing because nothing is worth the effort. Help me fall so deeply and passionately in love with You that I would do anything for the love of You. Help me to care about those things that you care about and to care as deeply as do You. O Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Heading towards the third Sunday in Lent - Holy Spirit accompanied stopping to consider the ways of self-sabotage. This week... envy.

Envy is the Black Hole of the temptations because while most of the other temptations are twists on virtues, envy is completely against all virtues and will not be satisfied until I have everything and no one else has anything. It leads to death by dissatisfaction.
I find myself so often captivated by what someone else has, or the position someone else occupies, or the skills and gifts You have given to someone else that I fail to celebrate what I have, or the place and the skills and gifts You have given me. And worse, I resent who they are and wish for what they had that made them who they are. And worse, I sometimes descend so far into the deep pit of anger that they have it and I don’t, that the acid at the bottom of that pit soaks into my soul with a desire that they not have what they have – that they lose the wonder of who they are. I rejoice, secretly of course, at their stumbles – covering up with pious words for public consumption.

O Lord, forgive me the painful comparisons, which I shall never win. Help me celebrate all you have given me. Forgive me the shameful malice with which I glare, evil eyed, at those who have what I think I want. Help me rejoice in their good fortune, coming to the truth that grace is of such a kind that its being poured out on others does not shrink its capacity for me. Forgive me the dejection I experience when passed over in favor of an another. Help me learn to truly rejoice at their good fortune, and congratulate without hypocrisy. Forgive me the resentment that bubbles up as I watch You bless others with things I wish You had blessed me with. Help me trust you fully to provide all that I need for the work and life You have given me. O Lord, Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God, and I am a sinner. Have mercy on me.