Mon, 22 February 2021
O disciple of John
and shepherd who drank deeply
of the cup of Christ’s suffering,
you who bore both
the burden of a long life
and the pain of a violent death
yet remained faithful
till the end –
pray that the fire into which we are cast
we may also endure
as the sacrifice of Jesus
and so find it fruitful,
and so find it blessed…
and so rejoice in the witness
we are granted to give
in the name of our Savior.
May the offering of our lives
join with your own and all the saints’
in rising as holy incense
to the throne of God
and serve as witness,
to the eyes that behold us,
of the Lord’s great power and love.
Mon, 22 February 2021
(Is.55:10-11; Ps.34:4-7,16-19; Mt.6:7-15)
“Give us today our daily bread.”
Our daily bread comes from the mouth of God; it is His Word that nourishes us. His Word “water[s] the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats.” By His Word our spiritual lives are anointed with holiness; the breath of His mouth makes us whole, and so we become fruitful in His Name.
Yes, we are sharers in His Word; it is His Word the just speak in their time of need. “Crushed in spirit” before Him like holy seed, their cry comes to His ears and the rain He sends upon them saves them from all sin, “deliver[s] [them] from all fears.” Jesus, the Word made flesh, is true, and His words are true: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him”; and so the Father is quick to hear when we enter into His Word and call upon His Name in all humility. It is this humility which makes us fertile earth, this trust in His will that lifts our faces toward His light, that we “may not blush with shame.” “Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy,” O sinner. “Glorify the Lord” and “extol His name,” for with you He shares His Spirit; in you He plants the Word that grows to eternal life.
Father in heaven, you alone are holy, and your Name is life to us. Let “your kingdom come,” let “your will be done,” for apart from you we wither and die. Make our earth your heaven; bring to us all the blessings you know we need to live ever in your light. Feed us with your bread, feed us with your Word – your Son is all the food we need. And for all “the wrong we have done,” as He has taught us, let us find our forgiveness by releasing from all bondage those who have done wrong to us, by loving our enemies. In the end we pray, O Lord, that temptation be taken from our path; though we treasure your chastising Hand, let us not falter anymore – “deliver us from the evil one” who lurks in this world seeking the ruin of our souls.
O Lord, our lives are in your hands. Our hearts are given life by you. In our prayer let us not imitate the vain words of the pagans, but let us join in the Spirit with your Son and become one in the Word with you. (Help me to remember your Name.)
(I witness here that however many times I speak the Lord’s Prayer, as however many times I attend Holy Mass, by the grace that comes through the Spirit, it is ever new and alive with the blessings that come from above. These words are a gift to us we must cherish in our souls.)
O LORD, may the grace of your forgiveness
flow upon us and through us
and so bear the fruit of salvation.
YHWH, your Word be upon us to bless us and nourish us this day that our words might be fruitful as your own. With your Son and by the words He has instructed us to pray, let us come to you and find your presence upon us, saving us from sin and leading us to your kingdom. From the grasp of the evil one let us be released as we call upon your Name.
How shall we be fed this day, O LORD, if not by your hand, if not by the Spirit you send forth from your holy throne? From on high you shower down upon us cleansing rain that we might be made whole and fruitful in your sight, that we might be as your Son on this earth, bringing your kingdom to bear on this plane. O let us be as your sons and daughters, shining your light in this dark place!
Hear us as we call to you, LORD. Deliver us from all distress and affliction. Let our poor souls be blessed by you that we might ever praise your holy Name. O Father in Heaven, let us be with you this day.