Saturday, March 20, 2004

Prayer for Perseverance

Forgive us, Lord,
for all the times
we've compromised your truth
and hidden the light you gave us
so we wouldn't look strange,
or so we could fit in,
or accomplish some goal
we thought was worth more than your love.

Forgive us Lord,
for letting others drape you
in ways that hide the truth of your deity
the reality of your atoning death,
the truth of who you are
without screaming at the sacrilege
done in the name of science,
or history or philosophy.

Forgive us Lord,
when we stand in public forums
and pretend our faith is something
for behind closed doors,
and don't shine your truth brightly
into the marketplace,
where we should proclaim always,
"Jesus Christ is Lord!"

Forgive us Lord
when we forget your saints
who would have rather died
than let anybody assume
they were anything besides
dedicated Christians.

O Lord,
in this age where it has become fashionable
to attack believers
as bigots,
fill us with your strength,
remind us that there is no compromise with the darkness,
help us always to fulfil the meaning of martyr
by being living witnesses of who you are,
and how you transform those
who come to you.

Give us the fortitude
to always choose you
when the way seems hard,
to encourage our brothers,
to know the faith you have given us
is worth the cost
of holding on to the end.


Susan Stone, 2004

Friday, March 19, 2004

Prayer for an Era of Terrorist Attacks

When the madness of the moment strikes,
when the darkness sucks us in,
and tells us that to kill is good,
whether it is in your name,
the name of some cause,
the name of self-righteousness,
the name of "I want"
the name of "I don't want you to have,"
You who are our peace,
you who are light itself,
you who are truth,
save us!

When brother rises up against brother
and calls him enemy,
forgive us, O Lord,
and teach us to love.

When others urge us to shed the blood of innocents,
because they are all guilty
of not thinking as we think,
look as we look,
talk as we talk,
believe as we believe,
heal us, O Lord,
before the dark cloud touches our hearts,
protect us against the wiles of the enemy,
and teach us to love.

O Lord,
you who were willing to give your blood,
blow by blow,
lash by lash,
nail by nail,
drop by drop,
until in agony and sorrow,
you cried out,
"Forgive them, Father,"
help us O Lord
to stand against the ways of darkness,
that shed innocent blood
in fire and shock and anger and pain,
and bring us all down into the depths of the pit.

Forgive us for not loving better.
Teach us to love like you did,
even in the face of hate,
show us all the way to your light.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Prayer to St. Joseph on His Feastday

Saint Joseph,
gentle protector of our Lady,
guardian and teacher of Jesus in his youth,
patron of fathers everywhere,
guardian of families,
helper of all those who work,
thank you for being who you are,
and oh so patient.

Saint Joseph,
how often we take you for granted,
and you sit there, in the shadows,
doing the work
that God has asked you to do,
with the skilled hands of a patient craftsman.

On this day,
your feastday,
when all the church honors you
for who you are,
and what you have done,
let me say thank you
for being willing to answer the call of God,
for loving and caring for our Lady,
for loving and caring for our Lord,
for loving and caring for us, your foster children.

On this day we honor you,
kiss your son for us,
and tell him how much we love him,
and how much we are grateful
that he is willing to share you with us!


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Thoughts on Gethsemani

Dear Lord,
at this time when
everything feels so empty, sad, useless,
and my mind, lying,
tells me I am alone,
and the darkness tugs at my heart
like a hungry child who
aches for my attention
and won't take no for an answer,
I offer up my weakness to you,
and know
that I walk through the garden of olives
with you,
on that dark and endless night
while you waited.

O Lord,
so long I have wondered about that dark night,
where one by one,
your friends slept,
and could not share the waiting with you.

Thank you for sharing some of
the depths of sorrow,

O Lord,
be thou my strength,
my wisdom,
my patience,
my light
my love,
and as your darkness ended with the glory of your
bring me home to you at last.


Susan E. Stone, 2oo4

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Morning Prayer

Let me go through this day
that this is is the day
you gave me
to spread your light to everyone I touch.

Help me especially
to touch those lives
of those who are near to me,
of those I deal with who might irritate me,
but on whose lives I have strong impact.

When I want to snub, or ignore, or leave,
help me see with your eyes -
a child of God,
a person you came to save,
a person that if I love you,
I should also love.

O Lord,
help me this day to do those things I need to do.
Remind me to offer up those tasks
I would rather escape from.

Most of all,
help me to do what you would have me to do,
in your way,
and in your time.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Morning Prayer

Today, Lord,
I wish to be firmly in the palm of your hands,
the place where you are my strength,
my fortitude,
my courage,
my hope,
my love.

Hide me deeply in your heart, O Lord,
so I can love with your love,
see with your insight,
reach out with your compassion.

I am weak, foolish, prone to anger.
Be thou my strength, wisdom and patience,
This day and forever,

Susan E. Stone, 2004

Monday, March 15, 2004

Prayer for the day

O Lord,
I am so weak,
so many things at hand to do,
so many conflicts in my heart,
anger I didn't even know was there,
sorrow unresolved,
longings unfulfilled.

I am in your hands, Lord.
I give it all to you.
Let this be the day
that you are my strength,
that you are my joy
that you are my peace.

If I stumble,
I know you will be there
to lift me up.
If I weep,
you will be there to dry my eyes.

If another comes
needing my aid,
you will be there
to give me the strength to reach out.

Boldly I ask,
my beloved Master,
to have always the strength
to say yes
whatever you ask.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

My Cup Overflows

you who gave up all for love,
fill me with the eager need
to spread that love
wherever I am.

Some might see it as stumbling blocks
and others might call it folly,
this wonderful act of love you did,
but for me,
it makes each moment burn
with the fact that
God loves me,
loves me enough
to join me in my joy and sorrow,
smiles and suffering,
holds my hand on the delectable mountains,
suffers with me as I walk through the valley of the shadow.

Lord, my cup overflows.
May I pass it on to all whose lives touch mine.
May those who think you are irrelevant
to the ebb and flow of their lives
see how you are with me,
and ask what secret source
fills me to the brim.

May I always be ready to share!

Susan E. Stone, 2004

Sunday, March 14, 2004

This in the Name of Love

O my Lord,
what is man,
that you are mindful of him,
what is man,
that you would join him,
walk the earth along side of him,
taste the dust,
feel the heat,
experience the cold,
know the fatigue,
and this in the name of love?

O my Lord,
what is man,
that you are mindful of him
that you would learn
to earn your bread
by work of your hands,
how it feels to grieve
at the loss of a parent,
to see the sorrow and fear
in the eyes of those who love you,
and to do this in the name of love?

O my Lord,
what is man,
that you would see his evil first hand,
feel the bite of it across your back,
know the pain of the torturer's art,
feel the blood flowing out of your body,
the bite of iron
tieing you to wood,
the breath that comes in ragged gulps,
harder and harder,
the indignity of a public death,
the death of a slave
or traitor,
and all this in the name of love?

O my Lord,
what is man,
that you would take upon your shoulders
all the sins
of an old and wicked race,
all the hate and greed and lust,
all the crime and anger and pride,
become so corrupt
for things you have not done,
that the weight of it
is incomprehensible,
and atone for it in your own blood,
and know so many
would walk away from you,
unmoved by what you would do
in the name of love?

In the folly of God's love
for a wayward mankind,
I am redeemed,
and bow down in grateful adoration.

Susan E. Stone, 2004

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