Friday, April 09, 2004

Eternal Father,
I offer you the body and blood,
soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
In atonement for our sins,
and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion,
have mercy on us, and on the whole world.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet Prayers


Dear Jesus,
You are the Father's mercy
manifest in the flesh.
You call us,
each and every one,
one by one,
to come and receive the mercy you offer.

You waited in the garden,
took on our iniquities,
became our sin,
the scapegoat destined to be torn,
the sacrificial lamb
destined to bleed
a holocaust
offered in love.

You let your precious flesh
recieve the stripes of lash,
each blow
a gift to us,
an invitation to love.

You let them mock you,
with each taunt, each cut, each hurt,
you accepted all the mockery
we offer up to the father,
and turned it into an opportunity
to cure our hearts.

You let them give you a cross to carry,
you accepted the death of a slave
in pain and sorrow and blood,
your gift to us,
dying the death that would buy us life,
taking what we deserve
and turning it an invitation
to life and love.

You show us what the Father wants:
for us to love mercy
and walk humbly with our God.

May we always here your call,
and not shut our hearts.
May we learn to follow your example,
May we always find refuge
in your heart,
big enough to shelter the whole world.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

O Mother Mary,
as Pilate tried your son,
were you in the courtyard
to hear those hateful voices
tear at your heart -
Kill Him!
Crucify Him!

This was your child
they were focusing all their hate on,
your child,
the child of promise
who you had watched grow,
saw bloom into the gift of God
to an undeserving mankind,
the healer,
the teacher,
the sign to be contradicted.

O Mother Mary,
did you see what they had done to him
as they led him out,
beaten and bloody,
crowned with a mockery of a crown,
almost unrecognisable
from the blood and from the bruising.
This was your child,
the child angels announced,
the child who loved his Father so much
he tarried behind at the temple
and almost broke your heart in fear,
the child who healed the wounded
now wounded in so many ways.

O Mother Mary,
did you at that moment pray,
like your son had, the night before,
"O my God, not my will, but yours?"

Susan E. Stone, 2004


Thursday, April 08, 2004

O my Jesus,
today as we prepare to enter
into the sacred mysteries,
the anniversary
of your offering yourself up
so that we may live,
touch our hearts
with the spirit of your love,
love that would give up everything
to fulfill the will of the Father,
love that would give up everything
for his fellow man.

Help us to be also willing to take up our crosses,
to go as you want us to go,
to be living witnesses of the Father's love,
to share your love with all whose lives we touch,
to be constant in the face of ridicule,
or misunderstanding,
or persecution,
to act out not from anger, but from love,
to reach out whenever you present us the occasion,
to be glad we follow you,
even when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
for in doing so,
we follow you,
who walked that walk to the very end
so that we might live.

O Jesus,
help us not to mouth pretty words
about love, and faithfulness and truth,
but to live them,
this day,
and always,

Susan E Stone, 2004

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Mary Magdelene at the Cross

Holding up her hands,
she did not know if she raised them
in prayer,
or anger,
watching him die.

"O Lord, Master of the Universe,
let me wake up
and discover this is all a nightmare,"
she whispered.

His mother touched her shoulder.
Together, they wept silently,
tears rolling down their cheeks
as they watched
he who was the center of their life
slowly ebb,
blood drop by blood drop,
breath by breath,
moment by moment.

In all the frazzled weariness
that had made up so much of her life,
he had brought
the healing touch,
the acceptance and love
that had showed her the way to God,
those things she thought denied to her forever,
and here, her gentle master
hung unrecognizable,
yet without a word of anger
at those who misused him.

Ignoring the mockeryof the soldiers,
she drew near as she could be,
collapsing in her tears,
her heartbreak,
her love.

How little she knew
how her tears and love would be rewarded
as her aching sorrow would turn to
amazing, bewildered joy
come Sunday morning.

Susan E. Stone, 2004

Dear Lord,
Lent is nearly over.
Be with us as we celebrate
the anniversary
of what you were willing to do
for love of us,
how large a price
you were willing to pay,
how heavy the cost
you chose to give
so that we might live.

Beloved Master,
kindle in us
the reality of your love,
and from it,
help us to respond in love as well.

May we find the glory
of your resurrection
a time of joy,
as we celebrate your breaking death's shackles,
so that we might come home with you at last.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

This Day, O Lord

This day, O Lord,
help me with silence,
knowing when not to speak,
when to avoid the nagging message,
meant kindly, but not appropriate,
when to avoid the word that hurts,
when to avoid the word that others think
gives them permission for wrong.

Help me this day with speech,
to say the healing word at the right moment,
to give the right word that instructs
in the way it ought,
the right time to say yes,
the right time to say no.

Let me hold my tongue in useless debate,
but be quick to jump in when the debater can benefit.
Help me avoid being right at all costs in discussion,
even when it would harm instead of heal,
when it becomes my ego instead of your work,
yet never be afraid of upholding the truth
in the way you would want me to do.

Open my heart, O Lord,
to have you as my first source
in all I say and do,
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2004

O Bread of Life,
you who call the hungry soul
lost in the darkness
to feast and find life
with your own precious self,
Bread of Heaven,
Food for the journey
that transforms the partaker
through the fire of God's love
through God's own self.

O Bread of Life,
each time I come to your table,
and see your children who come to be fed
that food which brings life to the soul,
your own sweet self,
it is like sparks of light
cascading off of you who are Light of the World,
each one of us
a lantern carrying you into the world.
It is like the beating of your sacred heart,
pulsing blood through us
who make up the cells of he body of Christ,
your heart beating through each of us,
which without we would wither and die.

O Bread of Life,
who comes to us
in guise of the food of the poor,
so even a child might experience you,
thank you for loving us
to want us with you
to want to bring us home at last.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Dismas on the Cross 

Your mouth tasted
of dust,
and blood,
and fear,
and pain.

the knowledge of what was to come by sunset,
when you entered that darkness,
the pit that was awaiting you,
reward for your deeds.

Through the veil
of self-pity
and pain
and loathing,
you noticed the interplay
between the man in the middle
and those around him.

Jesus --
had you heard that name before,
heard of the healings,
the teachings,
the holiness?

How battered he was now,
and stripped
and wounded
and dying.

healer of the blind,
promiser of hope,
now the victim.

Did you notice the women
who came to watch,
daring the mockery of the soldiers,
focused only on him?
No loved ones for you
to witness your last moments -
those who might have cared
long realizing
that you would only bring them grief.

Had you been moved
when the procession stopped
as he hit the ground,
and his mother found him,
gave him one last caress
before you were dragged off again?

Did you notice those who cared,
she who wiped his face,
those who wept?

When your gazes meet,
Jesus and yours,
Were you surprised to see the depths of love
that could love even in the wells of death,
the depths of pain,
even someone like you?
And in that moment did you see
the truth in the Roman's sign?

Susan E. Stone, 2004

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Forgive Me, Lord

Forgive me Lord,
for all those moments
I have taken you for granted,
did not appreciate you for the wonderful treasure
that you are,
You, the giver of unconditional love,
You, the healer of sinsick souls,
You, who gave your life that I might live.

Forgive me, Lord,
for all those moments I have wasted
chasing after things
that did me no good,
alien to your will.

Forgive me Lord
for all the times I have turned away
from the place you were leading me,
for the times I hid my light under a bushel,
for the times I said no.

Fill my heart, O Lord,
with the burning desire to know you more,
to love you more,
to walk with you always,
now and forever.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Monday, April 05, 2004

Meditation on Our Lady of Sorrows

The soldiers no doubt
glanced up at you from time to time,
as they looked up from their gambling,
and the stale jokes,
and the same old stories
they whiled the time away with,
bored by this duty,
tired of the smell of approaching death
swatting at the flies
drawn by the blood.

But you were no threat to their orders,
O Lady of sorrows,
flanked by your kinswomen
and the Magdalene,
women not the type to talk to soldiers,
women here to mourn,
women here to witness.

The day dragged on
and the sky darkened.
Some came to scoff,
got tired, left.
Crucifixion takes so long -
time for many thoughts,

Did you think about
the first time you saw him,
so many years before,
your babe, the child of promise,
while watching him
complete the task he was born for,
in blood and pain and sorrow,
your child,
your perfect son.

So much had been asked of you,
so much,
down to the last tear.

Did you wish that time would pass more quickly
so that it would be over, and that he would be released?
Did you dread each struggling breath,
worried that it would be his last?

When they laid him in your lap
like you held him that first time,
so long ago,
and you examined every mark
and every cut
and every bruise
and felt the creeping coldness
as he stiffened beneath your arms
did you imagine that the promised sword
could cut so deep?

Susan E. Stone, 2004

Prayer on a Busy Morning

O my Lord,
so many things pull at me today,
so many things to remember to do,
calls to make,
errands to run,
people to see.
And yet,
in the hubbub of my busy day,
let me remember what is most important:
to bring my mind back to you,
to see others as you would see them,
to be your hands wherever I might be -
to do what I do
for you, and through your power
each step of the way.

Remind me Lord,
that no matter how hectic it all seems,
you are there with me, each step of the way.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Thoughts on the Passion 

Whenever anyone sighs toward Me with love in meditation on My passion, it is as though he gently touched My wounds with a fresh-budding rose, and I wound his heart in return with the arrows of My love. Moreover, if he shed tears of devotion over My passion, I will accept them as though he had suffered for Me. - Our Lord to St. Mechtilde

Dear Jesus,
Bring to mind often
that sad, holy, day,
when you carried that horrendous burden
sin of the world
on your sinless, torn and battered back,
the unrighteousness of others
on you, the Son of righteousness,
the hatred and evilness of selfish lack of love
on you who were all love,
all that darkness
on the shoulders of you who are always the Light.

O Lord,
let me think of the crowd,
and know it was my sins
that set them screaming for your blood.
let me think of the whip
that my sin drove to cut your skin,
let me know that my hand
hammered the nails
through all the times I have chosen
to do wrong, not counting the cost.

Let me never take for granted
the pain, the grief, the sorrow
of what you did.
Instead let me offer you
the tears of my remorse,
the sighs of my heart,
and know how much I am loved,
now and forever.


Susan E. Stone, 2004

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