Saturday, March 03, 2007

Meditation on the Seven Sorrows 

Theotokos, Mother of God,
You who knew the blessedness of living with Him,
Our Light, our Peace, our Salvation
Theotokos, O Mother of Sorrows,
You who knew the darkness of watching Him die
Scorned, abused, in pain and misery.

Theotokos, O Mother of Tears,
thank you for saying yes
when Simeon told you
how the sword would pierce your heart,
Theotokos, O Mother of our Hope,
thank you for saying yes
when it was time to flee to Egypt,
Theotokos, O Mother most faithful,
for saying yes, and knowing how it feels
to lose the light of your Son,
as you searched for Him, three days, finding Him in the temple.
Theotokos, O Mother acquainted with grief,
for saying yes
when seeing your son
burdened, falling, beaten, bleeding, on the way to Golgotha.
Theotokos, O Mother of Martyrs,
for saying yes
as you waited with him at the foot of the cross,
Theotokos, O Mother most bereft,
thank you for saying yes
when you held his cold and bloodstained body,
Theotokos, O Mother whose heart felt the full length of the sword,
thank you for saying yes
as you left the tomb as its stone rolled into place.

Theotokos, Mother Most Afflicted,
O Mother of my Lord, who knows the depths of sorrow,
Help me, by remembering your grief,
your Yes,
to come closer to your Son, each and every day.

O Mater Dolorosa,
Pray for us now, and the hour of our deaths, Amen.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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When all the darkness of a world gone mad with "me" and "mine"
presses against your heart with its dark futility,
watch the world and see what happens
when self becomes the measure of the truth,
no one way better or worse than another,
with no standard to give it value.
Relativism – a place with no verities.
What type of world is it
when millions of selves become the arbiters of what is right,
of what is holy,
what is worth believing,
each competing,
the child molester no less worthy of admiration
than the hero who rescues the dying,
where killing the sick and old seeming as good a deed as healing,
and children seem a futility of expense.

Listen to that cacophony of competing voices
drowning out a truth they do not want to face,
the fact that without family,
there is an empty hole in life,
where self-loathing shadows over the death of hope,
the fact that chasing sex and intoxication
will never sustain,
that things break,
heroes fail,
that isms are imperfect answers for that hole in their lives,
and that no matter how they veil the reality,
their choices are leading them to a nightmare world,
where they try to make shifting desires the center of all,
turning the old granite of truth into quicksand,
unable to sustain a purposeless life.

Listen, and ask yourself,
have we not created the tower of Babel anew,
confusing our hearts, our spirits, our future
in our hubris to say Man, and not God is the center?

Where then, is the firm land
that will let you stand while the chaos grows,
as the center cannot hold,
and things fall apart?

The answer was given to you in the life of a single person
sent here with one purpose,
to bring you home.
Even now, he calls through the bitter waters of modern life,
and offers that transformation
that creates a sanctuary against the storm.
Look upon his cross,
his tomb,
his resurrection and know
one greater than any man
has touched the world,
leaving a cross-shaped beacon pointing the way
to the place where heaven and earth come crashing together,
an island of meaning against the midnight,
bought with blood,
sustained by love.

Laugh at him as old fashioned as you cry against the dark,
or listen to what he has to say,
and find the purpose you were missing.


You offer so many graces to us,
your poor benighted children here on Earth,
graces that fall to the ground too often unwanted, ignored, unseen.

How often we turn to run to the dark when you offer us
that purifying light that will heal the aching in our hearts
as if it were some bitter tonic
instead of the Living Water,
perfect tonic for all that ails us.

Forgive us, Lord,
for the ingratitude of our wayward hearts,
for the cold determination to do what we want,
no matter what the cost.

Soften our hearts, O Lord, and open our eyes,
scaled over by sin and and willfullness and lack of trust,
until we see you standing there,
waiting patiently with outstretched hands,
ready to transform us step by step,
grace by grace
until you have made us into the child of light
you would have us be.


You gave me a dream one day, O Lord,
of midnight on a storming sea,
Hurricane winds blowing free,
washing up on an unprepared shore.

I watched as the waters swirled and rose,
huge swells washing all away
there in the darkness far from day,
The works of hands shattered in the water flows.

I watched how puny are the works we prize
The works of hands and sweat and dreams
Falling there beneath the streams
Nothing of man stopped the water's rise.

And yet, there on the water's face
Bobbing lightly as the waves moved on,
Survivors surfacing towards the dawn
Rafts and boats and planks and boards in place.

Even though wind tossed, and frightened there
even though battered in the night
they escaped into the light,
By the hand of loving care.

"My mercy," said the Lord to me
"I gave them refuge in my heart,
As the darkness took their world apart
Because they put their trust in me.
"Take care to understand and know
When darkness seems too dark to see
That I will hold you close to me
In darkest night, when storm winds blow

"If you will give your heart to me
To keep within my heart of love
You will always float above
The darkness of that midnight sea.

"Cling to my mercy now, this day,
The storm clouds gather, the darkness grows,
The seas are rising, the dark wind blows,
Come into my heart or wash away."

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Prayer to Mary at the Foot of the Cross 

The hours pass too slowly
while you stand and watch , O Lady of Tears,
The pain and agony of death
His misery, the struggle for breath,
Giving up so slowly the death that nears
This moment so painful, so holy.

The hours pass too fast
while you stand and watch, O Lady of Tears,
Seeing the child you bore soon to be gone
Leaving you behind to live on with John
Ahead the long stretch of years
Until you breathe your last.

So much to give, O Mother of Tears,
So deep your heart, with its hopes and fears
Centered on giving God your all.
When I stumble, when I fall,
Remind me of that long hard day.
When my heart begins to stray,
Pray that I hear my Savior's call.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Meditation on Matthew 5:6 

O Bread of Life,
Teach me to hunger for you,
To realize the empty gnawing I feel
When separated from you,
To know that you are the answer
To the darkness that threatens my life.

O Bread of Life,
Help me to hunger for your ways,
The ways of peace that come from only you,
The ways of light in a world of darkness,
The ways of hope in a world of despair.

O Bread of Life,
Help me to hunger for you,
Help me to thirst for your presence,
Help me to know your ways all the days of my life,
to yearn to walk with you,
live for you,
be with you
in small things and in large,
this day, and always.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


So much hope heaped on his shoulders,
this one lone carpenter turned rabbi from the north --
look at those who followed him, coming forth
out of a night of terror and day of grief.
Political assassination in the courts
scattered most who ran away.
A few stood solid that hard day,
Mother, aunt, a single thief,
one young friend beneath his bloody cross,
women who cared wailing their loss
Two politicians who chose to believe.
How white the shroud they provided, how dark the tomb.
And then they went with heavy hearts back to that upper room
Nowhere else to go when Sabbath evening fell,
Nowhere else to grieve.

Look at those who followed him coming forth
with whispered words of hope after the dark of Sabbath night
Whispered words of hope about an angel standing very white,
a cast off shroud upon the ground, an empty tomb.
"Did you talk to her?" they asked. "Did you see Peter's face?"
Another described how John and Peter ran into that place,
Hope breathed in the midst of them to breathe out across the world
As He stood there in the room.
So many years later, hope is heaped across His shoulders still --
Lord Jesus, if you will,
Fill me with your light
Against the hopelessness of endless night.

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Meditation on Matthew 5:5 

Help me O Lord
to learn that spirit of quiet love,
the meekness that sees you shining in the eyes of the needy,
the gentleness that knows that "ME' is not what the world is about,
the kindness that comes from love, and being loved, and loving in return,
the peace that comes from you, unbidden.

Help me, O Lord,
to learn, like you did in Gethsemane,
to say, "Not my will, but Yours, O Father,"
in loving submission,
not based on angry desire to have my way,
or in self-righteous indignation,
but in the love that reaches out,
takes the blows,
heals the wounds,
shows the light of Heaven's love,
this day, and always.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Meditation on Matthew 5:4 

O Lord,
Hear my prayer,
the prayer of all of us who mourn,
touched with the darkness of a life touched with loss,

O Lord,
Open my heart
to that sorrow which goes beyond remorse,
beyond self-pity,
beyond that aching sense of loss,
to that healing place of true contrition,
Where, touched by Your healing hand,
I can say, "Forgive me, for I have sinned,"
And hear Your ever loving voice say "Welcome home."


Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Meditation on Matthew 5:3 

Lord, help me to be
one of the poor in spirit,
one who knows that you are the one I rely on,
not my strong hand,
you are the one who brings me what I need,
not my cleverness or strength,
you are the one who holds me in the night
when the darkness comes crashing down,
you are my hope.

Let me remember, O Lord,
how surrounded by things
I can be incredibly empty,
that crying "Me! Mine!"
opens up a pit that can never be filled,
how my real hunger can burn, unfed,
even as my body suffers from too much food,
how thinking I have the answers
leads me, once again, and again,
into the dust.

Help me nourish the knowledge
that You are the way
that brings me life, hope and happiness.
You are the source of living waters
that soothe the burning in my heart,
You are the Bread of Life
that feeds my aching hunger,
You are the Rock
who shelters me from the storm.

Lord, without you , I am naught!

Be Thou my king,
this day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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