Monday, November 30, 2015

Psalm 142

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
In the paths where I walk,
 is it not You
who knocks at the gate of my heart?
And are You not the voice of mercy,
comforting me in times of trouble?
Yes, your Presence washes over me,
like the ocean lapping the shore.  
 
 
   
 

Psalm 141

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
Lead me to words of wisdom and truth,
seeds to be planted 
in my heart-soil;
Guide me to times of solitude and silence
that nurture new growth,
so the Word may ripen
into abundant fruit.
Cultivate in me a heart great with
compassion and mercy,
that radiates out 
to all your creation.



  
 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Psalm 140

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
  
Deliver me, O Giver of Breath and Life, 
from the fears that beset me;
help me confront the inner shadows
that hold me in bondage, like a prisoner
who knows not freedom.
They distract me from all
that I yearn to be,
and hinder the awakening of
hidden gifts
that I long to share with others.
 
For are we not called to make Love
conscious in our lives?
You are the Light of those
imprisoned in darkness.
Surely You will guide us 
into the new dawn,
that we may live as co-creators
with You.  
  
This is a beautiful psalm for the first Sunday of Advent.  Today, Christians will come together and light the candle of hope.   May those who are struggling with anger and isolation reach out, not in violence, but in hope that love is real and is for everyone.  Holy One, help us to live together.  Help us to be who you call us to be in this world. Help us to trust the flame of hope.    
 
Amen.
 
 
 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Psalm 139 Continued

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
For You formed my inward being,
You knit me together in my
mother's womb.
I praise You, for You are to be
reverenced and adored.
Your mysteries fill me with wonder.
More than I know myself do You know me;
my essence was not hidden from You.
When I was being formed in secret,
intricately fashioned from
the elements of the earth,
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance;
in your records were written
every one of them.
The days that were numbered for me,
when as yet there were none of them.
How precious to me are your creations,
O Blessed One!
How vast the sum of them!
Who could count your innumerable
gifts and blessings?
At all times, You are with me.   
  
 
Yesterday, Tyler, Jack and I took a hike in the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in the east bay.  For days I had been looking forward to taking a hike on the day after Thanksgiving, and I was not pleased that my old friend sciatica returned on Thursday and was still troubling me.  Nonetheless, we did make it to the top of the ridge where we were greeted by a chilly wind, one of those winds that feels ancient; as if it has been on the move forever. As we looked across the east bay hills, there seemed to be only the three of us and the wind.  We could see civilization below us, but in that moment we were separate from it.  This morning I think some of our spirit was gathered up in that wind and a tiny particle of us will now move across hills, mountains, valleys, and oceans forever.  How strange and wonderful creation is. How very much we need our open spaces where we can remember that truly our fate is on the wind.  Such knowledge does not diminish us, but expands us into eternity.        
 
 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Psalm 139 Continued

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
 
Where could I go from your Spirit?
Or how could I flee
from your Presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in darkness,
You are there.
If I soar on the wings of the morning
or dwell in the deepest parts
of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me,
and your Love will embrace me.
If I say, "Let only darkness cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
the night dazzles as with the sun;
the darkness is as light with You.    
 
 
     
 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Psalm 139

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
O my Beloved,
You have searched me
and known me.
You discern my innermost thoughts.
You find me on the journey and
guide my steps;
You know my strengths 
and my weaknesses.
Even before my words rise up in prayer,
Lo, you have already heard
my heart call.
You encompass me with love
where'er I go,
and your strength is my shield.
Such sensitivity is too wonderful
for me; it is high: 
 boundless gratitude
is my soul's response.
   
 
How wonderful to begin Thanksgiving morning with the beginning of the beautiful Psalm 139.  I will stay with this psalm for a couple more days.  May each of you know you are blessed, loved, and known.  May you share this and every day with someone close to you.  Happy Thanksgiving.   
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Psalm 138

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
You do not forsake those
who call upon you.
   
Yesterday, the commute was lighter than anticipated, so I drove down Dixon Landing Road on my way to Mountain View. There is still some open land along that route, and I so appreciate being able to stretch my vision.  As I drove, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a big blue heron standing in the field.  I was actually able to do a U-turn, park, and get out of my car.  I walked into the field to get a little closer to that majestic solitary bird. With his large wings folded and his steady gaze, he looked to be an ancient robed chief or prophet.  I could not get close enough to photograph it with my iPhone, so I had to be content to simply fall in love.     

Thanksgiving often finds us in Arizona visiting friends, but not this year.  Yesterday as I finished up ministry obligations, shopped, and planned, I found my very skin yearning for the openness of the country around Prescott  where the attached picture was taken. Yet, our autumn here has been surprisingly beautiful, and we have neighbors who will be joining us for dinner tomorrow.  On Friday, Tyler and I plan on taking a hike and celebrating our 28th anniversary.  I do not take any of this for granted.    
 
Holy God, thank you for this life filled with friends, surprising prophets, and a moment of time in the midst of it all.  
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Psalm 137

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
Plunge into the Ocean of Love,
where heart meets Heart,
where sorrows are comforted,
and wounds are mended.   
 
 
 
  
 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Psalm 136

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
To You, who remember us when we
are downtrodden and discouraged,
Your love sustains us.
And bring light into the darkness,
Your love sustains us.
To You, who are Loving
Companion Presence,
Your love sustains us.   
 
 
  
 

Psalm 135

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
 
O Nations of earth,
bless the One Spirit!
O people of the world,
gather together in unity.
O children of Light, radiate
blessings to the universe.
Surrender yourselves to Love.
Blessed be You, O Beloved,
Breath of our breath.
Praise be to your Holy Name.
   
 
In this week of Thanksgiving, let us focus on being a blessing.  Carl, a beloved elder who has Parkinson's often says, "We have to kick the devil out!"   Imagine having all that room just for love!  
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Psalm 134

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
Come, bask in the Light of Love,
all you who would serve
the Divine Plan.
Lift up your hands to the Holy One,
singing songs of praise.
Bow down and receive blessing
from the Giver of Life.
All praise to You,
whose Love created 
heaven and earth.   

 
  
Yesterday I was  blessed to officiate at a memorial service for an elder I met during his time in a very nice retirement home.  I liked Bill very much, and I loved hearing the reflections of his family and friends. Their appreciation of him was evident, and I think he lived a life centered in love, faith, and work he enjoyed.  He was ill at the end of his life, but did not linger long. As people shared their memories, I think we were all strengthened for the journey.  After the service, one gentleman said to me, "Today, I find myself less afraid of old age. I am Jewish, but not a practicing one.  Maybe it is time to reconnect with God."   
 
Well done, Bill.   
 
As we planned the service, his daughter asked me to read the beautifully reassuring John 14:1-4 from the King James version.  I have always appreciated the word mansions in this translation.   Glorious room for us all.     
 
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know. 
 
Blessings on the journey.  Let us take heart, for the way is being prepared right now. We do not travel alone. 
 
Bill, I am grateful to have known you.  Thank you for your presence in this world and the next.
  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Psalm 133

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
    
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers and sisters
dwell in unity.
It is like vistas seen from
atop a mountain one has climbed...
Or like the stillness of a sunset
after a long day's work.
It is like a shimmering rainbow,
breaking through a summer rain.
When men and women dwell in harmony,
the star of Truth appears.  

 
May it be so.  
 
 
     
 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Psalm 132

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill  
 
Enter into the Silence, into the
Heart of Truth;
For herein lies the Great Mystery
where life is ever unfolding;
herein the Divine Plan is made known,
the Plan all are invited to serve. 
Listen for the music of the Holy Word
in the resounding Silence of the universe.
May balance and harmony be your aim
as you are drawn into the
Heart of Love.  
  
Yesterday, I came across what I call a lingering poem.  One of those poems that stays with you, and you find yourself returning to it.  I have been mulling over the line, "I am waiting to be found."   A few days ago I walked into an activity room of a community that serves those with chronic mental illness.  We are often welcomed exuberantly in that sanctuary where a lot of effort goes into giving bodies and minds a sense of peace.  When I crossed the threshold, I saw Sarah, who has terrible tremors and can be very difficult to understand.  That frustrates her for she has much to say.  Yet, in the midst of the whirl of movement and sound, I heard her say quite clearly, "Welcome back!"   In those brief moments of clarity, I always sense Jesus.  I took her hand, a bit like reaching out to a caged bird in flight, and simply said thank you.  A moment of stillness for us both. Then the flight was underway once more. 
           
    
 
I Am Not Old

 I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play....
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.

- Samantha Reynolds     
 
  
 
   

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Psalm 131

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill

Most Gracious Presence,
let me not be arrogant,
nor boast of my virtuous deeds;
Let me not seek fame or set my heart
on the riches of the world.
Help me to calm and quiet my soul,
like a child quieted at its
mother's breast;
like a child that is quieted,
be so my soul.    
 
I shall hope in You, O Breath
of my breath,
from this time forth 
and forevermore.
Amen. 
 
   
Last night I woke thinking of a paint by number set that I received as a child.  On the box was a picture of a beautiful horse.  I was struggling with drawing and painting, so I was thrilled to think that all I had to do was follow the instructions, and my painting would look just like the picture of that bold creature that was now on the kitchen table.  

 I quickly undertook the project.  Alas, this endeavor proved to be the difficult one of learning that art is more than just carefully following someone's else's instructions.  My biggest disappointment was how flat and limited the colors were.  Something was missing.  It took me a long time to figure out that what could not be found in those tiny plastic cups of paint and carefully drawn lines and numbers was my own passion; my own heart.  There are no easy instructions to that destination.  
 
This is the point that I was trying to make about worship in my reflection on Psalm 130.  The individual elements that we can pack and take to worship are useful and even wonderful, as are the people who help bring those gifts forth.  Yet, without the willingness to surrender these gifts and talents to God and to invite God in, and even dare to give God room to speak, the worship will be as flat as my paint by number experiment.  I believe this to be true whether we find ourselves in a formal traditional service, a large praise gathering, or a simple prayer service lit by one candle.  May we always remember to invite God to be among us, wherever we might be.
    
 
May He be blessed by all, for I have seen clearly that He does not fail to repay, even in this life, every good desire. 
 
St. Teresa of Avila  
 
 
 
   

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Psalm 130

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill   
  
Out of the depths I cry to You.
In  your Mercy, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to
the voice of my supplications.    
  

When people ask me what SpiritCare does, I will usually say something like, "We take worship, pastoral care, and other forms of outreach to elders and others who are living in a variety of long-term communities."    That is in the first breath anyway.   
 
Yet, worship is really not something that can be packed up in a bag or box.  It is true; I do carry a Bible, maybe another book or two, a communion set, some wafers, (for me, about 2,000 a year, but fortunately, I do not have to carry them all at once!), and some song sheets.  When pianists join me, they will bring some music, sometimes in their arms, sometimes only in their heads.  However, worship does not need any of this.  Worship simply needs hearts willing to be lifted. Worship needs people willing to reach out to God, to Jesus, to one another.  Perhaps most of all, worship needs people willing to listen. No, not to me.  To God and one another.   
 
Perhaps rather than say, "Let us pray," we should say, "Let us listen."   And then try to do just that.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Psalm 129

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill

For wherever you dwell,
there is beauty;
Infinite Love is everywhere.      
 
 
Today an elder asked, "But what can we do about evil?" 
I replied, "Just be a disciple. Remember, people will learn about Jesus by how you love." 
 
All took communion.  All took the pledge to be bread for the world.  
 
 
    
 

Psalm 128

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
  
Blessed are you who reverence
 the Beloved,
who walk in Love's way.
You radiate an inner joy
and peace where'er you go;
compassion draws you to
the gates of those in need
  
   
If you find you are being called to the" gates of those in need," know that you are being called into a holy sanctuary.  Jesus stands at the door, welcoming you in.  Heed the ancient words, "Be not afraid," and go.   
  
 
 
   
 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Psalm 127

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill  
 
Unless You, O Divine Creator,
build the house,
those who build it labor in vain. 
Unless You watch over the city,
the watchers stay awake in vain.
For it is in co-operating with You
from morn to evening,
eating the bread of your Word,
that we rest in peace 
throughout the night. 
  
Reverence the sacred gift
 of life that nourishes all.
Who will grow in wisdom, 
abandoning themselves
into the chalice of Love? 
Who will open themselves to the
imprint of Love's gifts
upon their hearts?
Unless You, O Divine Spirit,
make your home within us,
we wander through life in vain.     
 
 
 
  

Psalm 126

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
Restore us to wholeness, O Healer,
like newborn babes who have
never strayed from You.
May all who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
May all who go forth weeping 
tears of repentance,
bearing seeds for sowing,
come home to You
with shouts of joy,
leaving sorrow behind. 
  

I did not bake an apple pie yesterday, but what I did bake was bread for communion.  I have not baked bread in quite some time, but the yeast proved to be very much alive and practically danced in the cup.  I decided to bake a challah.  I have always loved the idea of the braids symbolizing the intertwining of God and God's creation. As I kneaded the bread, waited for it to rise, and then wove three strands of dough together, I felt deep gratitude for God in our midst.  I thought of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I thought of the love that has called people through the ages to feed both family and strangers.     
 
Some repentance would certainly do our world some good.  Go to church if you can.  If you can't, try to find a place to pray.  Let us pray and serve together.   I will be leading worship at  Little Brown Church in Sunol.  Worship begins at 10:30.  Join us if you
can.    
 
 
   

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Psalm 125

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
   
Those who put their trust in You
are like giant trees
standing firm and rooted deep.
as the trees grow strong in fertile soil,
so we mature in the garden of Love,
nourished by the Word of Life.  
  
  
This venerable tree stands in the property of Villa Maria del Mar in Santa Cruz.   I generally see this tree only one week a year when I am on retreat with  beloved friends.  Yet, this tree cannot come and go as we do.  It can never seek shelter when the weather grows harsh. It must stand in full sun and through dark nights when even the moon is not in view.  To continue to exist It must stand in gentle breezes and roaring winds.  Surely one meaning of the word venerable is one who has endured.     
 
Last night one of the beloved elders in our neighborhood came over for supper.  She brought us a bag of granny smith apples from her tree.  Autumn is underway.  The violence in this world is heart breaking.  Yet, I believe Love will endure.  In that belief I will put my trust, so this will be the year I learn to bake an apple pie.  Maybe one topped with a fancy latticework.        
 
Blessings on your autumn journeys.    May your heart be strengthened, and may your love endure.   
 
 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Psalm 124

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill    
   
If it were not for You, O Beloved,
You who make all things new,
fear and chaos would reign
in every heart;
in You will I trust.
When doubt threatens to overwhelm
and separate me,
when anger makes me blind,
Then You, O Merciful One,
are ever-ready
to awaken the holy, the sacred
within me;
Then do your Living Streams of Grace
enfold me.  
  
   
A couple of days ago, for the first time this year, I picked persimmons off a neighbor's tree.  I am so grateful that even in this year of drought, I am seeing trees bearing persimmons, apples, and citrus.  As I stood beneath the tree and gently tested some of the fruit to see which were ready to give way, I felt an almost overwhelming sense of the sacred.   Without taking a bite, I was already satiated with God's sweetness, and it was good.   
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Treasuring

Yesterday, I sat and talked with a woman whom I have known as long as I have been in the ministry. I asked her what gives her a sense of gratitude.  Without pause, she replied, "I am grateful I have Jesus."   I was quite touched by her confidence in that knowing.  Her illness is serious and progressive.  She has been in a wheelchair for years. She lives in a beautifully appointed senior community, but she is by far the youngest person there.  She had to give up a career that she loved. She often laughs as she reflects that her 90 year old mother is healthier than she is.  Yet, she knows where her treasure is.  She sits peacefully in that temple, giving thanks.          
   
For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21    
 
 
 
 
        
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Psalm 123

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
 
 
To You I lift my spirit,
You, who are enthroned
in every heart. 
  
Have mercy on us, O Compassionate One,
have mercy,
that we might turn away from our
blind and ignorant ways.
Too long our souls have been veiled
by fear;
have mercy, lead us to the path of wholeness.  
 
 
 
    
 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pausing

Earlier this week I went to Amazon to check on a book I was interested in ordering.  However, it is still in hardback only. Sometimes, waiting for the used paperback edition does take patience. 
 
Therefore, I had to smile when a day or so later I stopped at the Friends of San Carlos Bookshop and found a used paperback version of Receiving the Day, Christian Practices for Opening the Gifts of Time by Dorothy C. Bass.  I have just started reading it, but I love her description of time as "God's gracious arithmetic." 
 
I write this to say that I do need to pause from sending psalms while I wait for my new computer battery to arrive.  Yes, I should have heeded its warning that it was beginning to fail a few days ago.      
 
Blessings to you all.  May we always be able to savor our gift of time.  




   
  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Psalm 122

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill  
    
My spirit soared when a Voice
spoke to me;
"Come, come to the Heart of Love!"
How long I had stood
within the house of fear
yearning to enter the gates of Love. 
 
   
Gilda lives in a community dedicated to the care of those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.  When I first met her, she told me she was Jewish and was not happy to find herself in a Christian service.  However, she readily recited the Lord's Prayer, and knew a few of the hymns.  By the end of our time together, she was quite friendly and affectionate. 
 
I saw her again this week, and I realized I had not seen her since our first meeting.  She greeted me warmly, and I told her I remembered she is Jewish. She smiled and said that she would like a song sheet.  As I began the words of institution for communion with  "On that last Passover night," Gilda looked at me, smiled, and echoed, "Passover."  I wish I could describe the tenderness and sense of remembrance with which she repeated that treasured word.  Her face actually glowed with
 
 gentleness and light.  
 
When the pianist and I first started to visit this home, we worshiped on a different floor.  There, the piano was just behind where the residents gathered. I could see her, but the residents could not unless they turned their bodies around. I did not give this configuration much thought, and even if I had, there was not much I could do about it. However, a few months ago, we were asked if we could go to the floor where we worship now.  I like the room because one door opens out to a patio, and since the residents do not have to be moved from one floor to another, they are more relaxed.  However, that gathering place has not a piano, but rather an eccentric organ.   Fortunately, the volunteer does know how to play the organ, and we have adjusted to its inconsistencies and inclination to throw in a strange drum track now and then.  
 
What is very interesting is how intently the residents watch her as she plays, and several have expressed gratitude for her playing. They seem much more engaged.   I believe there has been a  shift of interest because they now see her, and can see where the music is coming from.  They witness that strange instrument come alive as she cajoles it into playing nicely.  This week, as she always does,  she played a lovely piece during communion.  I watched Gilda take the hand of the person sitting next to her.  They sat and listened together with the rapt attention one might give a concert artist.  Afterwards, they applauded and Gilda said, "How wonderful." 
 
Yes, it is.  I am grateful.   
 
 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Psalm 121

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
  
My heart's eyes behold
your Divine Glory.
From whence does my help come?
My help comes from You,
who created heaven and earth.
 
You strengthen and uphold me,
You, who are ever by my side.
Behold! You, who watch
over the nations,
will see all hearts awaken
to the Light.    



As I was serving communion today, the activity director spotted me from the lobby and bolted into the multi-purpose room.  "Please, may I have communion?"  The first time I ever remember seeing someone running to receive communion.
Holy One, we should all be so eager.  
 
    
  
 

Psalm 120

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
   
In my distress I cry to You,
that You may come quickly
to comfort me;
"Be strong in me, that I might
face the darkness,
the despair that rises up
from the depths."  
   
One of my first services of the month takes place in a rehab hospital.  I continue to be surprised how noisy rehab hospitals can be, and I wonder about those who spend their last months and even years in those environments.  However, in this particular community, the pianist and I come at 4:00 p.m. when things begin to settle down.         
 
In our service this month was a woman who was suffering some anxiety.  She kept repeating that  she really needed to go home.  I talked to her a bit and invited her to stay for worship.  She accepted a song sheet, and as we began to sing, I realized that she had a lovely singing voice. After every hymn she quietly said, "How beautiful."  The pianist who joins me here has a light touch which works well for this gentle group. As it often happens here, I felt a sense of peace settling around us.      
  
This is to me what healing is about - being healed into the moment.  I left thinking that if I were in skilled nursing how much I would value a time to pray, sing, listen to scripture and to celebrate communion at the end of the day.  A time when the tv is turned off.  A moment when no one is checking my blood sugar or my heart rate or coaxing me to take my medication.  A time when the migrating groups of young student nurses have moved on.  A time to be in community a little differently. A time to age with grace and find my home in God. 
  
Let evening come upon us
and bring your peace, O Lord.
Let hearts be stilled in quiet
and listen to your Word.
 
Let day sink into nighttime
and darkness close around.
We lift our hearts to praise you,
to seek and to be found.
 
Let us be gathered into one
and inner turmoil end.
Lord, calm our restless spirits now,
and gentle rest descend.  
 
Judith Brower. O.S.B.  
 
 
  
 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Psalm 119

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
  
May tolerance make its home in me,
that I recognize You in every heart.
May I be imbued with goodness, and
make room for kindness in all situations.
For your ways are far richer
that thousands of gold 
and silver pieces. 

    
  
Psalm 119 is a long psalm that sings the praises of God's Word, the Torah.  Its 176 verses are divided into 22 stanzas of eight lines each.  Each stanza begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  I have been thinking about this psalmist and the dedication that went into creating this psalm.  I also have been reflecting on the early monastics walking and praying the psalms from memory.  I am gently reminded how impatient I can be, so it is little wonder that this short passage from Merrill's rendition surfaced for me. 
 
Last night a large letter H appeared in a dream.  It was made of beautiful wrought iron, and the horizontal bar was actually two arms with the hands reaching out and holding on to the other, like a strong, permanent handshake.   I woke in gratitude for the gift of friendships whose love keeps me centered, and God's steadfast love that holds us all.  
 
Holy Presence, I thank you. 
 
   
 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Psalm 118

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
   
This is the gate to Life;
those who know Love shall
enter through it.
 
I give thanks to You, O Beloved, who
answer our prayers
and invite us to new Life.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the foundation
of our lives.
This, O Eternal Listener, is your work;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day which You have made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
 
Blessed are all who enter through your gates.
Blessed are all who dwell in the House of Love.
Your steadfast Love endures forever. 
   
 
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me."  John 10:27    
 
 
 
 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Psalm 117

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill
 
Praise the Most Merciful, all nations.
Extol the Holy One, all peoples.
For great is the Blessed One's love
towards us;
The Beloved's faithfulness
endures forever.
Praises be to Heart of all hearts!   
   
 
Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the psalms; 119 is the longest.  I am continually reminded that flowers do not last forever, and I am grateful for that lesson.  Yet, I am also reminded of God's continuing presence, and I am even more grateful for that hope. 

The rain continues to fall here in the bay area.   Let us drive carefully this Monday morning, and remember to give thanks. This is what we have been praying for. 
 
 
    
 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Psalm 116

Psalms for Praying
Nan C. Merrill 
   
 
Receive my love, O Beloved,
You who hear
my voice and supplication.
You incline your ear to me;
I will call upon You with trust
for as long as I live.  

   
 Have a beautiful All Saints Day. You are a saint for someone.  Maybe even a multitude.   Jesus asks us to remember that, and much more.  Let us treat one another well.