Message from the Pastor
August 25 & September 1
Are you feeling anxious about the news, the economy, a loved one, or this feverish back to school time? Consider this prayer written by Fr. Brian McDermott, S.J. and reprinted with his permission:
A Prayer Process in a Time of Great Fear or Anxiety
Recall that you are in the presence of God, who looks upon you with unconditional love.
Ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to enter into the following process in dialogue with God and in companionship with the Risen Jesus.
First, seek to "embrace" the present situation, the full reality of it. In other words, say "yes" to the actuality of it. Not approval (of course), not acquiescence, but a full-bodied acceptance of it as your reality now: the physicality of it, and all the feelings roiling in you. This is in contrast to repressing/suppressing it, running from it, denying it, or trying to "transcend" it.
And then, acting as one who trusts God, or wants to trust God, tell God about all that you have "embraced": your pain, your huge fear or anxiety, your fantasies, your hopes, your desires, your rage or anger, all of it. Not to inform God, of course, but as an act of trust and intimacy. And then to ask for the grace to listen, to be quiet and listen after sharing with God your "stuff." If God speaks, good, if God is silent, what is the quality of the silence (friendly, hospitable, distant, etc.)?
And then, in a third step, ask for what you desire of God, perhaps first what you desire more immediately (for healing, for huge change of your bodily condition or your situation, etc.) and then pause and see if there arises in you even deeper desires (e.g., that you continue to love through all of this, no matter the outcome; or that you sense God's love and presence through all of it, no matter the outcome, and so on).
Conclude with the Our Father or this paraphrase of it:
Our Father, who are in heaven,
Gather your people from the four ends of the earth, renew them and unite them by the power of your Holy Spirit. (cf. Ezekiel chap. 36)
May your rule become our way of living.
May the world become what you desire it to be.
Give us today the sustenance we need to be faithful to you.
Forgive us our sins and let that forgiveness bear fruit in forgiving those
who have sinned against us.
Lead us not into situations where temptation might be too strong for us
and protect us from evil.