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Showing posts from May, 2011

Prayer for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reflection: 05-11

It seems rather fitting, as things happened to take place, that I should read The Holy Rule of St Benedict as my last reflection before my ordination to the priesthood. The reason for this somewhat ironic situation continues in that the focus on our retreat this year is on New Monasticism. (And, honestly, I didn’t plan this. Things have been such a blur that I didn’t realize it was my last reflection before ordination until I had finished the book!) So it is interesting to compare St Benedict’s rule for his monks to what we are and do in the Lindisfarne Community. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I’m sure glad I’m a part of Lindisfarne and not a monk in St Benedict’s time!

One of the big differences between our Rules and Understandings and that of St Benedict is we include women. And by that I don’t mean that we just ‘allow’ them to be part of the community - but women hold high offices of service within the community (our Abbess is a Bishop).

Apparently, all of the religious in…

Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Loving God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Child Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Child our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Rapture: Another Letter to a Loved One

I have been getting a lot of questions about this one. We've heard about it on the news lately and there seems to be billboards all over the country talking about it (although, I don't know if anything like this is being done in other countries. If so, I'm certain it's not to the extreme that it is in America).

The Rapture.

Or, more correctly, the so-called 'rapture'. The reason for the 'so-called' and the quote around the word 'rapture' is that, now get this...

The rapture is not true.

In fact, it was not even in the vocabulary of the church until the early to mid 1800s (although there is supposed to be a text from as early as the late 1700s). Now think about this for a moment. This joyous experience was not even on the lips of the followers of Jesus for over 1800 years. None of the apostles talked or wrote about it (we'll get to some of the biblical texts in a moment). None of the church Fathers or Mothers wrote about it. None of the church…

Heaven: A Letter to a Loved One

I have been thinking about your questions about heaven some more and I have some other things I want to say. First, as I have stated already, all of the language we have regarding ‘heaven’ is poetic imagery. It would be like trying to describe the sky to a person born blind. When people talk about ‘heaven’ and what ‘it will be like’ they are on the edge of words, on the very precipice of conversation. The problem comes, however, from those of us who, when reading those great poetic words, read them in a wooden literal way. That is, as I’m sure you have heard of the ‘streets of gold’, some people think that ‘heaven’ has literal, material streets made of gold. When the symbolism is more surely pointing to purity rather than the actual material of the streets. Second, some things need to be established before we can, with any kind of certainty, talk about ‘heaven’. In the biblical imagery, there are two different things going on that a lot of people lump up into one thing – the place of …

Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

O God, whose Child Jesus is the good shepherd of your people; Grant that when we hear Christ's voice we may know the One who calls us each by name, and follow where you lead; through Christ who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Buddha's Birthday and Bathing Ceremony

Today marks Buddha's birthday. At Buddha Mind, a local monastery where Mahina attends, they celebrated this holy day by having their annual Bathing Ceremony and Bizarre with games, food, and music. The ceremony is beautiful with the liturgy mostly chanted in Chinese. The beautiful surroundings and monastery, along with the sacred chants, offers a glance into the world of Buddhism that is very much alive in Oklahoma. Before the ceremony they had ten people make profession with repentance, refuges, and vows. It was an honor to witness this sacred ritual.

Mahina stated that all she wanted for Mother's Day was for us to attend with her. Mariah and I did with pleasure. Although the ceremony itself is long, one doesn't really notice it until it starts winding down. Since I don't speak Chinese (and can't fake it well, either), I just close my eyes and listen to the chanting and get carried away.

Also, I dress in my collar and monastic robes for the sacred ceremony. My rea…

Reflection from Sunday's Gospel Lesson

John 20.19-31. It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”
Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”
After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “P…

Prayer for the Second Sunday of Easter

All loving and everlasting God,who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.