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Civic Holidays and Days of Remembrance
Drenched in Holiness Prayer: Prayer for a New Year
On this day I ask You to grant this request…
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul’s desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself…
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart…
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.
Canticle of Creation
In the beginning, Lord my God,
You alone existed: eternally one
Yet pregnant in the fullness of unity.
Full to overflowing,
You, Father of All Life, exploded outward
In a billion bits and pieces.
Your word became flesh,
Whirling in shining stars, shimmering suns
And in genesis glimmering galaxies.
You, my God, spoke
And Your Words became flesh:
In sun and moon, earth and seas,
Mountains and gentle hills,
Rolling rivers and silent streams.
You, my God, spoke
And Your Words became flesh: in winged bird, in deer and elephant,
In grazing cow, racing horse, and fish of the deep.
Your Words, so unique and so varied,
Filled the earth also with rabbit, squirrel and ant.
And all Your Words were beautiful,
And all were good.
From each of these Holy Words
Arose a prayer of praise and adoration
To You, their Creator
And Wondrous Womb.
“Praise You,” rang out the redwood,
“Blessed be You,” chimed in the cedar,
“Holy are You,” prayed the prairie grasses.
From all four corners of this earth,
Rose up a chorus of perpetual adoration.
O Sacred Spirit, O Divine Breath of Life,
Unseal my ears that they may ever listen
To Your continuous canticle of creation;
Open my heart and my whole self,
To sing in harmony with all its many voices.
Teach me to commune with Your first Word made flesh,
That I may be able to unravel the wondrous words
Of Your second Word made flesh,
Through whom, with whom, and in whom,
I may see myself as another Word of Yours made flesh,
To Your glory and honor.
Let Us Fast
While fasting with the body,
brothers and sisters,
let us also fast in spirit.
Let us loose every bond of iniquity;
let us undo the knots of every contact
made by violence;
let us tear up all unjust agreements;
let us give bread to the hungry
and welcome to our house
the poor who have no roof to cover them,
that we may receive mercy from
Christ our God.
When We Sin
Jesus, Master, when we sin,
Turn on us thy healing face;
It will melt the offence within
Into penitential grace.
Beam on our bewildered mind
Till its dreamy shadows flee;
Stones cry out where thou hast shined,
Jesus, musical with thee.
-John Henry Newman
Come, My Light
Come, my Light,
and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life,
and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician,
and heal my wounds.
Come Flame of divine love,
and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart
with the flame of thy love.
-Dimitrii of Rostov
Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds in wheels shoot long and lovely lush;
Thrushs' eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.–Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.
Prayer for Spring: Daffodils
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills.
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a boy:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company;
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Labor Day Prayer
Good and gracious God,
you told us from the very beginning that we would earn our bread by the sweat of our brow.
We are interdependent in our laboring, Lord.
We depend on the migrant workers who pick our lettuce and our strawberries,
the nurses’ aids who empty bed pans,
the teachers who form our children’s minds.
We thank you, Lord, for the gifts and talents you have given us
that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world.
We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work.
Sustain them — us — in your love.
Help us to realize that we have worth as human beings,
job or no job.
But that’s hard to get, Lord.
Our society preaches to us that our worth comes from success,
of being better than the Jones’.
But our worth comes because You made us. We are Your children, no matter what,
job or no job.
You love us and you call us to love and support each other.
We pray, Lord, for those who do the dirty work in our lives, Lord,
those who break their backs for us, those who are cheated out of even a minimum wage,
those who have not access to health care,
those who cannot afford to send their kids to college.
Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation
because we depend on one another — the garbage men,
the police, the stock people in our grocery stores,
the UPS driver, the pilots, the 7/11 clerk, the ticket-taker on the turnpike
the plumbers, the accountants, the bank tellers, the landscapers, the lifeguards,
those who clean our houses, the cooks, the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters,
the scientists, and yes, the writers.
Help us to realize this weekend how dependent we are on one another, Lord.
We are ONE! We are family. We need each other.
Let us give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend, Lord
Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate
the value, the dignity, the contribution
that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going.
And in tough times, help us remember the words of Jesus:
Come to me all you who labor
and are heavily burdened
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you . . .
for my yoke is easy and my burden light (Matthew 11:28)
Holy God, Creator of all people and all nations,
It is with sorrow and apprehension we remember
the tragic events that occurred on this day.
We lift to You in prayer all those who died
in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon, and on United Airlines Flight 93
in Shankesville, Pennsylvania.
We entrust them to Your loving care.
Console their families, friends, and all who mourn this loss
In the hope that all who trust in You find peace
and rest in Your Kingdom.
We pray for those who courageously responded to provide aid
and comfort to the afflicted.
May their painful memories of that day
be healed and transformed into strength and positive resolution.
We also pray for ourselves as we seek Your strength and guidance.
We live in the aftermath of this tragedy
and under the shadow of future acts of aggression;
We stand in need of Your assistance.
Enable us, Dear God, to put an end to fear:
By resolving to live lives that are based on respect for one another;
By resolving to abide in a peaceful manner
and never settle disagreements in our lives in a violent way;
By resolving not to fall into the trap of blaming entire ethnic groups,
races, or religions
in response to acts of hostility;
By resolving that justice, not revenge, prevail in our world.
Let us resolve that in the face of hatred, we will show love;
That in times of despair, we will be voices of hope
And creators of new dreams;
That in times of darkness, we will be sources of light.
Let us resolve that we never regard forgiveness as weakness,
But rather as a source of strength in our lives and in our world.
And, let us honor the memory of the 3,000 individuals
who died on September 11, 2001
By resolving , with Your help Almighty God,
To truly live this way so You may be glorified
and Your love made known to others through us.
May God bless us today. And may God bless our Nation and our World.
-Bro. Darrell Burns, S.J.