Thursday, September 11, 2008

And around again.

Seven years ago, etc.

I don't have words today. Instead, I've been letting others' words speak - the words of those trapped on the planes, or suffocating, beyond hope of rescue, in the Towers. One call ends in silence; the plane found its target. Another in a man's scream as Tower 2 collapsed. He "wasn't ready to die"; he had "two young kids."(YouTube is just incredible, no?) Seven years ago, I spent the afternoon in prayer, knelt down in Adoration on the lawn outside the student center at Franciscan. Today, that still remains the best response to those horrors.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Between the Cracks

No good ground this, nor yet rocky:
Soil of urban concrete,
Neglected and left to harden.

Here and there an imprint lingers
A shoe perhaps, or bold hand.
Silent mem'ry - once, this was soft.

Seeds find small purchase here; rather
Scatter trampled and futile
Amidst glass shards and strewn refuse.

Now and again, slight gaps grant hope
Chance sowings take tenous root
In earth now, always hid from sight.

Straggling weeds, trod-upon grass
A tree to break the pavement
The random flower, blooming once.

Never shall be a lush garden, this:
Nor a harvest abundant.
Still life takes hold - between the cracks.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Universal Prayer of Clement XI

The below is a beautiful prayer - but it is a long prayer. And when it is being read over you, it's a rather scary prayer. It's expecting rather a lot. In fact, it can produce a clammy, cold feeling on the back of one's, wait. That's Father getting me from behind with the holy water. No warning, except that ominous splash of water leaving the bottle. Brr. (Editor's Note: Evidently I was supposed to turn around. Since I was not told that, I did not. Since I did not...brr.)

Ah well. As my LMC formation begins, so may I expect it to continue, with blessings that I just never see coming and that make me want to yelp in dismay. (And with one very unpredictable priest-spiritual director - honestly, he was clear across the altar from me!) From now on, I'll never not be wearing a crucifix...which I'm realizing is no small thing, in various ways. Pray God that I may be what this prayer calls us all to be, that I may live out the spirituality of the Missionaries of Charity whether as a laywoman or, someday perhaps, a sister. Pray God that I may not pass by or cheapen by words those things which I am to treasure in my heart - and that I may always have courage and faith to speak out when it is a time to do so.


Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering,
Unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


I'm here in the cafe side of the Catholic church across the street from me, making use of their...ah...well, okay, I'm their beloved Internet thief, as Father White greeted me one day. But, anyway. That's not the point here. The point is, Mass is piped into the cafe via loudspeaker. 10:30 Mass just began - and the opening song was none other than 'Hanging by a Moment' (or whatever the actual name is, I don't know). It's hardly out of character for this parish, sure. And it draws you in, sure...but not to Mass. Not...quite. How you go from that to chanting the Latin Mass parts, I just don't know.