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Prayer for the World May 29, 2024

Personal Transformation

 

Introduction

This will be the last “Prayer for the World” that I send out until early September.   I encourage you, however, to continue contemplative prayer for the world alone or with others throughout the summer months.  As you may recall we committed ourselves to the LCWR initiative “Transforming Grace: the Work of Transformative Justice,” responding to the question:  What is ours to do in this time?”  The initiative involves addressing the 2024 election through the lens of transformative justice, grounded in contemplation.  The Challenges of Church, Society and World are glaring as we experience the election process in our country as well as in many others, i.e., in campaigns, the elections themselves as well as the aftermath of elections.  So again we ask, “What is ours to do in this time?”


Song:  Breath of the One Life, by Jan Navotka


Breath of the One Life, Blow through me, Blow through me Breath of Life.

….Grace of all that is, Hidden within, Renew the Face of the Earth.

….Conscious awareness, Stillness within.  Renew the Face of the Earth.

….Love and compassion, Life deep within, Renew the Face of the Earth.


Reading

We seek personal transformation as basic to the greater transformation of our Church, Nation and World.  And we try to practice skills that counteract the polarization, disrespect even hatred and violence that is so rampant today.  The following is a quote from a recent newsletter from the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue.


In a recent outstanding OP-Ed piece New York Times columnist David Brooks tells us, “American society, at every economic level, is still plagued by enmity, distrust, isolation, willful misunderstanding, ungraciousness and just plain meanness.”  Then in what no doubt will be a surprising turn to some, he looks to Black theologian Howard Thurman and his “magnificent” book Jesus and the Disinherited for some advice.  It was 1949 when Thurman wrote:  “When the networks of relationships in a society are broken and unjust, national transformation must flow from a tide of personal transformation.


The newsletter goes on to make the observation that contemplative practice acts as a catalyst for personal transformation and it is estimated that literally millions of people around the world practice some type of meditation. 


It seems then, that the foundation for the national transformation for which we all long is certainly being set down.  And yet, we wait.  And as we wait we struggle to remember that at the heart of non-violent personal transformation is the art of letting go of the outcome.  And so we wait even longer, bearing at times more grief for the world than we think we can bare.  The words of the poet  Jan Hirschfield are thus seared into our  hearts:  “Hope is the hardest part of love to carry.”

 

Silent Reflection


God, out of his infinite mercy, made himself equal to us in the incarnation by identifying with the human condition.  God makes us equal to him by transforming us into his own unconditional love. …  In prayer, not thinking but being is the primary practice.   Thomas Keating

 

In contemplative prayer, we quiet our minds with the intention to BE open to God who is Love, the God who transforms usFocus on your breath.  Breathing in and breathing out.  When distractions come, simply focus again on your breathing. 


Silent Reflection


Song

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