"Miserere Nobis"I almost didn't write this post on my week of focusing on the spiritual discipline of prayer, because as I was thinking about my week, I saw many, many failures. There were so many times to pray when I didn't even consider praying, so many opportunities to pray that I completely ignored. There were some things Foster discussed in Celebration of Discipline that I didn't agree with, and this disagreement made me a little doubtful and a little grumpy and a little suspicious of this whole prayer thing.
So I failed.
But I prayed, too.
I spent a little more time this week praying the hours. I always find comfort and encouragement in the Concluding Prayer of the Morning Office:
Lord God, Almighty and Everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
And then there was the day when I felt like I had messed up all day long, and I found mercy and forgiveness in The Greeting of Compline:
Almighty God, my heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, in what I have done and what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses; and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
And then there was the night when my heart was heavy for a grieving friend, and I leaned on the comfort of The Petition of Compline:
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest Your weary ones. Bless Your dying ones. Soothe Your suffering ones. Shield Your joyous ones, and all for your love's sake. Amen.
And then there was the evening that my heart was crumbling into broken pieces for our neighbors whose dog had just died. I actually stood at my kitchen window, raised my hands toward their house like a zombie/crazy person, and prayed for them.
And then I made them chocolate chip cookies and left them on their porch.
And I realized that sometimes when you pray you use words.
And sometimes when you pray you bake cookies.
And then there was the night when everyone in my house was asleep but me. And I slipped into Amélie's room, and I laid my hands on her precious, sleeping body, and I prayed that her sleep would be restful, that her heart would stay true and sweet, and that she would always love the God who adores her. And then I tiptoed into Jack's room, and I laid my hands on his precious, sleeping body, and I prayed that no monsters or aliens or zombies would rob his restful sleep, and that his heart would stay kind and sweet, and that he would always love the God who adores him.
I am also still praying the prayer I prayed last week from Psalm 51:10:
God, make a fresh start in me; create a Genesis week [day, moment] out of the chaos of my life.
This week I am adding a little Latin:
Have mercy on us.
Dona nobis pacem.
Grant us your peace.
May God have mercy on you this week, and may He grant you peace