Meditation for March 22, 2020 Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
“Know yourself” is good advice. But to know ourselves doesn’t mean to analyze ourselves. Sometimes we want to know ourselves as if we were machines that could be taken apart and put back together at will. At certain critical times in our lives it might be helpful to explore in some detail the events that led us to our crises, but we make a mistake when we think that we can ever completely understand ourselves and explain the full meaning of our lives to others.
Solitude, silence, and prayer are often the best ways to self-knowledge. Not because they offer solutions for the complexity of our lives but because they bring us in touch with our sacred center, where God dwells. That sacred center may not be analyzed. It is the place of adoration, thanksgiving, and praise.
I’ll keep including this hymn by Carol Winfrey Gillette that we sang at the close of our last worship service. I think it makes a fine prayer.
God whose will is health and wholeness, hear your people as we pray: Many now are facing illness; more face sickness every day. As we lift our song toward heaven, may we use the gifts you give— science, justice, and compassion—to help others safely live.
Jesus taught that your commandments call for us to use the mind. May we use the gifts of science to seek health for humankind. Bless the ones who work for healing; bless the ones who seek to be Builders of a health care system that protects society.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on the sick and those they love, And we pray for those now grieving as they lift their cries above. There is trouble all around us; illness causes pain and fear. Give compassion, love and kindness as we serve your people here.
It was good to see and hear so many of you on Zoom this morning. Will keep figuring out ways to stay in touch. Watch for a survey from Tarrah on ways you all can help us do that. Stay safe!