Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 15, 2020
Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Reading Spiritually About Spiritual Things”
Reading often means gathering information, acquiring new insight and knowledge, and mastering a new field. It can lead us to degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Spiritual reading, however, is different. It means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual way. That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by words.
As long as we read the Bible or a spiritual book simply to acquire knowledge, our reading does not help us in our spiritual lives. We can become very knowledgeable about spiritual matters without becoming truly spiritual people. As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God’s voice. Sometimes we must be willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through its words.
Today’s prayers come from the website for Episcopal Relief and Development.
Prayer for Preparedness and Response
O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your neverfailing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. — The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York Disaster Preparedness Plan
A Prayer for First Responders
Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal
On the Occasion of a Disaster
Compassionate God… Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen
— Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing: New York), page 733
Time for more of Cuyler Black’s work.
This family reworked the opening sequence of The Simpsons for our time of COVID quarantines.
Here is a two-minute video consisting of assorted critters and people taking a nap. Trust me.
Go to this website to see photographer Tim Flach’s extraordinary portraits of unusual and endangered birds.
Before you venture out for your next adventure in grocery shopping, be sure to read a grocery store manager’s 20-point list of things every shopper needs to know right now.
Back in 2012, North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences investigated the arthropods found in people’s homes. “Although the project was done in the piedmont of North Carolina,” the researchers explain, “this guide may be applicable to many areas where humans coexist with these animals.” Behold…eighteen pages (with photos!) of the critters we share our homes with.
Beginning with 1950, this article will show you the most popular tech gadget from the year you were born.
Stay safe and stay well!