A Lenten Prayer

A Lenten Prayer

By taking the sign of ashes on our forehead, we also choose to take on an external identification with the poor of the world. We belong to them and they to us.

The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, God, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death. It is a time for us to see sin not as little individual acts but as our acts of disregard for the hungry, the poor and disenfranchised, people of other religions, races, and creeds.

I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, pleasure, power, and influence. To the voices that causes us to turn away from the person on the street, who are in our faces hungry and un housed, to the voices of the vast majority of people throughout the world who are hungry, have very little and live in squalor.  Help me to choose the narrow road of service through self sacrifice and the giving of myself to others. To give of my money, my goods, and live simply, so that others might live. I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are not times or places without choices. And I know how deeply I resist choosing you. I resist following you every time I turn my eyes away from people in need, every time I limit who I talk to because they do not believe what I believe, support the candidate I do not support, and hang out with the people I do not hang out with. I deeply resist choosing you when I depend on social media as a way of interaction, giving out my opinion, preaching my stuff, without interacting in person. I become the judge, the one who knows it all, and in so doing hurt others deeply.

Please, Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place. Give me the strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me. Amen.

(Adaptation of Prayer by Henri Nouwen)

Each week we will give a selection of the Tenderloin Stations of the Cosmic Christ, our Good Friday Service this year. We invite you to pray, to mediate, and if you want to have a discussion email us at punkpriest1@gmail.com or call at 415-305-2124 or Snap Chat at Riodamien2.  We invite you to join us on Good Friday as we walk through the Tenderloin and if you would like to have a part please let us know.

Tenderloin Stations of the Cosmic Christ—2019

The Legend of the Sparrow

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

There was a sparrow who dreamed to fly into the sun.

Oh, how the birds of earth set up a cry at such imprudence in a little one

when even eagles dared not venture near

the burning stratosphere.

“She will come down within a mile or two”,

they prophesied with dread.

It was of course, most pitifully true.

Scarce half-way up the mountain over head

she crashed her feathers, as they said.

But when her wings healed, up she shot again

and sought further bough.

She was more humble and more cautious now,

after a brief novitiate of pain.

Three times she rose; twice the wind brought her down,

once her own weariness

At last she clutched a  branch in her distress

and cried, “How can I ever hope to rest

in the sun’s downy nest?

I faint; I fall whatever way I go!”

But then she turned and saw the home she left

unnumbered miles below,

while just beyond her lay the mountain top,

a kerchief head of snow.

Nobody told her and she never guessed

the earth’s last height was all that she need seek.

All winds blow upward from the mountain peak

and there the sun has such magnetic rays

that in one moment she was lifted up

into his tender blaze.

Down in the valley there was such a stir.

A sparrow reached the sun!

Why had the wind and weather favored her?

What had she ever done?

Yet since they must, they spoke the praising word,

measured her flight and paused to gasp afresh.

What was she really but a little bird,

all feathered and no flesh?

Only the sun knew and the moving air

the miracle thereof:

a bird that wings itself with resolute love

can travel anywhere. Jessica Powers

Today is Good Friday, and we come to remember Jesus on the cross. We are going to be following the “Stations of the Cosmic Christ” which will lead us into a broader understanding of the crucifixion.

Our meditations are meant to be suggestive, in deepening the awesomeness of our thoughts, prayers, questions, and imaginations and  journeying towards  a deeper relationship with the Cosmic Christ, who shines forth in the image of God, the light of divinity, and the spark of divinity within each one of us.

This is our eighteenth Stations of the Cross. During these years we have seen the crisis of homelessness grow. We see people who are around us live without hope of housing, health care, and food. They sleep on the streets, our doorways,  parks, and  anywhere they can lay a blanket or simply sit down.

In each we see the image of the Cosmic Christ. And in this twenty first century we still hear the words of 17th century St. Tikhon of Zadonsk which ring true today:

“No longer should our brothers and sisters be seen wandering the roads and in the squares, starving and trembling with the cold, under the icy north wind, naked members of the body of Christ. There ought to be beggars and destitute persons no longer. All should be equal.”

Silent Meditation

See Who You Are. Become Who You See!

WALKING STATION 1–Creation. In the beginning was the. .Word. .Fireball. .Flaring Forth. ..Big Bang. . .Void.”  Kevin Frederick

“How do you feel knowing you were part of the origin of the universe 13.8 billion years ago? Can you feel, as Hildegard of Bingen said, a new sense of being ‘wrapped in the arms of the mystery of God,’ or of realizing anew what it means to say along with Hildegard that, ‘It is love which was the source of this creation. .The whole creation was formed through love. . Love was in eternity and brought forth, in the beginning of all holiness, all creatures, without any admixture of evil. Can you truly understand what Julian of Norwhich said when she declared, “We are loved from before the beginning. What difference does this understanding make in your life?  What wounds does it begin to heal?”

“O Spirit, Teach me anew and in the context of a new universe story what it means that all of creation, myself included, was “loved from before the beginning.” Teach us what it means in giving new life and meaning to our struggling species today.” Teach us what it means to see each person on the street as being loved from the beginning and how our own actions have led to their brokenness and that it is in our actions that we can bring back healing  love to them . Amen.

Silent Meditation

See Who You Are. Become Who You See!

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