Friday, September 10, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 16, complementing as it does today our first reading from 1 Timothy.
Paul, in guiding his beloved disciple Timothy, defines the phenomenon as “Grace”:
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,1 Timothy 1:14
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Grace is a participation in the life of God, which is poured unearned into human beings, whom it heals of sin and sanctifies.”
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,1 Timothy 1:13
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
But how do we open ourselves do the gift of grace? How do we engage God’s desire to deepen us in holiness?
Psalm 16 offers us wisdom:
I bless the LORD who counsels me;Psalm 16: 7-8
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
We invite God’s counsel
- by an ardent study of scripture
- by a sacramental faith
- by a prayer that listens more than it speaks
- by a life centered on the works of mercy
- by a reverence for all Creation
- by a love that loves as God loves
I have set the Lord always before me;Psalm 16: 8-11
because you are at my side I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;
my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor let your holy one see destruction.
You will show me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy,
and in your hand are graces for evermore.
Poetry: BELOVED IS WHERE WE BEGIN —Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
If you would enter
into the wilderness,
do not begin
without a blessing.
Do not leave
who you are:
named by the One
who has traveled this path
Do not go
without letting it echo
in your ears,
and if you find
it is hard
to let it into your heart,
do not despair.
That is what
this journey is for.
I cannot promise
this blessing will free you
from the scorching
or the fall
of the night.
But I can tell you
that on this path
there will be help.
I can tell you
that on this way
there will be rest.
I can tell you
that you will know
the strange graces
that come to our aid
only on a road
such as this,
that fly to meet us
that come alongside us
for no other cause
than to lean themselves
toward our ear
and with their
whisper our name:
Music: Lead Me, Lord