Gerard Vanderleun’s excellent essay On Sunday Morning One Month After Death is today’s must-read.
A prayer from the Anchoress
I was going to do a roundup post of news but considering how dismal many of the news are, opted instead to post this from The Anchoress, “a prayer of supplication for the good of others, and for ourselves.” We all can certainly use one:
The prayer was long because where I could, I prayed everyone by name – but even if I could not do that, I still brought it all forward. I felt so ragged and unworthy – like a slave, or the lowliest servant – escorting one person after another, one group after another into the presence of His Majesty, each time introducing them thusly:
“Lord, the one you love is sick…”
“Lord, the one you love is weeping…”
“Lord, the ones you love are overworked and fretful…”
“Lord, the one you love is lonely…”
“Lord, the one you love is under siege…”
“Lord, the ones you love are oppressed…”
“Lord, the ones you love are over-burdened…”
“Lord, the ones you love are slaves to hate…”
I brought everyone in and then receded into the background, bowing low, imagining my own self nose-to-the-ground, almost prostrate and dared not look up, praying,
“…help them to comprehend the truth and strength and inviolability of your love, the generosity of your mercy – show to them the outpouring of your grace, gift them with your healing and let them recognize it and trust in it, for your gifts bestowed are never rescinded. You, Alpha and Omega, in whom we live and move and have our being, spread forth your peace like sweetest honey to refresh starving hearts and weary spirits. Let your light touch us like consoling balm to soothe and warm our chilled humanity, so that we might be opened to your justice and willing to be made whole. But I am no worthy intercessor, only a faulty and broken vessel trusting in your mercy. Consider not what I deserve in your sight but only the needs of these whom you love, these I bring before you, and for whom I, the lowest servant, plead. Let my prayer rise before you like incense, to carry these forward. Forgive my sins, especially my failures in love, my sins of omission (for you know those are vast and heavy) and cast them behind your back as your prophet Isaiah has promised, and with your grace may I do better. Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner, in your name I pray…”
With a prayer of thanks to The Anchoress for this wonderful intercession.
The Anchoress’ post on Advent, and Duyen on luck
After days of posting on the Mumbai massacre (and the details emerging), it is a pleasure and a joy to read The Anchoress’ beautiful post on Advent: The Coming of Love.
Francis Porretto (who hopefully will continue podcasting!) has Interventions: Two Guest Ruminations, by Aaron Brenzel, and by the beautiful Duyen Ky, who writes about luck.
(And now I go back to rebuilding my feed reader, which used to have 200 feeds and then died.)
Pray for the United States for 1 minute at 9 p.m. Eastern
I just received this request from a friend,
At 9 P.M. Eastern time [ 8 PM Central standard time], please stop whatever you are doing and pray for 1 minute for the United States, starting tonight, until the day of the election.
This “pray for 1 minute for the U.S.” was started by friends in London who care very much for the sanity of the US vote. All over the world people will be praying at the same time and God will listen and save this great country from this evil.
This is organized solely by word or mouth and person to person sharing and is not part of any religious group per se.
Pass it on.
VDH: In thanks
People who pray will tell you that praying in thanks is the most powerful prayer, a lesson I learned the hard way. So on this Independence Day weekend, let us pray in thanks: Via Irish Spy, a great essay by Victor Davis Hanson, Reflection Day
We live in the most prosperous and most free years of a wonderful republic, and can easily rectify our present crises that are largely of our own making and a result of the stupefying effects of our unprecedented wealth and leisure. Instead of endless recriminations and self-pity — of anger that our past was merely good rather than perfect as we now demand — we need to give thanks this Fourth of July to our ancestors who created our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and suffered miseries beyond our comprehension as they bequeathed to us most of the present wealth, leisure, and freedom we take for granted.
We sang this in church today
The music is from God Save the King, but here are the American lyrics:
My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
4. Our fathers’ God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
In thanks we live for our founding fathers, and for every American that has contributed to this our blessed country.
Today is the National Day of Prayer
O Lord God Almighty, I thank You for Your presence and for Your guidance. You alone are worthy of our worship, and You alone are to be praised in all the heavens.
Father, on this day of prayer, I remember all the goodness You have showered upon this nation and I lift my voice in prayer and gratitude along with many of my fellow citizens. I pray that our worship rises to You as a fragrant and pleasing aroma, and ask You to come into our lives and inhabit our praise.
I ask my readers to pray for our great nation and its people, and to pray for the bloggers, for my visitors and for me. I’ll be praying for all of you.
We all get weary, after all.
Cross-posted at DNN
[We] will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
[We] will sing to You among the nations.
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
Friends I haven’t met yet
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging is coming in contact with many wonderful people.
Over time, you grow to enjoy their writing, and to admire their human qualities that shine through their writing. I think of those people as friends – friends I haven’t met yet.
Go read what some of my friends have posted recently,
Jeremayakovka wrote an open letter to Matt Sanchez.
The Anchoress writes about God.
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred ponders The Pendulum of prayer
For every prayer that is extended our way when most needed, there are an equal numbers of prayers that we must extend because those prayers are needed.
Francis Porretto looks at life’s journies.
Kathleen faces an enormous challenge.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali in today’s WSJ
Don’t miss the WSJ’s interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Free Radical
Ayaan Hirsi Ali infuriates Muslims and discomfits liberals.
Many liberals loathe her for disrupting an imagined “diversity” consensus: It is absurd, she argues, to pretend that cultures are all equal, or all equally desirable. But conservatives, and others, might be reasonably unnerved by her dim view of religion. She does not believe that Islam has been “hijacked” by fanatics, but that fanaticism is intrinsic in Islam itself: “Islam, even Islam in its nonviolent form, is dangerous.”
The Muslim faith has many variations, but Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the unities are of greater significance. “Islam has a very consistent doctrine,” she says, “and I define Islam as I was taught to define it: submission to the will of Allah. His will is written in the Quran, and in the hadith and Sunna. What we are all taught is that when you want to make a distinction between right and wrong, you follow the prophet. Muhammad is the model guide for every Muslim through time, throughout history.”
This supposition justifies, in her view, a withering critique of Islam’s most holy human messenger. “You start by scrutinizing the morality of the prophet,” and then ask: “Are you prepared to follow the morality of the prophet in a society such as this one?” She draws a connection between Mohammed’s taking of child brides in the first century A.D. and modern sexual oppressions–what she calls “this imprisonment of women.” She decries the murder of adulteresses and rape victims, the wearing of the veil, arranged marriages, domestic violence, genital mutilation and other contraventions of “the most basic freedoms.”
About the culture war:
The most grievous failing of the West is self-congratulatory passivity: We face “an external enemy that to a degree has become an internal enemy, that has infiltrated the system and wants to destroy it.” She believes a more drastic reaction is required: “It’s easy,” she says, “to weigh liberties against the damage that can be done to society and decide to deny liberties. As it should be. A free society should be prepared to recognize the patterns in front of it, and do something about them.”
Go and read every word.
Cross-posted at MSN