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    by Mary Campbell

    from Sister Alma Rose Has the Last Word

    Before there was anything else on Earth,
    there was a great sea. The Creator
    reached out and touched the sea, and
    thus began life. A tiny cell thrived in the
    great sea, moving, moving, always toward
    the light. And the one became many, and
    the many grew in size and in variety and
    beauty, and in something that was not
    quite knowledge. The living things in the
    sea did not know the sea, because there
    was nothing else, only the sea that was
    vast and green and beautiful. They did
    not know that without the sea they could
    not live. They did not know about the sun
    or the moon or the stars.  

    Then the Creator reached out again and
    caused a great upheaval of the Earth, and
    mountains rose up out of the sea. In time
    the rains and the sun and the wind
    gentled the mountains, and there were
    shores and valleys. The sun raised water
    from the sea, and the wind blew the
    water over the land and baptized it with
    life—green and spreading, growing, and
    growing more, according to its nature.

    Then the tides hurled creatures from the
    sea onto the dry land, and some were
    carried back into the deep, but one found
    the land to be hospitable, and that one
    thrived, now creeping upon the land, now
    swimming in the sea. And the one became
    many, and the many grew in size and in
    variety and beauty, and in something
    that was not quite knowledge, but rather
    in a sense of the difference between dry
    land and water. Moving, moving, always
    toward the light, they found that streams
    flowed from the mountains to the sea,
    and they thrived in and alongside the
    streams, which came from the rain, which
    the sun raised from the sea.  

    The green things—spreading, growing,
    and growing more, always toward the
    light—became strong and tall, and invited
    the creeping things to feast on their fruit.
    In time, the strongest of the creatures
    developed claws to scale the trees, and
    some with fins grew wings instead to soar
    over oceans and rivers and land. But even
    those who built nests and lived and bore
    their young in trees required water to
    survive, just as did the creatures who
    swam only in the sea.

    And the dryland creatures became many,
    and the many grew in size and in variety
    and beauty, and in something a little
    more like knowledge, until one arose from
    all the creatures who roamed the earth,
    and that one had knowledge and more;
    that one had curiosity. And the one
    became many, and the many grew in size
    and in variety and strength, according to
    their nature.

    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled, as to console;
    To be understood, as to understand;
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    And it is in dying that we are
    born to eternal life. Amen.

    —St. Francis of Assisi,
    13th century, accessed
    from World Prayers
    Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as
    thou deservest;
    to fight and not to heed the wounds;
    to toil and not to seek for rest;
    to labor and not to ask for any reward,
    save that of knowing we do thy will.
    Ignatius Loyola
    Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have

    O Lord Almighty, the Healer of our souls
    and bodies, You Who put down and raise
    up, Who chastise and heal also; do You
    now, in him (her) up from his (her) bed,
    and cure him (her) of his (her) illness.
    Put away from him (her) the spirit of
    disease and of every O Lord Almighty,
    the Healer of our souls and bodies, You
    Who put has sins and transgressions,
    grant to him (her) remission and down
    and raise up, Who chastise and heal also;
    do You now, in Stretch forth Your hand
    that is full of healing and health, and get
    him (her) up from his (her) bed, and cure
    him (her) of his (her) illness. Put away
    from him (her) the spirit of disease and
    of every malady, pain and fever to which
    he (she) is bound; and if he (she) has sins
    and transgressions, grant to him (her)
    remission and forgiveness, in that You
    love mankind; yea, Lord my God, pity
    Your creation, through the compassions
    of Your Only-Begotten Son, together
    with Your All-Holy, Good and Life-
    creating Spirit, with Whom You are
    blessed, both now and ever, and to the
    ages of ages. Amen.
    (source unknown)

    Lord, you said that when two or three
    would gather together in your name,
    then you would be present with them. I
    am praying by myself (or ‘on the
    Internet’) but I am uniting myself
    with many individual Christians
    throughout the world who, though
    separate, are gathered together in
    another sense to pray to you, and I trust
    that you are with me now. (NH)

    When the thought of you wakens in us,
    God our heavenly Father, when the
    thought of you wakes in our hearts,
    let its awakening not be like a startled
    bird that flies about in fear. Instead, let it
    be like a child waking from sleep with a
    heavenly smile.
    —Søren Kierkegaard

    Christ our Morning Star
    O Christ, our Morning Star,
    Splendour of Light Eternal,
    shining with the glory of the rainbow,
    come and waken us from the greyness of
    our apathy, and renew in us your gift of
    hope. Amen.
    The Venerable Bede

    Come, Holy Spirit
    Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your
    faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of
    your love.
    Send forth your Spirit and they shall be
    created, and you shall renew the face of
    the earth.
    O God, who has taught the hearts of the
    faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,
    grant that by the gift of the same Spirit
    we may be always truly wise and ever
    rejoice in his consolation.
    Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    At the rising of your sun
    Lord God, Creator of light,
    at the rising of your sun each morning,
    let the greatest of all lights-your love-
    rise, like the sun, within my heart.

    Prayer of St. Columba
    Be, Lord Jesus, a bright flame before me,
    a guiding star above me,
    a smooth path below me,
    a kindly shepherd behind me:
    today, tonight, and forever.

    I will be busy
    O Lord,
    you know how busy
    I must be this day.
    If I forget you,
    do not forget me.
    (Sir Jacob Astley, before the
    Battle of Edgehill, 1642)

    Prayer of a Breton fisherman
    Lord, the sea is so wide
    and my boat is so small.
    Be with me.

    Close to me
    Lord, you are closer to me
    than my own breathing,
    nearer than my hands and feet.
    (St. Teresa of Avila)

    The Grail Prayer
    Lord Jesus,
    I give you my hands to do your work.
    I give you my feet to go your way.
    I give you my eyes to see as you do.
    I give you my tongue to speak your
    I give you my mind that you may think
    in me.
    I give you my spirit that you may pray in
    Above all,
    I give you my heart that you may love in
    your Father and all mankind.
    I give you my whole self that you may
    grow in me,
    so that it is you, Lord Jesus,
    who live and work and pray in me.

    Praying the offering of self
    Lord Jesus,
    you told your friends
    not to worry about the future.
    You showed them
    how to have the attitude of simple trust
    that young children have,
    so that they could place themselves
    into the caring hands of your Father.

    And so I ask for the power of your Spirit
    that I may remain positive
    throughout all that is ordinary in
    my daily life.

    I know that your touch can change
    people and situations, and so I ask you
    to join me in offering to our Father
    not only the good things of this day
    but also the suffering and sacrifices
    that I want to offer cheerfully and
    lovingly, and in a quiet and hidden way.

    And so may any difficulties
    and frustration and pain of this day
    be transformed in your presence
    for the benefit of other people. Amen.
Praise the Lord, O my soul
All that is within me,
Praise his holy name
Praise the Lord, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits
He forgives all my sins
and he heals all my diseases
He redeems my life from the pit
And crowns me with love
and compassion
He satisfies my desires
with good things
So that my youth is renewed
like the eagle's
Praise the Lord
Prayers, Song Prayers, Devotionals
St. Francis of Assisi with Sultan Al-Kamil
    A Book by Philip Yancey
    Reviewed by Publishers Weekly

    Yancey strikes a moving chord with this book that is more full of yearning and
    wonder than it is of easy answers. Prayer, he writes, is our partnership with
    God, our chance to join forces with God's power to confront suffering and evil

    Yancey is candid about his nagging sense of failure in prayer, but the book is
    suffused with a cautious hope; he writes of his growing confidence and joy as
    his prayer life has deepened from a spiritualized to-do list to a conversational
    communion with God.

    The key, Yancey writes, is that prayer is a window into knowing the mind of
    God, whose kingdom is entrusted to all of us frail, selfish people on earth.

    As with his other books, Yancey draws upon his international travels to bring a
    fresh perspective to the topic, detailing, in nations such as Romania and South
    Africa, how he believes prayer has transformed hearts and permitted bloodless

    The book's strength lies in its balance, with Yancey holding equally important
    ideals in a beautiful tension: action and meditation, doubt and certainty, and
    the unchanging God with the God who appears so moved by people's petitions
    in the Bible that he changes his mind. Yancey also offers some ... insightful
    observations about Jesus' own prayer life.

    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    St. Ignatius
    of  Loyola
    Weathering the Storm

    Father God, today I am afraid. I look
    around me at this world that is changing
    so fast and I feel lost like a small boat in
    the midst of a storm. I am not built to
    weather the battering waves or the
    howling wind. So I wait now in your
    presence. You spoke the oceans and the
    four winds into being. You threw the
    stars in the sky and separated the sea
    from dry land. You took the hand of
    Peter who was sinking into the depths of
    the water and walked him to safety. I
    choose now to fix my eyes on you and not
    on the storm. I settle my heart on your
    love and not on the current that
    threatens to pull me under. Thank you
    that you are my firm anchor even
    through the darkest night, Amen
    Sheila Walsh, author of Let Go
    The Creation of Prayer

    I pray we, all children of the earth, no
    matter our path to enlightenment, come
    to realize that we are one. We may walk
    our own paths, but we are not alone, for
    we walk at the same time, toward the
    same end/beginning. From our individual
    perspectives, be we Pagan, Christian,
    Muslim, Jew, Buddist, Taoist, or Hindu,
    are the same. I pray that we all feel the
    love of our Creator and by example learn
    to see each other as brothers and sisters,
    allowing the boundary lines of religion to
    fade away. May the Lord and Lady bless
    your path. May you always have enough,
    and may you give enough in return.
    Blessed Be.
    Beliefnet member Fae Aisling
    We do respect all clearly enunciated,
    sincere, and peaceable expressions of
    faith. We welcome your contributions.
    Please email

    But some of them turned their
    intelligence toward small, inward things,
    their curiosity, they did not know that—
    like the creatures who swam in the sea—
    they required it to survive. They injured
    the streams, though they required them
    to survive. They injured the creatures
    who swam in the streams; they injured
    the air and the land and the sea; they
    blocked the sun and shut their eyes to the
    light—though they required all these
    things to grow according to their nature,
    even to survive.

    In their minds, they forgot about the
    eternal sea, though their hearts
    remembered, and pulsed with
    admonition. And they became uneasy,
    because they believed that their minds
    were greater than their hearts. And so
    they defied their hearts, and thus they
    injured even the streams that flowed
    through their bodies, pulsing from their
    hearts with admonition.  

    But in every age, among all the creatures,
    there have been those who remember
    the eternal sea, who understand that,
    where pure streams cannot flow, living
    things shrivel and perish, and where the
    mind is not nourished by the heart, the
    mind withers and is sterile. Those who
    remember are the teachers and sages,
    the Wise Ones, the Ancients, the
    embodied admonitions of the heart’s
    They tell us, Swim, always, in the
    remembered pure streams that flow to
    the sea. Immerse yourself always in
    that awareness, which is prayer. When
    you drink clear water, let it be a
    ceremony and celebrate the eternal sea,
    which is something that we know of
    God. For prayer is to the spirit as water
    is to the body... and those who immerse
    themselves in prayer will be continually
    refreshed and renewed.
    Back in the 1930’s a man named Emmett
    Fox offered a very simple solution to all
    problems. He said, “Take your mind off
    the problem and put it on God.” As a
    renowned spiritual teacher and mystic,
    Fox taught the power of Affirmative
    Prayer. He taught that the only real
    truth there is, is the truth that God is
    and, where God is, there can be no fear,
    lack, difficulty or problems. Our job, Fox
    believed was to know, believe, accept,
    embrace, remember and affirm the
    presence of God and all things good
    would unfold. —http://goo.gl/PjUAlF
    meaningful direction to your faith life, helping you through challenging times
    by praying for you by name and need, and offering community and
    encouragement by praying with others. Every prayer request we receive is
    prayed for by a trained volunteer by name and by need. Rest assured, our
    prayer support is confidential, free and available 24 hours a day, seven days
    a week.
    Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

    O Lord our God, Who by word alone did
    heal all diseases, Who did cure the
    kinswoman of Peter, You Who chastise
    with pity and heal according to Your
    goodness; Who are able to put aside
    every malady and infirmity, do You
    Yourself, the same Lord, grant aid to this
    Your servant (Name) and cure him (her)
    of every sickness of which he (she) is
    grieved; lift him (her) up from his (her)
    bed of pain, and send down upon him
    (her) Your great mercy, and if it be Your
    Will, give to him (her) health and a
    complete recovery; for You are the
    Physician of our souls and bodies, and to
    You do we send up Glory: to Father, and
    to Son, and to Holy Spirit, both now and
    ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.