A Quiet Time With God

Help Me Live It – Keith Green
Oh Lord, You’re beautiful
Your face is all I see
For when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me
Oh Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clean
Replace the lamp of my first love
That burns with holy fear
I want to take Your Word and shine it all around
But first help me just to live it, Lord
And when I’m doing well,
help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving glory to You.

Christ Be With Me – St. Patrick
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us

Lead Us – St. Augustine
Lead us, O God, from the sight of the lovely things of the world
To the thought of thee their Creator;
And grant that delighting in the beautiful things of thy creation,
we may delight in thee, the first author of beauty
and the Sovereign Lord of all thy works, blessed for evermore.

Empty Vessel – Martin Luther
Behold, Lord, An empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in faith; Strengthen thou me. I am cold in love; Warm me and make me fervent That my love may go out to my neighbour. I do not have a strong and firm faith; At times I doubt and am unable to trust thee altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in thee. In thee I have sealed the treasures of all I have. I am poor; Thou art rich and didst come to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; Thou art upright. With me there is an abundance of sin; In thee is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore, I will remain with thee of who I can receive But to whom I may not give. Amen.

Lead Me – Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahed of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Twenty-Third Psalm – Psalms 23: 1-6
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff–they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts and we forgive
our debtors,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

Beloved – John Wesley
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved;
to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood;
to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts,
be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
Amen.

Every Day is a Fresh Beginning

New Every Morning, Susan Coolidge

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, in spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.

A Time to Believe, B.J. Morbitzer

To believe is to know that
every day is a new beginning.
Is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels
dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us
When it’s time to pick up
the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know
we are not alone,
That life is a gift
and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know
that wonderful surprises are just
waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.

In the Here and the Now

“Sometimes I long for a convent cell, with the sublime wisdom of centuries set out on bookshelves all along the wall and a view across the cornfields–there must be cornfields and they must wave in the breeze–and there I would immerse myself in the wisdom of the ages and in myself. Then I might perhaps find peace and clarity. But that would be no great feat. It is right here, in this very place, in the here and the now, that I must find them.”
― Etty Hillesum,

“I believe that I know and share the many sorrows and sad circumstances that a human being can experience, but I do not cling to them, I do not prolong such moments of agony. They pass through me, like life itself, as a broad, eternal stream, they become part of that stream, and life continues. And as a result all my strength is preserved, does not become tagged onto futile sorrow or rebelliousness.”
― Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork

Etty Hillesum wrote in her diary: Sometimes when I stand in some corner of the camp, my feet planted on earth, my eyes raised towards heaven, tears run down my face, tears of deep emotion and gratitude. Does this sound like a passage from a young girl’s summer camp diary? Well, the camp she speaks of is a Nazi death camp. What Etty Hillesum stands for is gratefulness against all the odds. This makes her shine as an example for all of us, a witness to sheer enthusiasm for life. — Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

“Despite everything, life is full of beauty and meaning.”
― Etty Hillesum, 

No Coward Soul Is Mine ~ Emily Bronte

EMILY BRONTE 1818-1848 ~ PORTRAIT BY BRANWELL BRONTE
"I'll walk where my own nature would be leading:
    It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
    Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side."
 -Emily Bronte (Stanzas) 

Emily Bronte was the daughter of an Anglican vicar yet her own faith was based not on traditional religious attitudes, but on her own experience which was rooted in nature rather than a physical Church or specific doctrine. Mary Robinson, in her 1883 biography of Emily, put it this way:

“Never was a soul with more passionate love of Mother Earth, of every weed and flower, of every bird, beast, and insect that lived.”

HAWORTH MOOR, WEST YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Her sister Charlotte wrote of Emily, that the moors “were what she lived in, and by”. Emily beautifully describes them in “High Waving Heather”, written in 1836. First verse here:

“High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,

Man’s spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.”

Emily Bronte had the courage of her convictions. She had faith in a God who was not the construction of orthodoxy, but the God she had come to know for herself. This can be seen in her poem No Coward Soul Is Mine.

“No coward soul is mine

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere

I see Heaven’s glories shine

And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast

Almighty ever-present Deity

Life, that in me hast rest,

As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

Vain are the thousand creeds

That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,

Worthless as withered weeds

Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one

Holding so fast by thy infinity,

So surely anchored on

The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love

Thy spirit animates eternal years

Pervades and broods above,

Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though earth and moon were gone

And suns and universes ceased to be

And Thou wert left alone

Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death

Nor atom that his might could render void

Since thou art Being and Breath

And what thou art may never be destroyed.”

The Storm

” . . . once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore