Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Lord Jesus Christ, you are for me medicine when I am sick;
you are my strength when I need help;
you are life itself when I fear death;
you are the way when I long for heaven;
you are light when all is dark;
you are my food when I need nourishment.

- Ambrose of Milan (240-397)

Monday, March 23, 2009

thoughts from Henri Nouwen

Are we friends with ourselves? Do we love who we are? These are important questions because we cannot develop good friendships with others unless we have befriended ourselves.

How then do we befriend ourselves? We have to start by acknowledging the truth of ourselves. We are beautiful but also limited, rich but also poor, generous but also worried about our security. Yet beyond all that we are people with souls, sparks of the divine. To acknowledge the truth of ourselves is to claim the sacredness of our being, without fully understanding it. Our deepest being escapes our own mental or emotional grasp. But when we trust that our souls are embraced by a loving God, we can befriend ourselves and reach out to others in loving relationships.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lent Continues...

"There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there too. But more often stones and grit block the well, and God is buried beneath. Then God must be dug out again."

- Etty Hillesum

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here's a little song that can be sung to the same tune as "Morning Has Broken" ...

1. Christ beside me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me King of my heart;
Christ within me, Christ below me,
Christ above me never to part.

2. Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand,
Christ all around me shield in strife;
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting,
Christ in my rising light of my life.

3. Christ beside me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me King of my heart;
Christ within me, Christ below me,
Christ above me never to part.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thoughts from Henri Nouwen

"Being with a friend in great pain is not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. We do not know what to do or what to say, and we worry about how to respond to what we hear. Our temptation is to say things that come more out of our own fear than out of our care for the person in pain. Sometimes we say things like 'Well, you're doing a lot better than yesterday,' or 'You will soon be your old self again,' or 'I'm sure you will get over this.' But often we know that what we're saying is not true, and our friends know it too.

"We do not have to play games with each other. We can simply say: 'I am your friend, I am happy to be with you.' We can say that in words or with touch or with loving silence. Sometimes it is good to say: 'You don't have to talk. Just close your eyes. I am here with you, thinking of you, praying for you, loving you.'"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fly to Jesus, Jeff, fly to Jesus...

I know that my friend Jeff is more alive today than he was yesterday. "Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord; And let light perpetual shine upon him." (BCP)

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall...so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

i'm finding my way home...

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Way of the Cross

“It is precisely because of the cross that I have hope in this world…When he dragged that cross through spit and mud Jesus showed us that God is full aware of the realities of life, the hardships, the doubt, the pain.” – found on belief.net

From the earliest days of the church, Christians have journeyed to Jerusalem to retrace Jesus’ steps has he carried his cross from Pilate’s house to Golgotha. This path is known as the Via Dolorosa (“Way of Sorrow”) and the Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”) and quickly became well known and well traveled by those who follow Christ. By the Middle Ages, other cities began to create replicas of this Sacred Way (or “Via Sacra”). Christians who could not make the journey to Jerusalem to walk this path could make the journey in their own places of worship. The number of stations has varied, but by the 1700’s there were 14 stations that were traditionally recognized. You will often see these 14 stations depicted on the walls of Roman Catholic, Anglican, or churches. The Stations are most often practiced during Lent, especially on Fridays and during Holy Week.

The most common way to practice the Stations is to go to a church or other location that has them around the walls. Worshipers walk from station to station, often reading scripture and saying prayers. If you have ever driven through the Texas panhandle on I-40, there is a large cross along the interstate just east of Amarillo. At the base of that cross you will find the Stations of the Cross.

There are a variety of ways that Christians have depicted the Stations. The traditional version is based on scripture as well as tradition.

1. Jesus is Condemned to Death
2. Jesus Receives His Cross
3. Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross for the First Time
4. Jesus Meets His Mother
5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
6. The Face of Jesus is Wiped by Veronica
7. Jesus Falls a Second Time
8. The Women of Jerusalem Mourn for Our Lord
9. Jesus Falls a Third Time
10. Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
11. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
12. Jesus Dies Upon the Cross
13. Jesus is Laid in the Arms of His Mother
14. Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Another set of Stations based on scripture:

1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 25:36-41)
2. Jesus betrayed by Judas (Mark 14: 43-46)
3. Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin (Luke 22: 66-71)
4. Jesus denied by Peter (Matthew 26: 69-75)
5. Jesus condemned by the people (Mark 15: 1-5, 15)
6. Jesus crowned with thorns and clothed in purple. (John 19: 1-3)
7. Jesus carries the cross. (John 19: 6, 15-17)
8. Jesus assisted by Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15: 21)
9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23: 27-31)
10. Jesus is crucified. (Luke 23: 33-34)
11. Jesus speaks to the thief (Luke 23: 39-43)
12. Jesus speaks to his mother (John 19: 25-27)
13. Jesus dies on the cross (Luke 23: 44-46)
14. Jesus is buried. (Matthew 27: 57-60)

Some churches add a 15th Station celebrating the resurrection. But this is traditionally not to be observed during Lent.

“If you cannot contemplate high and heavenly things, take refuge in the Passion of Christ, and love to dwell within his Sacred Wounds. For if you devoutly seek the Wounds of Jesus and the precious marks of his Passion, you will find great strength in all troubles.” – Thomas a Kempis

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross,
you have redeemed the world.

Lord Jesus Christ,
take me along that holy way
you once took to your death,
Take my mind, my memory,
above all my reluctant heart,
and let me see what once you did
for love of me and all the world.

For more information about the Stations of the Cross, check out this website.

Thursday, March 5, 2009