Serving the Community

If there is a common thread
it is the area we share and the community we serve.
Hopefully, all of us in some way try to enhance the quality of life in our area.

St.Paul’s Corinthians 12: 4.11

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit;
there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord;
working in all sorts of different ways in different people,
it is the same Lord who is working in all of them.
All these are the work of the one and same Spirit,
who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

Journey Prayer

Arise with me in the morning.
Travel with me through each day.
Welcome me on my arrival.
God, be with me all the way.

Slow Down

Lord, teach me how to stand still.
To switch off, to lean on a gate;
To sit and look at your beautiful world.

Teach me how to leave the phone off,
To slacken speed,
To lie in the sun without feeling that I
should be doing something.

Teach me, Lord, to stop, to stop fussing,
To stop working at it,
To stop keeping on bravely,
To stop doing it for myself…

Teach me Lord, to stop, to look, to listen.
To be still in my mind when I stop.
To see beauty when I look.
To hear you when I listen.    
By: David Kosoff

Prayer

For Prayer

It’s good to begin prayer by noticing how God or Jesus looks on you.
Picture yourself coming upon Jesus as he sits alone, deep in thought. You make a sound .
He hears and turns his head towards you. Perhaps he lifts his hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun.
Watch him as he recognises you. See the smile begin and then spread across his face.
What goes on in you? Doubt, tears, relief, tentative hope, yearning…
Can you return the smile? Can you walk or hurry towards him?
Let the scene unfold.

Jesus The Trouble is……
The trouble with Christ is that he often comes at the wrong time, and often wearing the wrong kind of clothes.
The other day He came to my door. He couldn’t have come at a worse time. I had a hundred and one things to do.
He just stood there, a faint smile on his face. I didn’t ask him to come in, in case he might decide to stay all day.
Eventually, I said , ‘What do you want?’ ‘Nothing, I was just passing by so I thought I’d drop in and say ‘Hello’, He replied.
Sensing my mood, He excused himself and went away. When He was gone I was mad with myself.
Though He said He didn’t want anything, I’m sure He did want a little companionship. But I refused Him.
Ah, if only he had come at a more suitable time!

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving, between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oft times he weaveth sorrow,
and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent,
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas,
and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful
in the skillful weaver's hand

As threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.
By: Anonymous

Smaller Beatitudes

Blessed are you who can laugh at yourselves: you will have no end of fun.
Blessed are you who can tell a mountain from a molehill: you will be saved a lot of bother.
Blessed are you who know how to relax without looking for excuses: you are on the way to becoming wise.
Blessed are you who know when to be quiet and listen: you will learn a lot of new things.
Blessed are you who are sane enough not to take yourselves too seriously: you will be valued by those around you.
Blessed are you if you can take small things seriously and face serious things calmly: you will go far in life.
Blessed are you if you can appreciate a smile and forget a frown: you will walk on the sunny side of the street.
Blessed are you who think before acting and pray before thinking: you will avoid many blunders.
Above all
Blessed are you who recognise the Lord in all whom you meet: the light of truth shines in your life for you have found true wisdom.

Hope

Tomorrow is a Dream
That Leads Me Onwards
Tomorrow is a path I have yet to choose,
A chance I have yet to take,
A friend I have yet to make.
It’s all the talent I have yet to use.
Tomorrow is a dream that leads me onwards.
Always just a step ahead of me.
It’s the joy I have yet to know.
The love I have yet to share,
For It’s the person I have yet to be.

Candle

To Light a Candle

The practice of lighting a candle as a sign of prayer is of long standing among Catholics, but it may become a mechanical or ill-understood gesture.

The following is a prayer which attempts to restore to it something of its genuine content………….

Lord,
May this candle be a light for you to enlighten me
in my difficulties and decisions.
May it be a fire for you to burn out of me
all pride, selfishness and impurity.
May it be a flame
for you to bring warmth to my heart
towards my family, my neighbours
and all those who meet me.
Through the prayers of Mary, virgin and mother
I place in your care those I come to remember, especially……..
I cannot stay long here with you: In leaving this candle,
I wish to give you something of myself
Help me to continue my prayer
Into everything I do this day.
Amen

Take A Detour

We may feel at our most frustrated when a barrier stands in our way.
But some of life’s most fortuitous outcomes are the result of detours.
Welcome the detours. Often they redirect lives in a profitable way you may never have considered.

The Sculptors

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there.
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher, the tools she used
Were books and music and art;
One was a parent with a guiding hand
And a gentle, loving heart.
Day after day the teacher toiled
With touch that was deft and sure,
While the parent laboured by her side
And polished and smoothed it o’er.
And when at last their task was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought;
For the things they had moulded into a child
Could neither be sold nor bought.
And each agreed they would have failed
If they had worked alone,
For behind the parent stood the school,
And behind the teacher, the home.
By: Mark Taylor.

This was written by a student from Columbine High School…..

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings,
but shorter tempers;
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;
we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We have higher incomes, but lower morals;
We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men, and short character;
steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare;
more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
Days of two incomes, but more divorce;
of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this piece to you,
and time when you can choose either to make a difference..or just hit delete.”

Peace

Lord, we know what peace is.
Peace is a mother tenderly holding her child.
Peace is a firm handshake of trust between friends. Peace is complete emotional security.
Peace is living unencumbered with a full sense of joy.
Peace is expressing thanksgiving for concrete blessings.
For the peace gained from the love and memory
of spouses and children, we thank you ..
For the peace gained from the love and memory
of parents and grandparents, we thank you ..
For the peace gained from the kindness and
support of friends, we thank you ..
For the peace gained when the music of the
Gods is sung, we thank you ..
Peace is elusive. There are raging storms in every life. Tragedy, grief, and pain will visit everyone.
Yet, each person's life is graced by moments and periods of real happiness.
For these episodes of peace and joy ..
past, present, & future, we offer our deepest gratitude.
Help us to understand that peace must be waged.
We must resist the gun, the bomb, "realistic politics," unkind words,
personal betrayals, anger, depression, despair, and rage.
Give us the strength to overcome these demons.
Help us maintain personal power within ourselves,
so we can pass this liberating power to others.
Give hope and courage to all who struggle
with debilitating illness, grief, and loneliness.
Help them to understand ………
All chains will be Broken.
Sursum Corda! Lift up your hearts!
Qui Potens Est! God is great!
Amen

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead 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 that I have that desire in all
that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you
will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I 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.
By: Thomas Merton

Changes

Dear God, be with me, as I walk your paths,
In places I sometimes do not want to go.
Be with me as I say goodbye to those
I want to stay with.
Be with me as I leave behind gifts so newly given and hardly seen.
Be with me as I try, sometimes sadly, to walk your way.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village.
He worked in a carpenter’s shop until he was thirty. He then became an itinerant preacher.
He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He had no credentials but Himself.

He was only thirty-three when the public turned against Him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had on earth. He was laid in a borrowed grave.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today He remains the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.

Dear Lord,
I may not see the sun and moon lose their light.
I may not witness rivers turn red,
or stars fall from the sky.
Yet there are times when
my world becomes unhinged
and the foundations of what I believe crack and dissolve.
Give me the grace to believe that Your power is at work
in the turmoil of my life.
Lead me to remember that
Your power is greater than all evil,
and though the world may rock and sometimes break,
it will in time be transformed by Your Love.

For young people

May you find serenity and tranquillity in
a world you may not always understand.
May conflict and obstacles you have experienced give you the strength to go through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism.
May you know that there are people around you whose love and understanding will always be present.
May you discover enough goodness in others to believe in a world of peace.
May a kind word, a reassuring touch and a warm smile be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts as well as receive them.
May you remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.
May you teach love to those who know hate and may the teaching of those you admire become part of you. Remember, those whose lives you have touched and who have touched yours are always a part of you.
May you find time in each day to see the beauty and love in the world around you.
May you realise that each person has many abilities but each of us is different in our own way.
May you see your future as one filled with promise and opportunity.
May you learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience.
And may you always feel loved.
Author Unknown

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. M Scott Peck

Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while.
Kin Hubbard

Today

Today I can complain because
the weather is rainy,
or I can be thankful that the grass
is getting watered for free.
Today I can grumble about my health,
or I can rejoice that I am alive.
Today I can whine because I have to go to work,
or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.
Today I can murmur because I have to go to school,
or eagerly open my mind and fill it
with rich new bits of knowledge.
Today I can lament over all that my parents
didn’t give me when I was growing up,
or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.
Today I can cry because roses have thorns,
or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.
And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is, with God’s help, up to me.

Prayer For A Family

Lord, bless our family,
all of us now together,
those who are far away,
and all who are gone
back to You.
May we know joy,
and may we bear
our sorrow in patience.
Let love guide our
understanding of each other.
We have all made each other
what we are.
O Family of Jesus,
watch over our Family.
Amen.

A Prayer For Understanding

Lord, it’s so easy to jump to conclusions
and make snap judgements.
To fix permanent labels on people
because of a few words they’ve said
a single action they’ve taken.
But You created us as beings capable of change.
Able to correct our defects…. redeemable.
Help us to see each one as You made us.
Help us to understand that anyone can fail,
but also that anyone can rise from failure.
Help us to give others
- and ourselves - the benefit of the doubt.
Amen.

‘There! She’s gone!…..Here she comes!’
I am standing upon the foreshore,
A ship at my side spreads his white sails….
And starts for blue ocean….
I stand and watch him until at length
he hangs like a speck of white cloud….
Then someone at my side says,
“There! She’s Gone!”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that’s all.
He is just as large in mast and spar and hull,
As ever he was when he left my side.
His diminished size is in me, not in him.
And just at that moment
When someone at my side says,
“There! She’s Gone!”
There are other eyes watching him coming
And other voices ready
to take up the glad shout,
“Here she comes”
And that is dying!

Giving Them Back

We seem to give them back, to you,
O God, who gave them to us.
Yet as you did not lose them when you gave them to us,
so we do not lose them by their return.

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