Thursday, August 11, 2011

Like Lost Sheep

My notebook pages are full of thoughts, things I see which occupy my mind. I make sense of them in some way, relieving my anxieties, and some I copy here, so that I won’t forget --- on the day when the worries come back again.

This morning as I knelt and prayed my opening prayer, praising God for all He is and all He has done --- even for me, and asking His blessings to make good out of all that seems so bad, I realized how I was going on, and on, and on.

Lord, please watch over us this day. Bless my tasks this day: the words I must write( please give me wisdom), the shopping I must do, the meetings I must attend, the consolations I must give. Bless those I meet, especially those seeking some measure of help from me --- let them see Your help, and bless even those I don’t meet, but You put in my path. If they should see me, let them only have thoughts of You. Bless our government, may the people in it be enlightened to make wise decisions, or in their lack of wisdom let them stupidly and “by chance”, make right decisions. Indeed, bless our world, Lord. So many seem so lost, so afraid, or perhaps even worse, so not afraid, when they should be. So many are going forth, loudly and righteously, seemingly confident that they and only they know the way, and all must follow.

But they are lost …

Lord, even as I pray I realized suddenly all that I am asking. Who but You could even consider all that I am asking? And who am I to ask? There are many millions in this world praying this day, even at this moment. Lord, who but You could hear us? Who but You could answer? I pray You make right out of all these things, even the wrong. I have faith in Your promises.

My Jesus, I trust in You. I trust in You. I trust in You.

Lord, when I think on all these prayers I can only realize one thing: we are like lost sheep, even as You described us. We bleat aloud in our fears, crying to one another, but no one knows the way. Some speak up boldly, like three-year old to his crying mom: “Don’t worry, mom. I’ll take care of you.” Wonderful bravado and intention, but they are just children in their understanding.

Truly, the most lost are those who do not know they are lost, until suddenly the end of a cliff is in their path, and there is nowhere else to go. Willingly or not, they must admit their confusion, for all around can see it: they don’t know the way. (Lk 6:39) More and more are finally seeing this, Lord. However, some are so stubborn they would rather leap to the depths below rather than admit they don’t see a path in front of them. Lord, have mercy on them, and us all. We all are as lost sheep. Oh Good Shepherd, find us and give us comfort!

I’m just beginning this day, Lord. Make me an instrument of Your peace to those around me. If You would, use me to calm their increasing anxiety, to speak or show Your words: Do Not Be Anxious.

We trust in You.

This morning I then read and meditated on these words of Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop:
“We may call ourselves true Christians only if our lives express Christ by our own peace. As the Apostle says: He has put enmity to death. We must never allow it to be rekindled in us. Gloriously has God slain enmity, in order to save us; may we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges. We must put an end to this enmity and live as we believe he lived. He broke down the separating wall, uniting what was divided, bringing about peace by reconciling in his single person those who disagreed. In the same way, we must be reconciled not only with those who attack us from outside, but also with those who stir up dissension within. Once we subject the wisdom of the flesh to God’s law, we shall be re-created as one single man at peace. For the quality of holiness is shown not by what we say but by what we do in life.”

This morning I again seriously prayed the words of the Pray to the Apostle Paul (as shown on the sidebar of this blog).

And finally, during mass this morning, I prayed the prayers of the mass most sincerely:
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, Grant us peace.

Those things happened this morning, and now I am home, documenting my thoughts and prayers. But I remember now other thoughts and prayers, ones which also I must not forget. I have previously written some of them here and here and here If you read these words and feel down, read these others also, for there is always hope.

May you find God’s peace and joy this day, my friends, a day on which we may feel like lost sheep. But remember also the truth of what the Apostle proclaimed: Once I was lost, but now I am found. Do Not Be Anxious.

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