Dear Lord, today I thought of the words of Vincent van Gogh: “It is true there is an ebb and flow, but the sea remains the sea.” You are the sea. Although I experience many ups and downs in my emotions and often feel great shifts and changes in my inner life, you remain the same. Your sameness is not the sameness of a rock, but the sameness of a faithful lover. Out of your love I came to life; by your love I am sustained; and to your love I am always called back. There are days of sadness and days of joy; there are feelings of guilt and feelings of gratitude; there are moments of failure and moments of success; but all of them are embraced by your unwavering love. O Lord, sea of love and goodness, let me not fear too much the storms and winds of my daily life, and let me know that there is ebb and flow but that the sea remains the sea. Amen
-A Prayer by Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)
(Be still before God)
Prayer of the Bible
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. The Lord says to us, ‘Turn to me with all your heart, for I am tender and compassionate’
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
God’s care for humanity is so great that he sent his unique Son among us, So that those who count on him might not lead a futile and failing existence, But have the undying life of God Himself. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for Ourselves and Others
Blessed be God who hears me when I pray.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 The Message
Go, sent by the Father into the world to love & serve in the name of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit
photo 1 Taken in Gozo, Malta
photo 2 Taken in Dakar, Senegal