Palm Sunday Prayer 2013

Palm Sunday Prayer.001

I had hoped to use a more contemporary image of the triumphal entry but because of the challenge of getting permission decided to use this instead. However I thought that you might like to see some of the beautiful images I have come across.

I particularly like this one by Dinah Roe Kendall who lives in the U.K

And this by Townsville artist Jan Hynes

Or this by William Hemmerling

Resources for Holy Week #2: Stations of the Cross

This year I thought that I would separate out the stations of the Cross from other Good Friday resources as I know many churches like to have Stations of the Cross available for people to walk throughout Holy Week. This year I tried to put together a collection from around the world attempting to highlight some of the challenging issues of our turbulent world that are portrayed. Most of the images are far from the traditional stations of the cross though I have ended the collection with a mimed rendition of Sandi Patty’s Via Dolorosa. If there are other international images you think should be a part of this collection please add them in the comments. Enjoy!

From Australia

Stations of the Cross by Indigenous Australian Shirley Purdue via abc.net.au

From New Zealand 

This series comes from Hamilton New Zealand

Cityside Baptist church in Auckland New Zealand has held an exhibit of contemporary icons to reflect on at Easter for a number of years. The photos shown were taken at their 2002 and 2004 presentations.

From Middle East and Sudan – 

Here is a heartrending presentation of the stations of the Cross using images of refugees from Iraq and Sudan as spectators and participants.  (The stations of the Cross are down the side of the post)

I also came across this  interesting set of Jordanian stamps which  Mansour Mouasher has found depicting the Stations of the Cross.

From South America

very powerful presentation of the stations from the perspective of liberation theology by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel of Argentina

From Asia

I enjoyed meditating on this series by a nun in Bangalore India

And another very beautiful, Korean Stations of the Cross by Korean sculptor Choi Jong-tae from Myeong-dong Cathedral.

From Africa

I love this stations of the cross from Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya. The designs were created by Father Angelbert M. Vang SJ from Yaoude, from the Cameroon who was a well-known historian, poet, musician and designer and executed by a Kenyan artist.

This meditation is a poignant reminder of those who struggle daily to carry crosses we cannot even imagine.

From U.K.

This Stations of the Cross series by Chris Gollon was commissioned by the Church of England for the Church of St John on Bethnal Green, in East London. Gollon took the unusual step of using his own son as the model for Jesus, his daughter as Mary, and his wife as Veronica. Fr Alan Green is cast as Nicodemus, and David Tregunna (Gollon’s friend and agent) as Joseph of Arimathea. The juxtaposition of real figures with imagined ones creates a heightened sense of reality. I think that the images are both compelling and powerful.

From Netherlands

I found this mimed rendition of Sandy Patti’s Via Dolorosa very refreshing.

 

A Prayer for the Third Sunday of Lent

I posted this prayer on the Light for the Journey Facebook page earlier in the week and it was so popular that I thought I would share it here too. The beginning of next week we will be about half way through the journey of Lent and I think that many of us begin to feel a little weary at this point.

God go with you in your journey.001

A Reflection for Ash Wednesday 2013

IMG_0339

Playing for the ashes… it conjures up for many of us (at least from the British Commonwealth) the test cricket match between Australia and England, probably one of the most fiercely fought international games.  But that is not what I am writing about here.  The ashes that I am thinking of have nothing to do with a game but with Ash Wednesday which ushers in probably the most serious event of history – Jesus final days and his walk towards the Cross.

For many of us today (yes it is already Ash Wednesday in Australia) marks the beginning of a personal journey too as we join Jesus in his final days. Unfortunately many of us treat the season of Lent like a game – more like the cricket match called the Ashes than like the serious turn around time it is meant to be.  We come to the season with a list of trivial things we intend to give up – TV, video games, chocolate, but most of us don’t really take the season seriously or use it as a time to dig deeply into our hearts to sweep out the corners in which sin has accumulated.

Burning the ashes

Burning the ashes

The ashes used in church services on Ash Wednesday are traditionally made by burning the Palm Sunday crosses from the previous year so this year I decided to experiment. My Palm Sunday cross from last year was still sitting in my office, so I burnt it, reminding myself that the repentance I seek at this season is only possible because of the incomprehensible gift of Christ and his death on a cross 2,000 years ago. 

Burning my Palm Sunday cross had a big impact on me. It reminded me that the crucifixion is not really meant to be the focus of our mourning and fasting. We mourn and fast not because we are heading to the cross but because we want to shed all that disrupts our intimate walk with God. We look beyond the cross to the life of God’s kingdom. Asking myself what still needs to be repented of and transformed in  my life so that I can be an effective citizen of God’s resurrection created world is probably the most important question of Lent. I want to become all that God intends me to be. I want to leave behind all that prevents me from becoming that person. I want to thirst for righteousness and hunger for justice rather than for water and food.

St Patrick’s Creeds

St Patrick

St patrick via stepsofjustice.com

Saturday is St Patrick’s Day. As I have posted a responsive prayer and some links to Patrick’s Breastplate and other prayers in the past as well a post with his Prayer for the Faithful I thought that this year I would post his creeds instead. I have found two that are attributed to Patrick – both very compelling and worth a read.

Creeds of St. Patrick

 St. Patrick, from his Confession

There is no other God,
nor ever was, nor will be,
than God the Father unbegotten,
without beginning,
from whom is all beginning,
the Lord of the universe,
as we have been taught;
and His son Jesus Christ,
whom we declare to have always
been with the Father, spiritually and
ineffably begotten by the Father
before the beginning of the world,
before all beginning;and by Him are made all things
visible and invisible.
He was made man, and,
having defeated death,
was received into heaven by the Father;

and He hath given Him all
power over all names in heaven,
on earth, and under the earth,
and every tongue shall confess
to Him that Jesus Christ is Lord and God,
in whom we believe, and whose advent
we expect soon to be,
judge of the living and of the dead,
who will render to every man
according to his deeds; and

He has poured forth upon us
abundantly the Holy Spirit,
the gift and pledge of immortality,
who makes those who believe
and obey sons of God and
joint heirs with Christ;
and Him do we confess and adore,
one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name.

–.Another Creed by St Patrick

Our God, God of all men,
God of heaven and earth, sea and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all the stars,
God of high mountains and of lowly valleys,
God over heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.

He has a dwelling
in heaven and earth and sea
and in all things
that arc in them.

He inspires all things,
He quickens all things,
He is over all things,
He supports all things.

He makes the light of the sun to shine,
He surrounds the moon and stars, and
He has made wells in the arid earth, placed dry islands in the sea
and stars for the service of the greater luminaries.

He has a Son coeternal with Himself,
like to Himself;
not junior is Son to Father,
nor Father senior to the Son.

And the Holy Spirit
breathes in them;
not separate are Father
and Son and Holy Spirit.

Fall In Love – Prayer By Father Pedro Arrupe

Father Pedro Arrupe

Father Pedro Arrupe via jesuit.org

The following prayer is attributed to Father Pedro Arrupe (1903- 1991) from the Basque region of Spain who became the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. I was first given this prayer on a card several years ago but have recently also come across it on Ignatian Spirituality.com

It may seem like an unusual one to publish as a Lenten prayer but Lent is meant to be about re-evaluating our life focus. Finding and falling in love with God really does change everything in a way that is totally transformative of our lives.

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is,

than falling in love in a quite absolute final way.

What you are in love with,

what seizes your imagination,

will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,

what you do with your evenings,

how you spend your weekend,

what you read, who you know,

what breaks your heart,

and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,

stay in love,

and it will decide everything.

 

Lenten Prayers: St Augustine of Hippo

St Augustine by Philille de Champaigne

St Augustine by Philille de Champaigne via Wikipedia

I have come across two prayers this last week that are Lenten prayers written by St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) which I wanted to share this afternoon.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I myself may always be holy.

— Augustine of Hippo (from Huffington Post )

The following confessional prayer of St. Augustine, is also very much in the spirit of Lent.

O Lord,
the house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare your servant from strange sins.

You may also like to read this sermon on Lent that Augustine wrote.