Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bracing Prayer

Lectio Divina

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3


Going to check out, again, Dorothy Day's On Pilgrimage: The Sixties, as well as a biography on her life. With two other novice brothers, we will be giving a presentation on Day as a contemporary spiritual master in a couple of weeks, as part of our learning on the history of Christian spirituality. In the meantime, continuing intermittently with Priscilla and Aquila, the Spanish lessons, and the Franciscan intellectual tradition.


A frightening moment this morning in chapel during Mass. At the beginning of the liturgy of the Eucharist, one of the senior friars in residence apparently lost consciousness after showing difficulty breathing. With the attention of a couple of novice brothers, a parishioner attending our service, and our formators, our senior brother returned to consciousness but looked like most of his strength had left him. He was anointed and received Eucharist, and promptly taken to the hospital for examination and monitoring. Prayers for our infirm brother and for the doctors, nurses, and staff tending to him today.

I can remember, almost twelve years ago, the first Sunday Mass where I served as lector. It was either before the liturgy of the Eucharist began or before the communion rite itself that a person in the rear of the assembly collapsed. (I think it was the latter.) The presider called on all of us to kneel while the person received medical attention. When during the liturgy of the Eucharist this morning we all took notice of our elder brother breathing poorly and slumping into unconsciousness, instinctively I did what we all had done twelve years ago, and I knelt.

In Christian worship, especially in celebration of the Eucharist, you never pray alone. You are praying with and for your sisters and brothers, and you are praying with and for the Church all over the world. You never know who may be worshipping with you for the last time, in person or in spirit. Remembering this can really brace your prayers. Everything matters; everything we say and do, in ritual and in reality, has great significance.

The formators are accompanying our senior brother to the hospital, so our schedule today is altered: house chores now, in the morning, and class in the afternoon. Off to do some work on The Caperone.


Everything feels cold to the touch. The first genuinely cold day we have had since arriving here.

No comments:

Post a Comment