...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lethargy and Life-Giving Prayer

Aelred of Rievaulx was known as the "The Bernard of the North." His writings include On Spiritual Friendship. The following is from Pastoral Prayer:

Lord, look at my soul's wounds.

Your living and effective eye sees everything.
It pierces like a sword, even to part asunder soul and spirit.
Assuredly, my Lord, you see in my soul and spirit
the traces of my former sins, my present sins, my present perils,
and also motives and occasions for others yet to be.

You see these things, Lord,
and I would have you see them.
You know well, O searcher of my heart,
that there is nothing in my soul that I would hide from you,
even had I the power to escape your eyes.
Woe to souls that want to hide themselves from you.
They cannot make themselves not to be seen by you,
but only miss your healing and incur punishment.

So see me, sweet Lord, see me.

My hope, most merciful, is in your loving kindness;
for you will see me, either as a good physician sees,
intent upon my healing,
or else as a kind master, anxious to correct,
or a forbearing parent, longing to forgive.

This, then, is what I ask, O font of pity,
trusting in your mighty mercy and merciful might:

I ask you, by the power of your most sweet name,
and by the mystery of your holy humanity,
to put away my sins and heal the languors of my soul,
mindful only of your goodness,
not of my ingratitude.

It's possible that the meaning of "languor" here is indifference or lack of enthusiasm, other options are sluggishness, lack of energy, or weariness.


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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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