Blessings of a Pure Heart

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Wk 5 Ordinary time.  Today’s Scriptures: 1 Kg 8:1-7,9-13; Mk 6:53-56

Today is the official start of the Chinese Lunar new year.   It is a traditional 15 day festival of family and community celebration and renewal, thanksgiving, culminating in the Lantern Festival.  Prosperity, health and longevity are gifts  which are sought at this time and prayer offerings are for the living and the dead.

How lovely it was this morning to be greeted by this little innocent child and her red envelope!  I did not understand the significance of the gift, but have since found that she was receiving blessings from her parents.

 

Later I read that the red envelope of blessing is exchanged as a sign of respect and well wishes to all, and especially passed on through the generations  to children.  The envelopes are given with both hands signifying the wholehearted good wishes of the giver so as “to bless them with a pure heart”.

I hear echoes within me of the prayer of the Psalmist  intoned especially at this time in the Christian church as we too seek a pure heart and renewal.

PSALM 51   

Have mercy on me, O God, in your faithful love,

in your great tenderness wipe away my offences;  …

Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness,

and the bones you have crushed will dance.

Turn away your face from my sins, 

and wipe away all my guilt.  …

God create in me a clean heart,

renew within me a resolute spirit.    ..

Give me back the joy of your salvation,

sustain in me a generous spirit.

vs.1, 8-10, 12.

Tradition is the wisdom of the ages passed on with love blessing us through the lived experience.  So we too bless others by sharing our lived experiences.

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Prayer patterns and seasons

Week 4 ordinary time.
Today’s Scriptures:   Samuel  24: 2, 9-17  and Mark 6: 1-6     DSCF2743

Communal and formal prayers are central to the Christian tradition and calendar. Being attuned to the liturgical seasons deepens our prayer experience and unites us with the prayers of the whole body in a unique manner.

I thought it helpful to include reference to the Roman Liturgical calendar used by Anglicans and Catholics as a constant resource at outset of this blog.  Some people may purchase devotional scripture diaries, or the official Ordo in apps and calendars.

As you may have noticed by my comments regarding the feast of the Presentation of the Lord yesterday and my focus on preparing for Lent..my footsteps always follow in the patterns and cycles of tradition but are uniquely relevant to my day and my time and my own seasons.  I encourage you to find your own balance with each and like me enjoy the celebration of feasts moveable, major and minor.

So, with you, I continue to take small steps in providing what may be helpful for our journey as we set out together.

Being present

Can we be present and wait?   Can we wait in the silence with  expectancy that God will come?

Today is the end of the 40 days of Christmas.  It is the fulfillment of the yearning and waiting for Anna and Simeon.   On this day these two prayerful ones  encountered the Lord, and the promised  Saviour comes to His people.

This promise echoes daily for each one of us…   Are we waiting and vigilant to see the Lord’s presence in our midst?   Today, this day of the Presentation of the Lord, we may seek also to be prayerfully vigilant and present to wait upon the Spirit.

This is the gift for us  …   the Presence is given  …   may we seek with expectant hearts to proclaim our own witness of God’s presence in our lives today.

Our spiritual direction is dependent upon our preparedness to wait attentively upon the the Spirit  revealing our way.     It is in the quiet gentle breeze that the Lord is found, after the storms subside.  My prayer at this time is that I, and my companions on the journey, decide to have time out this Lent.     A retreat of sorts, as we find suited to our lifestyle, but a decision to be set apart to contemplate and  nurture the inner life.