I’ll never have the experience of a mother giving birth to a child and I’m ok with that, especially given that I have heard many mothers shake their heads commenting that men have got no idea what real pain is!
And this is probably why the image is used in scripture, since the pain of childbirth is not a pain that leads to death but a suffering that results in new life.
This is the pattern of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus whom we seek to follow. His path passes through suffering and leads to a death which is not the end, but is a birth. This is true for us too. Death is not the end but the pathway to birth and to new life.
Food For Faith readers are old enough to have had a few personal experiences of this pattern. For some it may be the experience of childbirth, and for many others the pain will be from a selection of life’s sufferings: relationship breakdown, sudden death of those we love, health crises, employment struggles and job losses, addictions and financial insecurities… and you will name many of your own.
Somehow we have moved beyond many of these seemingly insurmountable problems. We still show the scars, and even carry the wounds, but in at least some of these experiences we can see that Jesus has used these sufferings to bring us to a second birth leading us to new and more abundant experiences of life and love.
Our happiness on earth is found when we live in relationship with Jesus Christ, freely, and afraid of nothing, not even death.
As Ignatius of Loyola offers in the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love.
and receive all my liberty,
and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
Thou hast given all to me.
To Thee, O Lord, I return it.
All is Thine,
dispose of it wholly according to Thy will.
Give me Thy love and Thy grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
- The above Sucipe (Receive) prayer of Ignatius is one worthy of learning by heart and praying daily. There are some days when it is impossible for me to pray this whole-heartedly, and other days these words well up from deep within. You might like to screenshot the prayer and save to your phone, or print out and carry it with you, praying it often until you can do so naturally and without thinking.
- Pray to Sleep (a ten minute bedtime audio reflection) at this link.
- Today’s readings at this link.
- Send your prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to this list. Take a moment, perhaps 15 seconds, to pray in whatever way you choose for those whose initials appear below, and don’t hesitate to send repeat requests for prayer.
Let us pray today (Friday) especially for: B&JC, CH, FC, EF, EP, MP, FD, NDM, MD, IS, WP, MC, DC, JS, KS, FS, MC, SF, EFF, BM, JW
granddaughter diagnoses with cervical cancer & ovarian cysts. Worrying blood test yesterday. Diagnosis of terminal illness. Feeling under spiritual attack, especially at night. Back surgery in a few weeks. Business struggles, Transgender daughter’s need of finding the love of God, Family going through an awful divorce. Health test for me on Wednesday next week For family relationships. For inner peace in loneliness. Preparing for death, Healing prayers for daughter suffering severe post viral effects of Covid 19, while her family helplessly worry in Australia,
Thursday: MH, FS, HW, EFF, MC, MC, AF, ML, FK, RM, KR, GA, DC, MH, NT (RIP), MC, NJK (RIP), TG, CD, PB,
Just received news of terminal illness. Woman who has a malignant tumor and today she’ll have a better picture of her health status. Prayers for my family please, Young man suffering loneliness and receiving bullying. Prayer for my business employees in these difficult days. Struggling with exams. Suffering a fall from grace and loss of reputation. Struggling from serious depression which has placed me on leave.
Wednesday: MC, PH, JH, SH, MC, MH, MD, AF, MO, CM, SES, CO, DC (RIP at weekend) & for CC wife. TC, TL, VH, CD, XD, CP, MK,
Tuesday: AS, DD, BD, WC, KJ, PG, CG, PR, SG, PB. FF, JC, BO, PM, MD,
Monday: AL, MM, SIM, TP, PB, JL, AP, MM, WP, TEP, LP, JD, MD, SL, PM, JK, SB, BW, LC, RS, EC, KN, JP, IF, TP, TP, MW, JN, SN,
Sunday: SP, PB, BH, JJ, KB, DM, GL (RIP last Tuesday) JT,
Saturday: CM, OP, GC, GS, ES, MLAH, CS, HC, DC, DU, DMC, FTM, JS, SD, MD, CM, TD. MM, ZM, LM, SD, JD, LD, AD. DC, ME,, CE, KC, LC, BC, KC, BC,
Last week: LS (RIP), AR, TT, BP, MP, PP, GTD (RIP2015), PB, LM, JK, MK, TJO, LB, DD, JRA, FL, JU, SLJ. SLJ. JJJ. MPJ, JPM, MLFJ, MD,SLJ, JJJ, RM, SJ, SF, SLJ, JS, FS, MD, GPD, JMC, AM & I, MS, MC, MR, JCP, MON, SS, MS, OD, ND, CD, JD, JD & KJ, EJH, ARO, JS, FS, SF, GJG (RIP), JDG, MD, CGW, SD, TK, JK, RF, GN, OP, GC, TN, MC, KJ, SL, AN, JMT, KJ, MD, PM, MC, DP, KD, AD, BA, RF, MC, PR, JH, GPB,AD, NF, PR, GPB, BA, MA (RIP), LM, SB, MO’D, S&SW, DMcA, SS, VM, PM, NM, BB, BR, RM, IW, BL, AM, JM, SM, JH, CSL, BS, AW, MR, SR, JC, LR, JF, AB, AB, MB, CB, LJ, AF, JB, CB, SB, MB (RIP), MR, MH, SR, RS, MTM, OH, MM (RIP), SGS. MC, EH, MAC, NDM, JG, SL, JD, AJ, MLJ, SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP, GRJP, JF, IC, RF, JC, LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG, GC, AW, DM, MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)AJ, MLJ, SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP, GRJP, JF, IC, RF, JC, LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG, GC, AW, DM, MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP), SS, BK, JKBP, CP, PP, BW, HT (RIP), SL, AW, DM, MM, PM, LH, TN, SF, SC, FM, T&TT, AR, HF, RF, JM, R&B, MC, MD,BH, SGS, JJHB, SJB, BB, MD, MB, JT, RF, SS, SS, PB, SD, JR, SQ, JL, MCSM, PR, MJ, MD, SM, PR, MJ, MD,
LECTIO DIVINA FOR FRIDAY OF EASTER WEEK VI (22 May 2020)
Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to email@example.com.
Today’s church: First Church in Dunedin. One of the most beautiful spires in the country.
Friday Easter Week VI (15 minutes)