touchstone

From today’s Second Reading:

“The Lord is the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house. As scripture says: See how I lay in Zion a precious cornerstone that I have chosen and the one who rests their trust on it will not be disappointed. That means that for you who are believers, it is precious; but for unbelievers, the stone rejected by the builders has proved to be the keystone…”

From Pope Francis Easter Sunday homily 2017

“In this throwaway culture where what is not needed is just used and disposed of, where what is not needed is thrown away, that stone — Jesus — the source of life, is discarded. And with faith in the Risen Christ, we too, pebbles on this earth of pain, tragedy, acquire meaning amid so many calamities. The sense to look beyond, the sense to say: “Look, there is no wall; there is a horizon, there is life, there is joy, there is the cross with this ambivalence. Look ahead, do not close within yourself. You pebble, acquire meaning in life because you are a pebble near that rock, that stone which the evil of sin discarded”. What does the Church tell us today before so many tragedies? Simply this: the discarded stone is not really discarded. The pebbles which believe and stick to that stone are not discarded. They have meaning and it is with this sentiment that the Church repeats from the bottom of Her heart: “Christ is Risen”.”

 

A good homily story I heard a number of years ago had as its punch-line “remember that the most important thing, is to always keep the most important thing, as the most important thing.”

It’s a great line, even without the preceding story. For me it has become a regular touchstone, a method for taking time in the midst of overwhelming busyness, stress or anxiety, to judge if the things I am busy, stressed or anxious about are really worth all that busyness, stress and anxiety.

It’s the feast of Damien of Molokai today, especially appropriate for these virus weeks, Damien who gave his life to ministry in the Leper Colony of the island of  Molokai. Well worth watching and the full movie is available below.

For many years I have found it helpful to carry a “touchstone” with me, a constant and tangible reminder of the most important thing. My touchstone is Rosary Beads, carried in my pocket. I often find myself thumbing them, or simply holding the crucifix as a way of holding on to Jesus. Very quickly when I touch the beads in my pocket I find myself remembering that the most important thing is that Jesus is already holding onto me and everything falls into perspective for me once again.

 

A prayer for Mother’s Day
(source: jesuitresource.org)

Good and Gentle God,
we pray in gratitude for our mothers
and for all the women of history
who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life.
You who became human through a woman,
grant to all mothers
the courage they need to face the uncertain future
that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength
to live and to be loved in return,
not perfectly, but humanly.
Give them the faithful support of husband,
family and friends
as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children.
Give them joy and delight in their children
to sustain them through the trials of motherhood.
Most of all, give them the wisdom
to turn to you for help when they need it most.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

 

An Invitation:

  • You might like to carry a “touchstone” of some kind as a way of being reminded throughout the day of “the most important thing.”
  • Send your prayer requests to john@fff.org.nz. 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.

While many who send in prayer intentions simply send initials, others add a few words about their prayer intention.  As an example I share a few of these from today’s intentions:

Teenager suffering wounds from early life not visible to naked eye. Young person suffering Motor-Neurone Disease, Sick, Young father of two small children -terminal illness with brain tumour, people who feel they have have become distant from God, sick, someone who has been removed from life-support and is now surviving but with severe brain damage, losing battle against Motor-Neurone, Mother and daughters struggling with death of husband and father. Son-in law struck by a car months ago and in wheel-chair awaiting surgery in the hope of walking again. Recently widowed woman suffering poor health, Young person suffering PTSD, for a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus. Thanks for many blessings received during this lockdown time. Healing for all who have been physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually abused. That all members of our small community will grow in their relationship with Jesus and be guided by the Holy Spirit regarding our future. For healing of festering wounds from past hurts. That all members of our church will respond courageously to post virus challenges. For healing of abdominal and bowel problems. For healing of a person’s knee problems. Daughter suffering from depression. Diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma. Brain surgery yesterday (Sat). Young (20’s) sister feeling hopeless. 93 year old struggling with independence. Woman living with cancer but in much pain & discomfort. A family with both job loss and marriage breakup.

Let us pray today especially for:

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, 

from yesterday:
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)

 from earlier this week:
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,  

 

 

LECTIO DIVINA FOR SUNDAY OF EASTER WEEK V (10 May 2020)

The Lectio and Pray to Sleep recordings have been much more popular than I imagined so over the next few weeks I will try to improve the quality of these by getting some real recording hardware. Watch this space and thanks for coping with the low quality at the moment.  

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 john@fff.org.nz.

Today’s church:   “On 15 October, 1882, a pretty little church was built by Father Reignier sm in Wairoa, 40 miles across Hawke’s Bay from Napier. On this day it was blessed and called Saint Peter’s Church” Thanks Arthur for sending.

Sunday Easter Week V (15 minutes)

Sunday Easter Week V  (25 minutes)

3 Responses to "touchstone"
  1. I love the way the readings of the Day, are often repeated as in today’s Gospel. In doing so we can sit with the bones of what we were fed in the first time of reading, and be given the opportunity to pick over what we may have missed!
    Today I am thinking of my Mother and praying for her that she will be with Jesus now in one of those rooms he prepared for her.

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