Let him find honey
& find a field of lilacs.
Spirit of the realm, God of many names, and one transforming and abundant love, we turn this month in our nation’s life to reflect on the stories, the heritage, and the struggles of women throughout the ages. We seek to learn from all those voices that have been left unheard. May we pause before the silences of the ages, find who has been left out, and craft new ways of inclusion for every week and every month. May this spiritual practice bring out the voices of all those struggling, all those left apart. May we let go of our assumptions and cold comforts [and] of what is the normal to live by, unless it be a standard that is rooted in compassion, in inclusivity, in diversity. May this month of reflection teach us to search for those stories that are different from our own. Mother of possibility, in the finding, may we come to know ourselves changed. Renewed where we are dry, hopeful where we are lost, and open where we are shut.
—Reverend Jude Geiger
we remember before you those who suffer want
and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land to use
our public and private wealth so that all may find suitable and
fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen..
– Morning Star Church
For the many persons who have died
of Alzheimer’s Disease, we pray that
they are in the care of your loving arms…
For those who are now victims of Alzheimer’s
Disease, we pray for dignity and comfort…
For the Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers,
we pray for compassion and patience…
For the Alzheimer’s Disease families,
we pray for strength and courage…
For those who seek the cause, cure,
prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer’s
Disease, we pray for your wisdom,
guidance, and direction, and
For the hope You have given us…
– Grace Hospice
God, hear my prayer,
and let my cry come to You.
Do not hide from me in the day of my distress;
turn to me and speedily answer my prayer.
Eternal God, Source of healing,
out of my distress I call upon You.
Help me sense Your presence at this difficult time.
Grant me patience when the hours are heavy;
in hurt or disappointment give me courage.
Keep me trustful in Your love.
Give me strength for today, and hope for tomorrow.
To your loving hands I commit my spirit
when asleep and when awake.
You are with me; I shall not fear.
—Traditional Jewish Healing Prayer
You are the peace of all things calm.
You are the place to hide from harm.
You are the light that shines in the dark.
You are the heart’s eternal spark.
You are the door that’s open wide.
You are the guest who waits inside.
You are the stranger at the door.
You are the calling of the poor.
You are my Lord and save me from ill.
You are the light, the truth, the way.
You are my Savior this very day.
—Medieval Celtic Chant
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore, we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense
in any immediate context of history;
therefore, we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone;
therefore, we must be saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous
from the standpoint of our friend or foe
as it is from our own standpoint;
therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love,
which is forgiveness.
—Reinhold Niebuhr, 1952
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they will be called the children of God.
The Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-9
Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey! Hey-a-a-hey!
Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth
and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.
All things belong to you – the two-leggeds,
the four-leggeds, the wings of the air
and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters
to cross each other.
The good road and road of difficulties
you have made to cross;
and where they cross, the place is holy.
Day in and day out, forever, you are the life of things.
Therefore I am sending a voice, Great Spirit,
my Grandfather, forgetting nothing you have made, the stars of the universe
and the grasses of the earth.
You have said to me,
when I was still young and could hope,
that in difficulty I should send a voice four times,
once for each quarter of the earth,
and you would hear me.
Today I send a voice for a people in despair.
You have given me a sacred pipe,
and through this I should make my offering.
You see it now.
From the west, you have given me the cup
of living water and the sacred bow, the power to make life and to destroy.
You have given me a sacred wind and the herb
from where the white giant lives –
the cleansing power and the healing.
The daybreak star and the pipe,
you have given from the east;
and from the south, the nation’s sacred hoop
and the tree that was to bloom.
To the center of the world you have taken me
and showed the goodness and the beauty
and the strangeness of the greening earth, the only mother –
and there the spirit shapes of things,
as they should be,
you have shown to me and I have seen.
At the center of this sacred hoop you have said
that I should make the tree to bloom.
With tears running, O Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather –
with running tears I must say now that
the tree has never bloomed.
A pitiful old man, you see me here,
and I have fallen away and have done nothing.
Here at the center of the world,
where you took me when I was young and taught me;
here, old, I stand, and the tree is withered,
Grandfather, my Grandfather!
Again, and maybe the last time on this earth,
I recall the great vision you sent me.
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom
and fill with singing birds.
Hear me, not for myself, but for my people; I am old.
Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop
and find the good red road, the shielding tree!
In sorrow I am sending a feeble voice,
O Six Powers of the World.
Hear me in my sorrow, for I may never call again.
O make my people live!
Black Elk, 1930