Daily Prayers: February 8, 2016

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It Is That Time and That Place

Now is the time to call on the memories of the ancestors who thought they could not walk another step toward freedom — and yet they did.

It is that time and place to call on the memories of the ancestors who, when the darkness of their lives threatened to take away the hope and light, reached a little deeper and prayed yet another prayer.

It is that time and place to remember those who came through the long night to witness another sunrise.

It is that time and place to remember the oceans of tears shed to deliver us to this time, to remember the bent knees and bowed backs, to remember the fervent voices asking, begging and beseeching for loved ones sold off.

Time to remember their laughter and joy, though they had far less, and little reason for optimism, yet they stayed on the path toward a better day. 

Time to hold to the steadfast hands and hearts and prayers of the ancestors that have brought us this far.

Time to make them proud and show them, and ourselves, what we are made of.

Time to show them that their prayers and sacrifices and lives were not in vain and did not go unnoticed, nor have they been forgotten.

Did you not know that this day would come?
Did you not know that we would have to change places?
Did you not know that just as our ancestors were delivered that you would also be delivered?

Have you not seen the greatness and power of the Creative Energy in the Universe called God that moves and has its being through human agency?

Have you not seen God in your neighbors’ faces?  In the homeless?  In the battered woman?  The trafficked child?  The undocumented worker?  The dispossessed?  It is that time and that place to know that it is our turn, that we must leave a legacy for our children.  And all the children.

It is that time and that place.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!
For that, let us be eternally grateful.
Amen and blessed Be.

Qiyamah Rahman
becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood

STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Christology class taught by Mike Raschko, Ryan Walker, staff; Laura Unsworth and Matthew Volta, students.

SU STM Daily Prayers

INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK February 7, 2016

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Deep peace of the running wave to you,
of water flowing, rising and falling,
sometimes advancing, sometimes receding. . .
May the stream of your life flow unimpeded!
Deep peace of the running wave to you!

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
which fans your face on a sultry day,
the air which you breathe deeply, rhythmically,
which imparts to you energy, consciousness, life.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you!

Deep peace of the quiet Earth to you,
who, herself unmoving, harbours the movements
and facilitates the life of the ten thousand creatures,
while resting contented, stable, tranquil.
Deep peace of the quiet Earth to you!

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
which stay invisible till darkness falls
and discloses their pure and shining presence
beaming down in compassion on our turning Earth.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you!

Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you,
of unpretentious folk who, watching and waiting,
spend long hours out on the hillside,
expecting in simplicity some coming of the Lord.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you!

 Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you who,
swift as the wave and pervasive as the air,
quiet as the Earth and shining like a star,
breathes into us His Peace and His Spirit.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you!

Mary Rogers, adapted from Gaelic

STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for Megan Casebourn and Donna Cheesebrough, students.

Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 SU STM Daily Prayers

INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK February 6, 2016

interfaith_ringWorld Interfaith Harmony Week is an extraordinary opportunity to engage people of different traditions as we learn to weave together a global society from the strands of human diversity. This Interfaith Harmony Week, I urge you to go beyond tolerance in these encounters.

For centuries tolerance has been the goal of forward-thinking people seeking to respond to the diversity of ethnic traditions, religious beliefs and cultural experiences in societies around the world. This work of tolerance has been carried out while intolerance has dominated much of human history and has been a contributing factor to horrific destruction of human life. At a time when tolerance has often been replaced by overt acts of hate in our communities, tolerance would seem a worthy goal. And yet the path towards just, peaceful, diverse communities pushes us to consider what lies beyond tolerance.

Tolerance is conflict arrested. It is a great harness applied to the destructive forces of ignorance, fear and prejudice. It provides a wall between warring parties. At best it is a glass wall where protected people can see one another going about parallel lives. But nonetheless it is still a wall dividing us from each another. When I agree to tolerate you, I agree only to acknowledge your existence and not to injure you. I make no commitment to get to know you, to learn about you, and to see our lives as interdependent. As such, tolerance is not a basis for healthy human relationships. It will never lead to true community, for tolerance does not allow for learning, or growth or transformation, but rather tolerance keeps people in a state of suspended conflict and ignorance.

For us to begin to understand the creative possibilities that are held within the diversity of human experience, we must move beyond the tendency to settle for tolerance as the goal for human encounter and risk the possibility that our lives are in fact inextricably connected one to another. As people of different religions, spiritual expressions, Indigenous traditions and humanistic beliefs, we are too often segregated from each other, which leaves us ignorant of the values and practices that are significant to our lives. Ignorance is the enemy of peace. Tolerance does not dispel ignorance. Only by embracing our diversity and claiming our interdependence will we learn about each other, form true relationships, and build communities of mutual respect that are essential for establishing cultures of peace.

During this Interfaith Harmony Week, let us move beyond tolerance, and forge the strong bonds of friendship that will lead us to peace.

The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr.

 STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Qur’an: Text and Context class taught by Erica Martin; Colette Casavant, staff; Allison Cannady-Smith and Jeny Carlson, students

Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 SU STM Daily Prayers

INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK February 5, 2016

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Khatum

O Thou, Who art the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty.
The Lord of Heaven and earth,
Open our hearts that we may hear Thy Voice,
which constantly cometh from within;
Disclose to us Thy Divine Light,
which is hidden in our souls,
that we may know and understand life better;
Most Merciful and Compassionate God,
Give us Thy great Goodness;
Teach us Thy loving forgiveness;
Raise us above the distinctions and differences which divide men;
Send us the peace of Thy Divine Spirit,
And unite us all in Thy Perfect Being.

— Amen

STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Leadership from Spiritual Depth class taught by Kathy Morse; Catherine Smith, staff; Daneen Calvin and Russell Campbell, students.

Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 SU STM Daily Prayers