Daily Prayers: February 29, 2016



Wild Deer

الا ای آهوی وحشی کجایی

Where are you O Wild Deer?
I have known you for a while, here.
Both loners, both lost, both forsaken
The wild beast, for ambush, have all waken
Let us inquire of each other’s state
If we can, each other’s wishes consummate
I can see this chaotic field
Joy and peace sometimes won’t yield
O friends, tell me who braves the danger
To befriend the forsaken, behold the stranger
Unless blessed Elias may come one day
And with his good office open the way
It is time to cultivate love
Individually decreed from above
Thus I remember the wise old man
Forgetting such a one, I never can
That one day, a seeker in a land
A wise one helped him understand
Seeker, what do you keep in your bag
Set up a trap, if bait you drag
In reply said I keep a snare
But for the phoenix I shall dare
Asked how will you find its sign
We can’t help you with your design
Like the spruce become so wise
Rise to the heights, open your eyes
Don’t lose sight of the rose and wine
But beware of your fate’s design
At the fountainhead, by the riverside
Shed some tears, in your heart confide
This instrument won’t tune to my needs
The generous sun, our wants exceeds
In memory of friends bygone
With spring showers hide the golden sun
With such cruelty cleaved with a sword
As if with friendship was in full discord
When flows forth the crying river
With your own tears help it deliver
My old companion was so unkind
O Pious Men, keep God in mind
Unless blessed Elias may come one day
Help one loner to another make way
Look at the gem and let go of the stone
Do it in a way that keeps you unknown
As my hand moves the pen to write
Ask the main writer to shed His light
I entwined mind and soul indeed
Then planted the resulting seed
In this marriage the outcome is joy
Beauty and soulfulness employ
With hope’s fragrant perfume
Let eternal soul rapture assume
This perfume comes from angel’s sides
Not from the doe whom men derides
Friends, to friends’ worth be smart
When obvious, don’t read it by heart
This is the end of tales of advice
Lie in ambush, fate’s cunning and vice.


STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Mennonite Church, their communities and students in our midst, and for Marilyn Stahl, Outreach Team chair; Steve Childress, Graduate Assistant; Edward Donalson and Celina Dzilenski, students.

SU STM Daily Prayers

Special Lenten Morning Prayer – March 1st & March 11th

Mar 11th Lenten Morning Prayer

You are invited to join in a special, annual prayer event at STM on March 1 and 11.

“The Great Litany” was an early milestone in the Reformation of the English Church in the 16th century.  It was the first liturgical text Archbishop Cranmer prepared in English and put into use in 1544 – five years before the first full Anglican prayerbook was authorized in 1549.  Many Episcopal Churches use this litany as an extended version of the “prayers of the people” at Sunday Eucharist during Lent.  At STM, we’ve used the litany as the core of a Morning Prayer during Lent for many years.

It’s an ecumenical prayer: it comes out of the Anglican tradition, although based on earlier Roman Catholic sources; at STM we use a wonderful contemporary English version from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship.

I value it especially because at STM we pray the Litany in procession around the Chapel of St. Ignatius, praying not only with our voices and hearts, but with our feet and eyes and ears (not all parts of the chapel have the same acoustical properties!).

I will be officiating at Morning Prayer using The Great Litany on Tuesday, March 1 and Friday, March 11 from 8:30 to 8:50 am in the Chapel of St. Ignatius.  Please join in this Lenten prayer.

Mark Lloyd Taylor, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Worship

Worship & Liturgy Announcements

Daily Prayers: February 26, 2016



To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven.
Don’t wait until you die.
If you wait, you die now.
If you love, you live now.

Alan Cohen

STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Episcopal Church, their communities and students in our midst, and for Alissa Newton and John Forman, Outreach Team co-chairs; Amanda Seymour and Julia Shideler, students.

SU STM Daily Prayers

Daily Prayers: February 25, 2016



Nurturing Amidst the Battle – Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:19

The Torah includes many instances of familial struggle, tribal conflict, and outright war. These texts may be troubling or instructive in and of themselves.   They can also be read with other layers of meaning.

Let us apply a couple of interpretive lenses to a selection from this week’s Torah portion: “When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy (bal tash-hit) its fruit trees, wielding the ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down” (Deut. 20:19).

The term bal tash-hit is used in some Jewish environmental circles to highlight the values of conserving resources and not being wanton or wasteful with God’s Creation for the mitzvah of bal tash-hit demands a degree of care and attention to the preservation or non-destruction of fruit trees even in times of war. This interpretive approach to the text addresses issues of trees and fields and battlefield behavior, leading to issues of responsibility toward our natural environment beyond wartime.

The same text can be read in a more metaphorical way, yielding insights and teachings about the battles and internal struggles we sometimes face in our lives. Some traditional Torah commentaries find, within the battle imagery, wisdom addressing the interplay between the different parts of ourselves; and the sometimes-conflicted drives, energies, forces, and yearnings we each carry within us.   With this interpretive lens we may see the land, the besieged city, the attacking army, and the fruit trees as parts of our world—or as parts of us right now, internal to our psyche and spirit. We are invited to ask ourselves: what parts of my life feel embattled? And in those areas, what might fruit trees represent in the context of my life-struggles? As with the environmental reading, we can learn from the Torah’s level of concern for trees that may bear fruit after battle.

The experience of illness or pain or loss may call forth feelings of struggle, mustering of internal resources, preparing for a kind of siege. Many people speak of battling against disease, buckling down through invasive treatments, fighting to recover, or wrestling with “the system” or with one’s family, employers, finances, etc. The metaphor of battle is violent and ridden with conflict*. It assumes there will be casualties and acknowledges that parts of the landscape of our lives are likely to get trampled. In fact many medical treatments, such as surgery, antibiotic medications, chemotherapy, and radiation, involve some physical harm or diminishment on the road to a more complete healing.

In struggling with illness or loss, we can identify what parts of ourselves may yet (we hope) bear fruit again   in   future   seasons, and protect that. These may include our resolve,   special loving relationships, our love of learning or our propensity for spiritual growth, our appreciation for the beauty and blessings around us, our sense of humor or optimism, our capacity to love, or our basic humanity. Whatever those precious, life-affirming parts of ourselves we identify, they deserve to be protected and nurtured throughout our ordeals. They often hold out hope for the future and sustenance for the present as well.

May Source of Life that nurtures blossom into fruit and that stirs our hearts toward teshuvah strengthen us at this time—for life and for love, for uprightness and for forgiveness, for healing and for blessing.

Rabbi Natan Fenner, BCC

STM Cycle of Prayer

We pray today for the Roman Catholic Church, their communities and students in our midst, and for James Eblen and Victoria Ries, Outreach Team co-chairs; Corey Passons, Graduate Assistant; Mary Stanton-Nurse and Pamela Stephen-Jordan, students.

SU STM Daily Prayers