Monday, February 16, 2015

Prayer of the Week

You, O Comforter, are ever near,
. . . Come! Melt every heart;
the appointed time is nigh.
Those who trust in You
find solace for their souls;
tears soon turn to joy.
All who reverence and honor the Beloved
are nourished and held by Love.

For you, O Healer, invite us to be wholeness,
to be co-creators along Love's way.
You hear the cries of the afflicted,
and answer their prayer.
You beware! Our thoughts are also our prayers.
May they be for the well-being of all!

Let this be recorded for generations to come,
so that a people yet unborn
may praise the Beloved:
That you come down from the Holy Mountain,
to live in every receptive heart.

You hear the groans of the prisoners,
liberating those doomed to die.
Let all nations declare the glory
of your Holy Name
and gather together in peace
to honor the Creator of All.

Though my strength be broken in mid-course
and my days shortened,
I cry to You, "Would that this cup
be taken away from me,
You who are everlasting;
Yet, into your Hands
will I commend my soul."

– Excerpted from Psalm 102
as translated by Nan C. Merrill
in Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness

Related Off-site Links:
ISIS Video Purports to Show Mass Beheading of 21 Coptic Christians – Scott Neuman (NPR News, February 15, 2015).
Pope Francis Condemns Islamic State's Executions of Christians in Libya – David Gibson (Religion News Service via The National Catholic Reporter, February 16, 2015).
What ISIS Really Wants – Graeme Wood (The Atlantic, March 2015).
The Atlantic’s Big Islam Lie: What Muslims Really Believe About ISIS – Haroon Moghul (Salon, February 19, 2015).
The Quran Isn’t the Problem: Violent extremism is About More Than Just Sacred Texts – Murray Watson (Salon, February 23, 2015).
Terrorize, Mobilize, Polarize: ISIS Follows the Age-old Strategy of Rulers – Jason Burke (The Guardian, February 7, 2015).
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Condemns "Heinous" Killings of Egyptian Christians, Deadly Attacks in Denmark – CAIR via Common Dreams (February 16, 2015).
Top Islamic Authority: Extremists Are No "Islamic State" – Sarah El Deeb (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, August 24, 2014).
ISIS is Cruel But So Are Bombs and Drones – Dave Hepworth and Ian Sinclair (The Guardian, February 8, 2015).
When It Comes to Good or Evil, Says Pope, "We Have to Choose Even in the Small Things" – Carol Glatz (Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter, February 17, 2015).
Lenten Reflection Series: Our Daily CrossMillennial (February 19, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"Even in This Darkness"
James Foley: "Prayer Was the Glue That Enabled My Freedom, An Inner Freedom"
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence
Prayer and the Experience of God in an Ever-Unfolding Universe
Thoughts on Prayer in a "Summer of Strife"
Karl Rahner on the Need for Prayer
Prayer: Both a Consolation and a Demand
Sufism: A Tradition of Enlightenment, the Way of Love, and an Antidote to Fanaticism
Be Just in My Heart
The Most Sacred and Simple Mystery of All

Image: Three of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians executed by ISIS last week. Reports Reuters: "In the [ISIS-released] video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded." Reuters says a caption on the five-minute video reads: "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church." Egypt's MENA news agency quotes the spokesman for the Coptic Church as confirming that the 21 are believed to be dead. The video follows another from the extremist group that showed the immolation death of a Jordanian pilot shot down over Syria and videos showing the execution of two Japanese hostages.

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