From the Pastor's Desk

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl
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Week of March 15, 2015

Lent is a time for prayer! Yet, for those on the outside looking in, prayer is often considered a weakness, a support system when we can no longer help ourselves. This is only true when our prayer is used as a smokescreen to ourselves and does not line up with reality, when it is used as a means to re-create God in our own image instead of God who creates us, when it is said only for our own needs and concerns and does not include what I call a “Kingdom Vision.” Fact is, true prayer whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or otherwise is always a means of truly facing reality, of pulling us out of our own preoccupations and challenges to enter into new spiritual ground. Prayer is a way of intensifying our connection and relationship with God, a God who is greater than we are, a God who defies all our calculations and predictions, who does not fit into our box. Prayer, as Henri Nouwen might say is, ‘the movement from illusion and false securities toward true insecurities and what is truly concrete.’ In my mine, what is spiritual and symbolic is more real, more in line with who we are, who God is, and of what the “truth of the matter is!” With this in mind, I ran across a prayer by Richard Rohr, which I believe inspires this. It’s entitled: “Prayer for Presence.” “Let us be present to the now. It’s all we have and it’s where God will always speak to us. The now holds everything, rejects nothing and, therefore, can receive God, too. Help us be present to the place we’re most afraid of, because it always feels empty, it always feels boring, it always feels like it’s not enough. Help us find some space within that we don’t try to fill with ideas or opinions. Help us find space so you, loving God, can show yourself in that place where we are hungry and empty. Keep us out of the way, so there is always room enough for you. Good God, we believe that you are here and your presence gives us hope. We thank you for each day of our lives. We thank you for so many further chances to understand, to forgive again, to trust again, to love again. We thank you that we live now, that our problems are soulsized. We ask that you teach us and lead us, that you put the thoughts into our mind that you want us to think, the feelings in our hearts that you want us to feel. Reconstruct us, Lord. Put us together because we don’t know how to do it ourselves. We trust that you are hearing this prayer, and that you care for the answer more than we do! We pray therefore not alone, but with the whole Body of Christ in Jesus’ name. Amen.” Let’s continue together on this wonderful journey called, “Lent!”

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl

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