With no further ado, here are the words, words I gathered from James Cone in his book The Cross and the Lynching Tree; words I hope will wound and heal in your soul as they have in mine. Grace and peace to you…
We live in a perilous time, a time we need to pray through so we can act with honesty, courage, and love…after we listen with honesty, humility, and love. Listen to the Spirit within us, in the pages of the Bible, and in those we may or may not agree with. Act by following Jesus on his path toward Golgotha and the Cross, in order to finally arrive in Glory, all together, beyond our differences and unified.
Two prayers come to mind for times such as these. Let’s take the opportunity to consider, to imagine, to lean in, and to appropriate these words for ourselves, our loved ones, and even for those we don’t love so much.
I hope you find them encouraging and uplifting.
Grace and peace to you…
You may be interested in reading a previous post about this prayer here where there are some prompts for reflection.
The second prayer, a hymn attributed to St. Patrick, comes in two parts (with music by yours truly). You can see the original posts here and here.
I bind unto myself to-day The strong name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same. The Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever, By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation; His baptism in Jordan river; His death on cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming at the day of doom; I bind unto myself to-day.
I bind unto myself to-day The power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch. His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide. His shield to ward; The Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin, The vice that gives temptation force, The natural lusts that war within, The hostile men that mar my course; Or few or many, far or nigh. In every place, and in all hours, Against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers.
I bind unto myself the Name, The strong Name of the Trinity; By invocation of the same, The Three in One, and One in Three. Of Whom all nature hath creation; Eternal Father, Spirit, Word: Praise to the Lord of my salvation Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Forgive my poor allusion to Bob Dylan’s great song (which I think is at least as appropriate now as it was in 1964). It’s probably worth hearing again:
Speaking of change, though…
After two-and-a-half years of working on this blog – and enjoying every minute of it – I’m starting to think about what I could do differently; how can I share what’s on my heart and mind more effectively, more faithfully?
I’m not talking about making it commercial or more glitzy and I’m not interested in “going viral.”
But could I make Becoming Flame something better, more engaging, a better help to folks who are looking for conversation and encouragement on their journey through and toward Life, toward God?
I have some ideas I’m working on and will share once they are ready. But I’d like to hear your thoughts, too: how could Becoming Flame be more useful to you or to people you know?
Thank you for reading – it’s a joy to know that what I share here makes a difference.