prayer

Samuel Oliver-Bruno is a friend of mine and a worshiper at the church I attend; he has lived there in sanctuary since January.  If you haven’t heard about him yet, you probably will on a news broadcast before the week is out.

I was one of the many who accompanied him to the US Immigration Office and who witnessed his entrapment and detainment by plain-clothed ICE officers who posed as customers until he signed in. I was one of the many who stood in front of the minivan to prevent ICE from conveniently disappearing with him. I witnessed the screams, the disbelief, the pleading for mercy, the betrayal, the terror. I witnessed the peaceful, prayerful, gracious-but-firm resistance. I witnessed my friends getting arrested. I witnessed Samuel finally being driven away: from his wife, his son, his friends, his church, his life.

I feel anguish, anguish that is probably going to last a long time. I won’t drag you through every bit of it, but it isn’t honest for me to post today as if nothing was different from last week. Life will never be the same for me and for the others who witnessed what I did. I imagine I will process some of it here with you over the coming weeks. For now, though, I’m writing to Samuel as a member of the living sanctuary that still surrounds him in our love and prayers for him and his family. I invite you to join that living sanctuary.

Samuel,

As I imagine you in the detention center right now, I love you and I pray that you are experiencing God’s grace and mercy even in that harsh, cold place. When I eat, I hope and pray that you are being fed. When I am with friends and family, I hope and pray that some of those around you are showing you care and loving-kindness. When I sing (and I need to tell you that this morning we sang the song you taught us), I hope and pray God is putting a song in your heart and on your lips.

I know your faith is strong, stronger than the chains and bars that detain you. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Your quiet, gentle witness is now booming out on social media and news programs around the world. The love of Jesus in you, I believe, is going to help “change the prevailing winds” in our national conversation about who we are and what we stand for.

Samuel, I would find comfort sitting by you right now; I know I would. That is how strong you are and how much you mean to us. You are Jesus’ beloved brother and God’s beloved child; that is who you are.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

I recently finished reading the complete short stories of Flannery O’Connor. Her stories have always been a mystery to me, but I love her writing. Today I’m sharing an extended quote from one of my favorites, Revelation.

I’m also sharing some music I posted some time ago on my other site, dwpianomusic.com. The piece is called The Strongest Prayer I Know. The third “movement” of that piece is, in my mind, firmly tied to and inspired by this passage from O’Connor. It is the victory recessional, a cortege for all whose shortcomings and sufferings in this life are finally burned away as they climb through the “field of living fire…upward into the starry field…shouting hallelujah.” In my imagination, included (maybe at the very front) are the “little ones” I refer to in that post. Read Full Article

Over the last several years, I’ve found myself composing prayers. It’s not something I ever set out to do; it just came along on its own. Here’s a prayer that came along a couple of weeks ago (I’m still working on memorizing it).

Grace and peace to you…

dw

Read Full Article

 

What happened in February?

scripture

We continued to look at scriptures that talk about light and its incompatibility with darkness in our lives.

prayers

We considered prayers begging for the very basics of eternal life and for divine mercy.

other writings

We looked at writings from the Catholic Catechism, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Frederick Buechner that considered how we can know what is true about the world around us and about our own identities, what the final purpose of life is, and the nature of prayer.

comments

Online community is a tricky thing. I don’t think it takes the place of physical, in-your-face community, but I do think it can be valuable, maybe even a lifeline at times. I welcome any thoughts you’d like to share.

thank you…

I’m glad to know you are stopping by and I hope and pray becomingflame is an encouragement to you.  Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s.  Click here if you’d like to see what we did in January.

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash – cropped to fit theme by dw

 

Eternal Father, I offer you

the body and the blood, soul and divinity
of your dearly beloved Son,
our Lord, Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Holy God,
holy Mighty One,
holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

— Divine Mercy Chaplet

Read Full Article