prayer

The name of the room is Remember — the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived…

So much has happened to us all over the years. So much has happened within us and through us. We are to take time to remember what we can about it and what we dare. That’s what entering the room means, I think. It means taking time to remember on purpose. It means not picking up a book for once or turning on the radio, but letting the mind journey gravely, deliberately, back through the years that have gone by but are not gone. It means a deeper, slower kind of remembering; it means remembering as a searching and finding. The room is there for all of us to enter if we choose to, and the process of entering it is not unlike the process of praying, because praying too is a slow, grave journey — a search to find the truth of our own lives at their deepest and dearest, a search to understand, to hear and be heard.

The room called Remember…is a room we can enter whenever we like so that the power of remembering becomes our own power…[it] is a room where all emotions are caught up in and transcended by an extraordinary sense of well-being. It is the room of all rooms where we feel at home and at peace.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “A Room Called Remember”

This is from another of Buechner’s sermons that has captured my imagination and is still capturing my heart. I don’t enter this room often enough, but the times I do I am blessed, refreshed, and am often given a new perspective that allows me to heal.

I’m posting this today because it resonates with a short-but-moving sermon I heard this morning about the importance of remembering our journeys and God’s faithfulness all along the way.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF FEAR, and I certainly pray to be delivered from the fear of my brother; I pray to grow in the love that casts out fear. To grow in love of God and man, and to live by this charity, that is the problem. We must love our enemy, not because we fear war but because God loves him.

Day, Dorothy. The Reckless Way of Love: Notes on Following Jesus (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 34). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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There is Love and there is Fear.

Fear is kin to Envy, Prejudice, Hate, and Violence.

Love is kin to Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

Love and Fear are not kin.
Love and Fear are enemies.

Fear hates Love; Love loves Fear.

Fear would kill Love.
Love would die to save Fear from itself.

dw

Copyright © 2019, becomingflame.com

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

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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