Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wednesday, June 8

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (pp. 50-51)

Our strength is in the Lord. That is why we pray "Send forth your strength, O God." By calling upon God to be our strength, we can then call out, "Wake up, my spirit" and we can read with meaning this morning's Gospel lesson: "As long as the day lasts we must carry out the work of the one who sent me." The waters may be lifted up, but the Lord's power is mightier still.

We need the Lord's mighty strength this very day. For a long while, before reciting the Lord's Prayer, I "warm up" with the the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9). Basically, "Hear O Israel, Love the Lord your God... and Love your neighbor as yourself." So, before reciting the Lord's Prayer I always recite the Jesus Creed. It reminds me of the two major vocations of life: to love God and to love others.

We need God's strength for this love -- because it is easy to love those we like but challenging to love those we don't. And we need God's strength for the latter.

We need God's strength to live out the Lord's Prayer -- it involves seeking God's holiness, his kingdom, his will, trusting him for daily provisions, enabling us to forgive others, and along with the customary daily petition for the Lord to preserve us at the end of each morning's lesson, we need God's strength to ward off temptations.

God's strength is our joy.