BREATH PRAYER: FATHER, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
A leper came to Him, begging on his knees, “If You want to, You can cleanse me.”
Deeply moved, Jesus put out His hand, touched him and said, “I want to. Be clean.”
Mark 1:40-41, MSG
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
We wake up each morning to a life lived “between the times.” From the moment of Jesus’ birth until now, the Kingdom of God has been spreading, infecting our world with life. But while glimpses of this in-breaking kingdom of joy, justice, wholeness and peace can be seen all around us, that life is not not yet here in full. We see evidence of both hope and heartache at each turn, longing for the day when earth will fully be “as it is in heaven.”
Though this limbo is difficult to abide, it is precisely here that Jesus’ church has a message and a purpose. The Christian is one surrounded by pain, yet empowered to say and do something about it. In the Cross of Christ we have been given clues of what to do with pain.
Today we practice compassion, the art of seeing and entering the hurt of those around us. This is something much deeper than pity or sympathy – compassion is the call to share in the pain of our neighbors just as Jesus modeled. Here we recognize our tendency to label, critique, or quickly cheer up others. We trade in those lesser loves to offer our real, invested presence instead. We feel what others feel, and we let it hurt in us too. From that shared place of pain, ask God to use compassion as a conduit of wholeness.
Think of someone in your life who is struggling right now. How can you show her/him compassion in the way of Jesus?
Ask God to help you move beyond any judgments, critiques, or labels you may have. Ask for grace to feel what it is like inside that person’s pain, rather than attempting to fix things from the outside.
As your heart sits with theirs, ask Jesus for practical ways to usher healing into the situation. This may look like taking a practical action, or perhaps doing nothing more than offering your compassionate presence.
As you close, write the name of the individual God brought to mind in a safe place in your journal, then look for opportunities to practice compassion.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice
Closing: Father, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
If you are unsure how to begin listening for God’s voice and leading in your life, listen to this message by Larry Green, given at the Parish. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or help with these practices.