Author Archives: Mary Ann

In need

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Landscape with Flock of Sheep
oil on canvas, 1889 and 1902
Norton Simon Museum

Today I am especially in need of the gentle guidance and tender care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. I am grateful for his kind attention.

May I be gentle, tender, and kind towards others, too, for they may also be in need of compassion.

Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

Peace in this moment

The two disciples recounted what had  taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35

Jesus has risen from the dead. He breaks bread and eats a bit of fish to prove he is here with us, a tangible, touchable, living presence.

It is in this present, earth-bound moment that he offers us the gift of peace. Today I will accept this moment of peace… and the next…and the next… until I internalize the gift and am able to offer it to others—to all members of our human family, who live and breathe and ache to be touched with God’s peace and compassion.

[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36

Befriend the wounded

Caravaggio (1571-1610)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
oil on canvas, from 1601 until 1602
Sanssouci Picture Gallery

I am learning to identify and make friends with my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Although some are still open, these wounds are proof of my ability to survive, begin the work of healing, and live again. They teach me compassion, too, by opening my eyes and heart to recognize the wounds of others.

Today I pray for the grace to be gentle with wounded humanity. May I be willing to reach out to touch God’s holy Spirit in each of us.

Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” John 20:27

Fools for Christ

1 Corinthians 4:10-13

They anointed and wrapped his dead body, and placed it with sorrow and reverence in an empty tomb.

And in a spectacular display of God’s power and love, Jesus played the greatest April Fool prank of all: He rose from the dead.

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
John 20:6-8

Humbled and graced

JESUS MAFA. The Crucifixion; Jesus dies on the cross, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

If I were humble enough to surrender my whole self to God’s will… perhaps I would stop resisting pain and suffering… perhaps I would forgive those who hurt me… speak out in defense of the poor and vulnerable… respond to aggression with nonviolence… choose the power of love over the idol of fear—even if it meant being killed.

May I be willing to be taught by God, who is love. May I be graced with the knowledge that love never fails.

[Jesus] humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

A morsel of mercy

Amish farm field, wheat up in shocks
By Nyttend (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today I feel the need for a light touch, a dash of comfort, a grain of healing. If I am feeling this way, perhaps others are too. May I be graced with the goodness to offer compassion to each member of our human family.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness. Psalm 51:3

God so loved the world

Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Oesterley (1805–1891)
Israel Mourns Near the Waters of Babylon

Despite the pain, suffering, and grief that may be today’s burden, let me not forget to give thanks for the gifts of family, friends, and unexpected kindnesses.

By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps. Psalm 137:1-2