Author Archives: Mary Ann

Whose image is this?

College di razze umane individuate dalla vecchia tassonomia, 2017

[Jesus said to the Pharisees], “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” Matthew 22:20

Every human person is made in the image of God’s love and goodness. God has written into our hearts the inscription of love, respect, forgiveness, and compassion.

Lord, may I see your image in every human face and inscribe my life with with love and respect for all people everywhere.

A garment of love

Aldersbach abbey ( Lower Bavaria ). Mary Assumption parish church: Narthex – Fresco (1760) illustrating the Gospel of Matthew 22, 7: “See, the meal is ready, come!”

But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
Matthew 22:11

Today I will wear a garment woven of joy and kindness to celebrate that I was made in the image of God’s love and goodness.

Lord, may I always accept with gladness your invitation to love my neighbor .

With honor and grace

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Today I will do my best to embody honor, justice, purity, loveliness, graciousness, and excellence in all my relationships. I will give praise to God for our beautiful world and my family and friends. I will be a peaceful presence at home, in my community, and in the world.

Turn towards the light

Ralph Stackpole (1885-1973)
Worship, 1915

Since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Ezekiel 18:28

It’s never too late to turn from resentment, hostility, indifference, self-righteousness, divisiveness, racism…

Today is the day I will turn towards the light of forgiveness, kindness, compassion,  generosity, unity, and respect for all members of our human family.

Lord, give me the courage to follow your Way of life.

Seek peace and compassion

Gerard de Jode (ca.1511-1591)
The Parable of the workers in the vineyard, 1585
Royal Library of Belgium

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6

God is as near as my choice to love my neighbor as myself, to treat others with respect, to show compassion to those who are suffering, to forgive those who have hurt me, to be generous to those in need.

Today I will seek the path of love, compassion, and peace. I will call on the Lord to give me the courage and trust to follow this path.

 

 

Healing into forgiveness

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Saint Pierre), 1886-1894
Opaque watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper
Brooklyn Museum

The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
Psalm 103:8

Today I will open my heart to healing.

I will let go of resentment. I will refuse to hold a grudge. I will transform my suffering into compassionate awareness of others’  suffering.

 

Gathered together

Joe Zachs
Prayer before leaving for church for a first communion.

Jesus said to his disciples, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

We gather today in the name of the Lord to pray for kindness, courtesy, respect, racial harmony, healing from the COVID-19 pandemic, and human rights for all of God’s family.

The Lord is in our midst.

Safe in the Lord

Dominicus Johannes Bergsma
Wooden cross on the ridge between Tguma and Präzer Höhi, 2017

[Then Jesus said to his disciples,] “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

In these uncertain days of racial discord and the COVID-19 pandemic, I worry about being safe and keeping others safe.

But safety is an illusion. I am human and cannot hide from illness, natural or man-made disasters, or the violence and greed of others.

My hope must always rest in knowing Who is in charge, in Whose blessed hands I find my security, in Whose heart I live forever.

The key is love

James Tissot (1836-1902)
The Calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew
gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Jesus said to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15

Peter has spent long hours and many months with Jesus. He has come to know the compassion of God manifested in every word and touch of Jesus.

This is the key to the Kingdom of God: knowing God’s love in my heart and letting it overflow to all people with words and actions that reveal kindness, gentleness, respect, encouragement, justice, and healing.

When the demons infiltrate

Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (Egyptian, active ca. 1684)
Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
Ink and pigments on laid paper
The Walters Art Museum

But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” Matthew 15:25

The COVID and racism pandemics are feeding a number of demons. As the demons of distress, anxiety, and fear attempt to infiltrate my mind, body, and spirit, I do my best to stay aware of their effect on me and ask the Lord to help me. I trust he hears and answers me.

Today I put my faith in the Compassion of God.