Friday, September 21, 2012

The Prayer Service

I attended the Taize Prayer service last night and really enjoyed it. The church was lit only by candles, which added to the quietness of the service. It was a lovely service, repeating simple mantras such as "Be still and know that I am God." The minister read  a few readings. It was so interesting to me that not all of the readings were Scripture. The minister shared a passage written by famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry. I thought several times during the service that the more conservative folks from my history in church would not have liked this at all! In the service, there is 10 minutes of complete silence where you sit quietly and meditate or prayer or whatever you choose to do. Wouldn't you know that about 30 seconds into the silence, someone's cell phone rang. I was slightly annoyed and had to remind myself that it just as easily could have been me (thankfully, I turned off both of my cell phones before leaving my car). 

I really enjoyed the service and the time to just feel centered and reflect. It's probably the first 10 minutes of silence I've had in a very long time. My favorite reading that was shared was the closing blessing. It really spoke to my heart.

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder. 

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe. 

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take. 

May the forms of your belonging - in love, creativity and friendship - be equal to the grandeur and call of your spirit. 

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire. 

May a secret Providence guide your though and nurture your feeling. 

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world. 

May your heart never by haunted by ghost structures of old damage. 

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency. 

May you know the urgency which with the world longs for you and awaits your gift. 

- Excerpt from "To Bless the Space Between Us", Doubleday, Copyright 2008, John O'Donohue

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