Reflections by Jerry Webber

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Psalm for All Saints Day

I gave Psalm 145 my own voice several years ago. I wrote the psalm-prayer to tip my hat toward those persons who had blazed the trail, inviting you and me to follow. While I found their lives to be a source of courage and strength, I also sensed that we are each called to live uniquely for God in our own time. I cannot live the life of Benedict of Nursia or Ignatius of Loyola or Henri Nouwen. I can only live my life in my world. Thus, I did not write the psalm-prayer specifically for All Saints, but the psalm fits the spirit of the day. I offer it here.

PSALM 145:4 – 13 Prayer
A psalm celebrating God’s work through the ages

From age to age Your works live large in our world.
Your mercies are new every morning;
Yet, they stretch out as a consistent thread,
woven through the centuries.

Each generation finds its own way to manifest Your Love,
to embody Your Presence in the world.

I may not be called to the harsh asceticism of Abba Anthony,
to the visionary path of Francis of Assisi,
to the mystical prayer of Julian of Norwich,
to the swashbuckling surrender of Ignatius of Loyola,
to the radical discipleship of Menno Simons,
to the sacrificial compassion of Teresa of Calcutta,
to the anonymous service of Alphonsus Rodriguez,
to the just cause of Nelson Mandela,

But I – and my generation – are called to follow You
in our life-world
as these were called to follow You in theirs.

We find our own way,
by Your Spirit,
into asceticism and vision,
prayer and surrender,
discipleship and compassion,
service and justice,
in ways that are appropriate
and life-giving
and God-anointed
for our times.

The means may change;
the One at the end, however,
remains steady through the times:
kind to those in need
and compassionate toward the broken ones;
not motivated by twisted anger,
but by a generous love that never comes to an end;
sustaining the created world moment by moment
and re-creating us continually
from the inside-out.

All creation – oceans, winds,
hills, trees and humans –
offer their praise, God.
And those deepening life in You,
repeat the blessing passed down through the ages,
speaking Your Name,
stretching hands toward neighbors,
sacrificing for the greater good,
surrendering their lives for Love’s sake.

It has been that way in past generations.
God, that it would continue so today
and on into the boundless future.

Alleluia! Amen.

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