Archive for May, 2008|Monthly archive page

Unidentified Objects Were Not All Flying

I heard a discussion on race relations on public radio today.  I could not tell until the show’s end that one of the two women in the discussion was an African-American, who wrote for the Chicago Tribune.  She addressed briefly the issue of inter marriage in revealing the depth of prejudice with great insight. 

The concerns of inter marriage, if it reflected my own prejudice, if I was honest, was not so much about skin color as it was about identity.  What was your identity?  The religious tradition, if there was one, led to intimacy.  And men and women struggled, no matter what backgorund, with matters of intimacy.  The real issue of intermarriage in a secular nation called the question how deep you were intellectually, spiritually.  Everyone had a different dimension.  And family history influenced the formation of identity.   How well developed were these 2 young people?

The popular world, formed by media, was so surface oriented.  But one day people all suffered internal quakes.  What would be down below?  What would be shown as having been deep within all along but often unrecognized even by the the spouse you married.  What had history left her/him, whatever the color?  Without similar intellectual background, without a shared belief system, the chances of failure were increased.  It had nothing to do with skin color but everything that was located below the skin.  Though too often, the history of man’s inhumanity to man and woman, had been cruel beyond comprehension and had left a pressure below the surface, unidentified.  It was not the unidentified flying objects that was to be feared but those unidentified objects buried below the surface.  The earth was not just spinning each day but always moving.  My fear was of sinkholes and former toxic waste disposal left behind, internally unknown, through no fault of a spouse. 

AN IRISH KADDISH

It was a prayer that I had modified around the death of my father.  I still see his name all the time.  It was not just a name.  Too often a man did not want to think about the experience of loss, what it was that I really had had, and what it was that I really had lost.  

 

A prayer was composed not in the sound of words but in true feelings.  I had thought of the relationship of my dad’s life to God.  I thought of my relationships that had led to his God.  I had posted this on the National Day of Prayer.  Relationships were based upon true feelings. 

 

I thought how the children of a father, a mother, were so God-like in both the human and the divine.  I thought of how in this prayer, creation moved from birth into some form of action.   Or inaction.  It was action that gave life purpose.  It was in work.  Or in rest.  In re-creation.  In leisure.  In the movements of a child.  I once heard a rabbi say that the Jewish word for work was the same as that of either leisure or rest.    Or I think I had, in a lecture at the University of St. Thomas. 

 

Family called the question on love:  How can you love without true feelings? 



Father.  You created me.  In Your Image.  You formed me.  In Your Likeness.  You put me on this earth for a reason.   


Jesus Christ, you are that reason.  You set the captives free.  You gave sight to the blind.  You healed the sick.  You taught us how to live and love.  You lived, you died, YOU ROSE.  For me.  And you somehow move me to complete your works.    


Holy Spirit.  You help me complete the works of Jesus, the Messiah, and find my purpose on this earth, in the real world today.  In action.* 

 

 

MAGNIFIED AND SANCTIFIED

MAY HIS GREAT NAME BE

IN THE WORLD THAT HE CREATED,

AS HE WILLS,

AND MAY HIS KINGDOM COME

IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR DAYS

AND IN THE LIFES OF ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL,

SWIFTLY AND SOON,

AND SAY ALL AMEN.     

  

 

AMEN!

MAY HIS GREAT NAME BE BLESSED

ALWAYS AND FOREVER.

 

There seemed to be a relationship in my family name, which carried on the tradition from one generation to the next, in relationship to this God of creation, that connected me to all of history.  And to all of creation. 

*Revision of the prayer of Mark Link, S.J. See link: http://www.staygreat.com/

National Day of Prayer

For the National Day of Prayer

 

Father.  You created me.  In Your Image.  You formed me.  In Your Likeness.  You put me on this earth for a reason.   

 

Jesus Christ, you are that reason.  You set the captives free.  You gave sight to the blind.  You healed the sick.  You taught us how to live and love.  You lived, you died, YOU ROSE.  For me.  And you called me to complete your works.    

 

Holy Spirit.  You help me complete the works of Jesus, the Messiah, and find my purpose on this earth, in the real world today. 

 

So I begin this day.  In the real world.  In the name of the Father.  And of the Son.  And of the Holy Spirit.  May all my thoughts and actions be directed to Your glory, to Your presence in this day, in this world without end.  Today.  Amen. 

Revision of the prayer of Mark Link, S.J. See link: http://www.staygreat.com/