Saturday, September 11, 2010

establish our hearts...

It is, of course, a day of profound remembrance.  And, hopefully, of the continued healing of wounds personal, national, cultural, political and religious.  I was struck during my devotions this morning by this from the Book of James:

"Be ye also patient, and establish your hearts."

And then from the 19th Century Unitarian Daily Devotional, "The Altar at Home" this prayer for "Fidelity in Daily Duties"

OUR Heavenly Father, we come with the light of thy morning about us, and with the dawn of hope and aspiration within us, to praise and glorify thee, from whom are all light and strength. We come, O Father, trusting in thy tender mercy and loving-kindness that thou wilt forgive all our transgressions, wilt strengthen the better purposes of our hearts, and wilt shine upon our souls with continually brighter radiance, until thou shalt bring us unto the endless day in which they dwell who perfectly do thy will.

We thank thee that we are permitted again to take our place among the great company of thy servants who wait, on earth and in heaven, to perform thy bidding ; and we, too, would wait with humble, trustful hearts, looking to thee alone for the power to do the work which this day shall put into our hands. Grant, we beseech thee, that these hours may be marked by faithfulness in all the duties that thou layest upon us, in the spirit, not of fear, but of love. Teach us that there is nothing small and nothing great before thee, but that thou art as well pleased with the scanty service which we can offer thee in the common occupations of our daily lives, as with the greatest deeds of saints and martyrs, being satisfied if we have done what we could. Strengthen us against temptation, and confirm us in the feeling of our constant dependence upon thee. Help us to overcome the tumultuous strife within, and the enticements from without us, which would distract our thoughts from thee, and to recognize, in everything which thou givest us to do, thy hand in wisdom leading us on and disciplining us, by the small requirements and petty cares of this earthly life, for the grander opportunities of service which, in thy eternal world, shall be given to those who here have listened to the voice of duty and have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision. Hear and accept our petitions, we pray thee, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. "

A motto of James Freeman Clarke was "Do the nearest duty." and a cornerstone of recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous is "Do the next right thing."  It is the wisdom of the healing power of daily fidelity to the right and good. May we patiently "establish our hearts" and, thus bring a new "dawn of hope."

Blessings

2 comments:

David G. Markham said...

And the next right thing is........

Personal for each person?

Collectively for our family?

Collectively for my community?

For my country?

For the world?

All of the above?

None of the above?

Some of the above?

All the best,

David Markham

boston unitarian said...

Hi David,
Its beeen a long time! I read your post as well, and (as always) I wish you well on your spiritual journey. Have a blessed Sabbath. BU