Saturday, February 10, 2007


O Lord, on the days when the darkness seems so deep
When I feel the splinters from the wood of my own cross,
Sometimes I get a flash of insight, a sudden leap
Of that suffering, of that pain, of that loss --

Separated from the pretty pictures of my books,
The smell of death hanging in the air, the jeers, the flies,
The weeping women, the soldiers' learing looks,
The eyes of your Mother as she cries --

Real moments fraught with blood and grief and pain --
From this you wrought the answer to Adam's sin,
How we want to pretty it up, build walls, contain
The reality of God touching us, lock it in.

Clever as we are at building the boxes to hide that fire,
The burning love of creator for creation stained,
You find ways to bring home that truth, inspire -
Yours is a love that will not stay contained.

Open my heart, O Lord, and let me see today
The reality of a God who burns away the night
Holding nothing back to open up the way
To lead his bride at last into the light.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Morning Prayer 

Teach me, O Lord each morning, to see every single day,
The touch of your most perfect love upon life's weary way,
The touch of your supporting hand upon my weary life,
The touch of your unexpected peace that heals the deepest strife.

Teach me, O Lord, each morning to remember as I go
That you walked the way upon the earth, each step from heel to toe,
Dust and laughter along the way you've felt, the taste of joy and pain,
The burning of the summer sun, the blessing of the rain.

Teach me, O Lord each morning, that when you said "Come follow me,"
You knew that I could walk that way, no impossibility
Because you blazoned out the path, with hope and love and cross,
And walk it ever with me, in happiness or loss.

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Some crosses come of rough hewn wood,
Heavy the weight across the shoulders,
Rough the ropes that bind the arms
As the Son of man, marches in procession,
There to give His all for the likes of me.

Some crosses come in the barked orders of a cruel commander,
Selecting victims to die for retribution,
There one man shoulders his cross,
Replacing another to go down into that darkness,
Praising God each day, until, impatient,
They inject him with poison to speed him off to his Master.

Some crosses come in the shape of a long slow disease,
Stealing strength, freedom of movement,
And at last the ability to speak
From a loving man who spoke word after word,
Bearing his burden, in pain and patience
Day by day,
While the world watched, sometimes snickering,
Until at last, when it was time,
He returned home with a final amen.

Some crosses are simple, but hard to shoulder:
Smiling at the troubled spouse,
Being kind to a tired shop clerk,
Reaching out to someone who frustrates and hurts,
Walking a sick baby,

Help me, O Lord,
To carry the crosses you send me
With fortitude and love,
Whether in great things or little,
For love of You,
Because You ask it,
And always, through Your help,
This day, and always,

Susan E. Stone, 2007

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Have Mercy on Us, O Lord! 

O my Jesus,
remember the hands raised against you in anger
as you stood there accused before the high priest,
and remember all of us here
hate-filled and angry,
victims of of that same hate.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

O my Jesus,
remember the hardness of injustice
when unjustly accused,
you stood before those who wished you dead,
and remember those of us here,
those accused unfairly,
those who do wrong and call it justice.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

O my Jesus,
remember the tears of those who wept,
seeing you so injured,
forced to march to the place of your death,
and remember those of us here,
weeping over our lost ones,
weeping over those we cannot help,
weeping over the victims of all this evil.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

O my Jesus,
remember the looks of the bored guards,
who doing what they were instructed to do,
had no idea of the immensity of their actions.
Remember those of us here,
who think we are just doing our jobs,
allowing wrongs to be committed
and evil to flourish.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

O my Jesus,
remember the eyes of your Mother as you neared death,
she who shared your birth,
she who shared your death with such pain and grief,
and remember the breaking hearts of mothers everywhere,
who see the grief in their children's lives,
who mourn their beloved, dead, injured, lost, without hope.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

O my Jesus,
remember the gathering darkness as you sank down into death,
your life given because of the wickedness of man,
and remember all of us who will die this day
because of sin,
theirs or another,
in pain and fear and anguish,
entering into life's final darkness.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Lord, you who worked so hard to show us the way, to bring us into light, remember us,
and kindle into the hearts of all who will open to you the flame of your mercy, so that we, doing your work, may spread your mercy across this dark and troubled world, this day, and always.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

In My Smallness, I Remember 

There are moments when my smallness
comes hammering home,
when I bash my head upon the eye of the needle,
when I know that in true wealth, God's measure,
I am but a pauper, standing here, hat in hand.

O Lord, let not my hardheadedness
get in the way of your mercy.
Help me to remember who is Master,
who is servant,
who is Giver,
who controls.

Today, I am confronted with the reality
that the tissues of strength I hide behind
are but paper walls,
and without your strength,
they crumble in the wind.

Help me, Lord to remember
that it is not my strong hand,
but your hand holding mine,
that it is not my strong back,
but your support,
it is not my wisdom,
but the light that comes from you that matters.

Open my heart, Lord,
and let your light in,
and may I,
in the frailty of my life
thank you for your touch,
this day, and always.


Susan E. Stone, 2007

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