Self and soul

 

My self is made of thoughts,
Sensations, 
Feelings,

Which come and go, 
And change, Lord, 
Always new;

And though all these 
Will end, Lord, 
At my passing,

My soul won’t change,
For it is part 
Of you.

 

References 

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).

I am the Lord and I do not change (Malachi 3:6; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Reconciliation and healing

 

Two significant events are fast approaching in my life. Firstly, I’m hoping to be received into the Catholic Church, and to make my first communion. Secondly, I’ll be having a mastectomy for breast cancer in about a month. 

As I prepare for both these occasions, I’ve realised that I have only a limited amount of time to resolve various relationship issues that have been weighing on me for several years. I’ll face the surgery far more confidently if I have the peace of mind that comes from knowing I’ve done my best to put things right with those who hold anything against me, in accordance with Jesus’ teaching. Similarly, forgiving those who have hurt me has become an even more urgent task than usual.

So I’ve started contacting people who might be holding a grudge against me. Yesterday, to my delight, someone I thought wasn’t speaking to me responded generously, which was a huge relief. I’ve also written to a religious group I left after getting badly hurt, to see if anyone there still harbours negative feelings towards me. If anyone contacts me in return, I will do whatever I can to repair our relationship. All these issues are reflected in today’s prayer:

 

Lord, 

You’re bringing healing 
From these tumours
As I prepare
To face my surgery

By telling those I’ve hurt
That I am sorry,
And forgiving everyone 
Who has hurt me.

In this way, I will face
My operation
With peace of body, mind,
And even soul,

And this will be
My miracle of healing, 
As you, Lord, touch my heart, 
And make me whole.

 

References

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28; NRSV).

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV).

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7; NIV). 

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Isaiah 61:1; NKJV).

Reconciliation

 

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV).

 

Lord, 

No matter what I have against other people, I realise it’s completely unimportant. I can forgive, bless, and pray for those who have hurt me every day, until the hurt is healed. They don’t need to do anything at all.

Instead, what really matters is what others have against me. These are the people I need to seek out, so I can apologise, and make amends for my behaviour, in the hope that we can be fully reconciled before you.

 

References

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NIV).

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-8; NLT).

Self

 

Lord,

Though I will lose my self  
In death,

My soul will join with yours
For evermore.

 

References

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:25; NIV).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).

O, my children

 

O, my children, 
Though you weep,

Remember 
I am always near.  

O, my children,
Though you grieve, 

Remember 
I am always here. 

O, my children, 
Though you fail, 

Remember 
You are always dear.

O, my children,
Though you fall, 

Remember me –
And have no fear.

 

References

You are close beside me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it (Genesis 28:16; NIV).

We know how much God loves us (1 John 4:16; NLT).

The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear (Psalm 118:6; NLT).

Drink this cup

I wrote this prayer today (5.9.18), at 7.30am, before a hospital visit:

Sit down, my child,
And drink this cup
Of suffering,
Which I have brought. 

Remember all 
That Jesus did,
And practice all
That Jesus taught.

And do not fear
What lies ahead –
The sickness, pain,
And suffering –

Just fix your heart
Upon the prize:
Eternal life,
With Christ, your King.

At 4pm the same day, I learned that I have two invasive cancers in my left breast, so will be having surgery soon. When it seems appropriate, I’ll include news of what’s happening with my daily blogs. If I miss a day or two, which I’ve never done before, you will know there’s a good reason.

References

Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me? (John 18:11; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (Matthew 6:27; NLT).

Be strong, and do not fear (Isaiah 35:4; NLT).

I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:10; KJV).

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us (Philippians 3:14; NLT).

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3; NLT).

Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt (Matthew 21:5; NLT). 

Save us!

 

Lord, 

Save us, 
For we suffer –
Heal our bodies. 

Save us, 
For we sorrow – 
Heal our minds.

Save us, 
For we founder –
Heal our hearts, Lord.

Save us, 
For we perish –
Heal our souls.

 

References 

The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown” (Matthew 8:25; NLT).

You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves (Jonah 2:3; NLT).

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth (Psalm 71:20; NLT).

Lord, be merciful to me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee (Psalm 41:4; WEB).

Thy will be done

 

I never need to worry, Lord, 
But think: Thy will be done.

However painful life may be,
I ask: Thy will be done.

And though the worst may happen, Lord,
I say: Thy will be done. 

Then I rejoice and thank you, Lord,  
And pray: Thy will be done.   

 

References

Thy will be done (Matthew 6:10; KJV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

When I must cope with fear

 

My Lord, my God, 
When I must cope with fear,  

Help me to face it willingly, 
Like you.

My Lord, my God, 
When I must suffer pain,

Help me to meet it steadfastly,
Like you.

My Lord, my God, 
When I must know despair,

Help me to bear it faithfully,
Like you. 

My Lord, my God,
When I must pass through death,

Help me to let go trustingly,
Like you. 

 

References

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT). 

He was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7; NLT).

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

All who grieve

 

May all who grieve, Lord,
Turn to you for comfort.

May all who suffer 
Know that they are blessed.

May all those facing trials, Lord,
Be strengthened.

May all those who are weary
Find your rest.

 

References 

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4; NLT).

Those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction (Job 36:15; NIV).

With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall (2 Samuel 22:30; NIV).

Keep on seeking and you will find (Luke 11:9; NLT). 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28; NLT).