by Mary Campbell

Sister Alma Rose Has the Last Word

Before there was anything else on Earth,
there was a great sea. The Creator
reached out and touched the sea, and thus
began life. A tiny cell thrived in the great
sea, moving, moving, always toward the
light. And the one became many, and the
many grew in size and in variety and
beauty, and in something that was not
quite knowledge. The living things in the
sea did not know the sea, because there
was nothing else, only the sea that was
vast and green and beautiful. They did
not know that without the sea they could
not live. They did not know about the sun
or the moon or the stars.  

Then the Creator reached out again and
caused a great upheaval of the Earth, and
mountains rose up out of the sea. In time
the rains and the sun and the wind
gentled the mountains, and there were
shores and valleys. The sun raised water
from the sea, and the wind blew the water
over the land and baptized it with life—
green and spreading, growing, and
growing more, according to its nature.

Then the tides hurled creatures from the
sea onto the dry land, and some were
carried back into the deep, but one found
the land to be hospitable, and that one
thrived, now creeping upon the land, now
swimming in the sea. And the one became
many, and the many grew in size and in
variety and beauty, and in something that
was not quite knowledge, but rather in a
sense of the difference between dry land
and water. Moving, moving, always
toward the light, they found that streams
flowed from the mountains to the sea, and
they thrived in and alongside the streams,
which came from the rain, which the sun
raised from the sea.  

The green things—spreading, growing,
and growing more, always toward the
light—became strong and tall, and invited
the creeping things to feast on their fruit.
In time, the strongest of the creatures
developed claws to scale the trees, and
some with fins grew wings instead to soar
over oceans and rivers and land. But even
those who built nests and lived and bore
their young in trees required water to
survive, just as did the creatures who
swam only in the sea.

And the dryland creatures became many,
and the many grew in size and in variety
and beauty, and in something a little more
like knowledge, until one arose from all
the creatures who roamed the earth, and
that one had knowledge and more; that
one had curiosity. And the one became
many, and the many grew in size and in
variety and strength, according to their

    Where there is hatred, let me sow
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    Grant that I may not so much seek
    To be consoled, as to console;
    To be understood, as to understand;
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    It is in pardoning that we are
    And it is in dying that we are
    born to eternal life. Amen.

    —St. Francis of Assisi,
    13th century, accessed
    from World Prayers
    Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee
    as thou deservest;
    to fight and not to heed the wounds;
    to toil and not to seek for rest;
    to labor and not to ask for any
    save that of knowing we do thy will.
    Ignatius Loyola
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

O Lord Almighty, the Healer of our souls
and bodies, You Who put down and raise
up, Who chastise and heal also; do You
now, in him (her) up from his (her) bed,
and cure him (her) of his (her) illness. Put
away from him (her) the spirit of disease
and of every O Lord Almighty, the Healer
of our souls and bodies, You Who put has
sins and transgressions, grant to him
(her) remission and down and raise up,
Who chastise and heal also; do You now,
in Stretch forth Your hand that is full of
healing and health, and get him (her) up
from his (her) bed, and cure him (her) of
his (her) illness. Put away from him (her)
the spirit of disease and of every malady,
pain and fever to which he (she) is bound;
and if he (she) has sins and
transgressions, grant to him (her)
remission and forgiveness, in that You
love mankind; yea, Lord my God, pity
Your creation, through the compassions of
Your Only-Begotten Son, together with
Your All-Holy, Good and Life-creating
Spirit, with Whom You are blessed, both
now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.

O Lord our God, Who by word alone did
heal all diseases, Who did cure the
kinswoman of Peter, You Who chastise
with pity and heal according to Your
goodness; Who are able to put aside every
malady and infirmity, do You Yourself,
the same Lord, grant aid to this Your
servant (Name) and cure him (her) of
every sickness of which he (she) is
grieved; lift him (her) up from his (her)
bed of pain, and send down upon him
(her) Your great mercy, and if it be Your
Will, give to him (her) health and a
complete recovery; for You are the
Physician of our souls and bodies, and to
You do we send up Glory: to Father, and
to Son, and to Holy Spirit, both now and
ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
(source unknown)
Lord, you said that when two or
three would gather together in your
then you would be present with
I am praying by myself (or ‘on the
but I am uniting myself
with many individual Christians
throughout the world
who, though
are gathered together in
another sense
to pray to you, and I trust
that you are with me now.

When the thought of you wakens in
us, God our heavenly Father, when the
thought of you
wakes in our hearts,
let its awakening
not be
like a startled bird that flies about in fear.
Instead, let it be like a child
waking from
with a heavenly smile.
Søren Kierkegaard

Christ our Morning Star
O Christ, our Morning Star,
Splendour of Light Eternal,
shining with the glory of the rainbow,
come and waken us
from the greyness of our apathy,
and renew in us your gift of hope. Amen.
(Bede the Venerable)

Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who has taught the hearts of the
by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant that by the gift of the same Spirit
we may be always truly wise
and ever rejoice in his consolation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the rising of your sun
Lord God, Creator of light,
at the rising of your sun each morning,
let the greatest of all lights-your love-
rise, like the sun, within my heart.

Prayer of St Columba
Be, Lord Jesus, a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me:
today, tonight, and forever.

I will be busy
O Lord,
you know how busy
  I must be this day.
If I forget you,
do not forget me.
(Sir Jacob Astley, before the
Battle of Edgehill, 1642)

Prayer of a Breton fisherman
Lord, the sea is so wide
and my boat is so small.
Be with me.

Close to me
Lord, you are closer to me
than my own breathing,
nearer than my hands and feet.
(St. Teresa of Avila)

The Grail Prayer
Lord Jesus,
I give you my hands to do your work.
I give you my feet to go your way.
I give you my eyes to see as you do.
I give you my tongue to speak your words.
I give you my mind that you may think in
I give you my spirit that you may pray in
Above all,
I give you my heart that you may love in
your Father and all mankind.
I give you my whole self that you may
grow in me,
so that it is you, Lord Jesus,
who live and work and pray in me.

Praying the offering of self
Lord Jesus,
you told your friends
not to worry about the future.
You showed them
how to have the attitude of simple trust
that young children have,
so that they could place themselves
into the caring hands of your Father.
And so I ask for the power of your Spirit
that I may remain positive
throughout all that is ordinary in
my daily life.
I know that your touch
can change people
and situations,
and so I ask you
to join me in offering to our Father
not only the good things of this day
but also the suffering and sacrifices
that I want to offer cheerfully and
and in a quiet and hidden way.
And so may any difficulties
and frustration and pain of this day
be transformed in your presence
for the benefit of other people. Amen.
Praise the Lord, O my soul
All that is within me,

Praise his holy name
Praise the Lord, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits

He forgives all my sins

and he heals all my diseases

He redeems my life from the pit
And crowns me with love

and compassion
He satisfies my desires

with good things
So that my youth is renewed

like the eagle's
Praise the Lord
Prayers, Song Prayers, Devotionals
St. Francis of Assisi with Sultan Al-Kamil
    A Book by Philip Yancey
    Reviewed by Publishers Weekly

    Yancey strikes a moving chord with this book that is more full of yearning and
    wonder than it is of easy answers. Prayer, he writes, is our partnership with
    God, our chance to join forces with God's power to confront suffering and evil

    Yancey is candid about his nagging sense of failure in prayer, but the book is
    suffused with a cautious hope; he writes of his growing confidence and
    joy as his prayer life has deepened from a spiritualized to-do list to
    a conversational communion with God.

    The key, Yancey writes, is that prayer is a window into knowing the mind of
    God, whose kingdom is entrusted to all of us frail, selfish people on earth.

    As with his other books, Yancey draws upon his international travels to bring a
    fresh perspective to the topic, detailing, in nations such as Romania and South
    Africa, how he believes prayer has transformed hearts and permitted bloodless

    The book's strength lies in its balance, with Yancey holding equally important
    ideals in a beautiful tension: action and meditation, doubt and certainty, and
    the unchanging God with the God who appears so moved by people's petitions
    in the Bible that he changes his mind. Yancey also offers some ... insightful
    observations about Jesus' own prayer life.

    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    St. Ignatius
    of  Loyola

    Father God, Today I am afraid. I
    look around me at this world that is
    changing so fast and I feel lost like a
    small boat in the midst of a storm. I
    am not built to weather the
    battering waves or the howling
    wind. So I wait now in your
    presence. You spoke the oceans and
    the four winds into being. You threw
    the stars in the sky and separated
    the sea from dry land. You took the
    hand of Peter who was sinking into
    the depths of the water and walked
    him to safety. I choose now to fix
    my eyes on you and not on the
    storm. I settle my heart on your
    love and not on the current that
    threatens to pull me under. Thank
    you that you are my firm anchor
    even through the darkest night,
    --by Sheila Walsh, author of
    Let Go
The Creation of Prayer

    I pray we, all children of the earth,
    no matter our path to
    enlightenment, come to realize that
    we are one. We may walk our own
    paths, but we are not alone, for we
    walk at the same time, toward the
    same end/beginning. From our
    individual perspectives, be we
    Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jew,
    Buddist, Taoist, or Hindu, are the
    same. I pray that we all feel the love
    of our Creator and by example learn
    to see each other as brothers and
    sisters, allowing the boundary lines
    of religion to fade away. May the
    Lord and Lady bless your path. May
    you always have enough, and may
    you give enough in return. Blessed
    Be.  Beliefnet member Fae Aisling
We do respect all clearly enunciated,
sincere, and nonviolent expressions of
faith. We welcome your contributions.
Please email
But some of them turned their
intelligence toward small, inward things,
and forgot about the sea, and with all
their curiosity, they did not know that—
like the creatures who swam in the sea—
they required it to survive. They injured
the streams, though they required them
to survive. They injured the creatures
who swam in the streams; they injured
the air and the land and the sea; they
blocked the sun and shut their eyes to the
light—though they required all these
things to grow according to their nature,
even to survive.

In their minds, they forgot about the
eternal sea, though their hearts
remembered, and pulsed with
admonition. And they became uneasy,
because they believed that their minds
were greater than their hearts. And so
they defied their hearts, and thus they
injured even the streams that flowed
through their bodies, pulsing from their
hearts with admonition.  

But in every age, among all the creatures,
there have been those who remember the
eternal sea, who understand that, where
pure streams cannot flow, living things
shrivel and perish, and where the mind is
not nourished by the heart, the mind
withers and is sterile. Those who
remember are the teachers and sages, the
Wise Ones, the Ancients, the embodied
admonitions of the heart’s pulsing.
They tell us, Swim, always, in the
remembered pure streams that flow to
the sea. Immerse yourself always in that
awareness, which is prayer. When you
drink clear water, let it be a ceremony
and celebrate the eternal sea, which is
something that we know of God. For
prayer is to the spirit as water is to the
body... and those who immerse
themselves in prayer will be continually
refreshed and renewed.
Back in the 1930’s a man named Emmett
Fox offered a very simple solution to all
problems. He said, “Take your mind off
the problem and put it on God.” As a
renowned spiritual teacher and mystic,
Fox taught the power of Affirmative
Prayer. He taught that the only real truth
there is, is the truth that God is and,
where God is, there can be no fear, lack,
difficulty or problems. Our job, Fox
believed was to know, believe, accept,
embrace, remember and affirm the
presence of God and all things good would
unfold. —