Wednesday October 21, 2020
Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things, great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do whatever You require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace,
so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honor.
May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me,
in me, and through me. Amen.
— (St. Teresa of Avila, 16th century Carmelite nun)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
I find it interesting that Paul does not say, “Do not get angry,” but rather “in your anger, do not sin.” Anger is a normal human emotion; to deny it or suppress it is not healthy, and will only cause more problems at some point. In the context of these verses, Paul gives us some help with how to handle our anger, particularly within the church. We should speak the truth, practice mutual forgiveness, and find something useful to do to benefit those in need.
It is hard to remain angry when we trust and love those in our community. When we practice forgiveness with each other and spend time helping those in need, we become less self-focused, more compassionate, and our hearts soften toward others. This is the way of the body of Christ.
How are you loving, speaking, forgiving, and serving others? How are you seeking unity in the body of Christ?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Oh God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on this dry and thirsty land. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! Oh Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name. (Daniel 9:17-19)
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