Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Extracts from a letter by Thomas Merton, words which inspire our work at Chaplains on the Way:
Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through, as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.
... All the good that you will do will come not from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God's love. Think of this more, and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without your knowing it.
... The real hope, then, is not in something we think we can do but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see. If we can do His will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it beforehand ...
From a letter written by Thomas Merton to Jim Forest dated February 21,1966.
The full text of this letter is published in The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters by Thomas Merton edited by William Shannon, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux.
Radical Hospitality: A Gift We Can Give Ourselves, by The Reverend Joan B. Murray. Based on a reflection given at the Waltham Ministerial Retreat in March, 2011.
Called to a Ministry of Presence and Companionship — A Sermon Preached at First Lutheran Church, Waltham by The Reverend Joan B. Murray on January 18, 2009, the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany.
Most holy, self-giving God, we thank you that you are ever-faithful, always giving and forgiving – never turning away from any one of us no matter what we have done or not done. We long to walk a path which leads us right into your all-loving heart, where everything is possible – where new life is available to each one of us in every moment. Show us the way, O God. Draw us to your heart, we pray, that we may know joy – the joy of your companionship and the joy of becoming the people you desire us to be. In gratitude we pray, Amen.
To read poems, click on the title. For more information about Ms. Rodgers and her works, please visit her website greatgreenheart.com.
From: Into the Great Green Heart of God by Christine Rodgers
Adopting the Rhythm
Song of Preparation
Variation on Psalm 23
Prayer for Humility
The Fine Art of Weeding
Step into this Ring
From: Upon a Luminous Night by Christine Rodgers (Click on the title to read poems)
Song for the Poor at Christmas
Just Peace Ministry of the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ — www.justpeaceministry.org.
Mental Health Chaplaincy, Seattle, WA — www.mentalhealthchaplain.org.
The Labyrinth Guild of New England — www.labyrinthguild.org.
Metropolitan Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ - www.macucc.org/mba/index.htm.
Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ — www.macucc.org.
United Church of Christ – www.ucc.org.
Wellesley Congregational Church, Joan’s home church — www.wellesleyvillagechurch.org.