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A Prayer for Early Morning – November 6, 2010

November 6, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

A Prayer for Early Morning

Father-Mother,

I am awake
In the early morning hours
of a Saturday.
My wife and children
still lay under the covers of a warm bed
warding off the chill of an Autumn frost.
Help me let go
Of my perceptions
Of this world,
Discouragement for its current state,
Of burdens born, and
Sacrifices made
Out of responsibility and duty,
Rather than Love.
Let love rule
Not only in my heart,
But in this world.

I am here
Alone with You.
Waiting,
Listening,
Sitting,
Being.
In Peace.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom

A Prayer on the Absence of Prayer – November 4, 2010

November 4, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

 

A Prayer on the Absence of Prayer

Father-Mother,

It seems that it is too easy
to get out of the habit to pray,
to set aside time to be alone with You,
and yet that is what I have done. 
Because I send my prayers out to others,
I hesitate
because I feel that I have nothing new to say. 
My words and thoughts are too repetitious. 
I have forgotten
That although my thoughts are not new,
the important element of a time of prayer
is the relationship. 
I can’t have a relationship
if I am not with You. 
I feel that I am wandering,
without direction.
I drift like a rudderless boat,
waiting for the tide
to push me
wherever it wants. 
Trust my desire
To be with You
Even when I sit in silence.
In Jesus name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom

A Prayer of Blessing on a Newly Married Son – October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

Father-Mother,

Drew and Katie’s wedding has come, been celebrated, and all that is left to do is return the rented tuxes.  It went by in a whirl, a surreal distortion of time, where one recognizes that the event is occurring, but is lifted up into another plane, a place where only love exists.  And yet there is a balance that must be maintained with this physical world.  Young children are masters at keeping things in perspective.  Having to go to the bathroom during the service is a tried-and-true method of achieving such a balance, and was used once on Saturday to great effect.  So my feet have been planted in the West Side of Cincinnati, while my soul wants to leap into a peak experience.  I’ll have to learn to appreciate the highest heights, as well as the events which define our daily lives.

A Prayer of Blessing on a Newly Married Son

Mother-Father,
Thank You for the privilege
Of allowing me to witness
the marriage of my son and daughter-in-law.
I will recall my son
Holding the hands of his betrothed
staring into her eyes
and making a vow to You
That he would love and honor her
All the days of his life. 
For him, there is no other,
For her, he is her loving husband.
May the shine of this vow
Never tarnish.
May the time that grows,
Separating them from
The moment of its utterance,
Never diminish its import,
Nor the commitment to it.
May the joys of a life together
Be frequent and appreciated.
May the challenges that life presents
Be conquered together, making each stronger.
May unexpected blessings surround them.
May their marriage overflow with love, and
Be a blessing for all.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom

Archived prayers may be accessed at tommiele.wordpress.com

A Prayer on Our Son’s Wedding Day – October 23, 2010

October 23, 2010

A Prayer on Our Son’s Wedding Day

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

Father-Mother,

There are some moments in life that are saved for reflection.  Now is one of those times in a parent’s life, an hour or so before a child, long since grown, is to be married.  It is time to savor the flashback experience of this young man, always my son, regardless of his time on this earth.  I recall the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 1980 when Drew, formerly Dante, came to us in foster care from the hospital, three weeks following his premature birth.  He came in poverty.  He came with addiction. He came to us with no one to care for him.  He was as tiny a being as I had ever seen, with a hat that resembled a knitted cover for a door knob.  He came and was an infant who wailed and wailed for hours on end.  For that he received the nickname “Pathos”.  He grew out of this stage and then became the sandwich child between his elder brother and his newly adopted younger brother.  Where was his place?  He would learn to become the child who didn’t demand attention.  He was the child who gave us relief.  He was even-keeled, never too high, never to low.  Always consistent.  Mr Average.  He didn’t excel in sports or in the classroom.  He excelled in relating to people and being a friend. 

I recall his first friend, our next door neighbor Pam.  They walked to school together as they began kindergarten. 

I remember a time when he was given the chance to pitch in a tournament baseball game.  He couldn’t find the plate and walked a ton of batters.  It was excruciating to watch him wind up and have the batters continue to take pitches.  He eventually was taken out.  It was a relief to have the torture ended, but what did it do to his self-esteem that day?

He moved on to a Catholic boys’ high school and was one of the few African-American students in the school.  He tried out for football, and was part of the team, although he only was on the field a few plays throughout high school.  He developed a feeling of belonging regardless of the playing time. 

As an African-American he experienced some instances of racism.  When shopping in a mall, he often noticed the store clerks following him as he browsed at the merchandise, making sure that he wouldn’t engage in shoplifting.  On the night of a high school dance, he had gone to pick up his date at her home, but was turned away by the girl’s father.  He never spoke of these events.  He didn’t allow himself to become bitter.  I wasn’t able to provide him a way to survive theses events from personal experience, but I felt an inner torment that the insanity of racism would hurt someone as innocent as Drew. 

Following high school, he went on to work, a factory job, that he still holds today, staying with his consistent nature.  He also continues to work during the baseball season for the Cincinnati Reds, a job that he began during high school. 

 

I can see certain photographic images flash through my mind.  I recall a photo of Drew during infancy staring right into my eyes, so much so that one could see into his soul.  Another image crystallizes of Drew standing by the Christmas tree with a halo of tinsel resting on his head, a Christmas angel.  I see an image of a toddler Drew along with his older brother Matthew, and younger brother Josh, surrounding me in play.  I see pictures of Drew and his brothers mugging for the camera on a trip with me to Yellowstone and the Tetons, so much like the young conquerors that they envisioned themselves.  Then a photo emerges of Drew in a Cincinnati Reds’ uniform as a ball boy, and a photo of him along with the team.  A purple cap and gown marked his high school graduation and one with my father, deceased long ago.  Today, there will be more pictures taken that will also serve to fill my memories, of the day my son was married.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Peace,

Tom

A Prayer on the Eve of Our Son’s Wedding – October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Our second son is to be married tomorrow.  It has been a busy week with the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Thursday, pick-up of tuxes today, and last minute alterations of dresses on Friday, and the wedding and reception on Saturday.  It gets so rushed that one doesn’t get the time to reflect on the event, and the loved ones involved.

Drew has been the one child in our family who never caused us any trouble.  To his misfortune, he probably received a lot less attention than the other children, because their demands were so intense.  Despite this history, Drew grew up to be a fine young man, with a good set of friends, and a wife-to-be and a set of in-laws that love and appreciate him just the way he is. 

Drew has been very independent.  He has lived on his own for many years, sharing houses with friends, and buying his own home with Katie.  He will turn 30 next month, and that milestone along with his marriage seems to catapault him into a different phase of his life.  He and Katie will be united together, and may start their own family one day.  Their marriage also moves us into another phase of life, still parents, but more loving advisors, if advice is sought. 

 

A Prayer on the Eve of Our Son’s Wedding

Mother God,
Father God,
I love Drew. 
I pray for a life of happiness,
Yet I know
that such a life does not exist.
It is full of challenges
That test our wills
Our hope,
Our perseverance,
Our love,
Our strength.
There are inevitable crises
Unexpected interruptions
Into our daily lives.
I have seen them in our own lives,
With the threat of job loss,
the diagnosis of cancer,
the invasion of mental illness,
and the burden of legal cases
that involved our children.
None could have been foreseen
On our wedding day
More than 33 years ago.
Yet our imperfect love,
prayers for us from many,
and a reliance on You,
brought us to a safe harbor,
A resting place.
May Drew and Katie’s love grow
In the years to come.
Let it be the strength on which they rely,
May it lead them to You,
May it lead them home.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom

A Prayer for Today’s Lepers – October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

Father-Mother,

Today the Gospel reading told the account of ten lepers who came to Jesus seeking healing.  They were the untouchables of their day.  The Law required them to maintain distance between themselves and people without leprosy.  They had to identify themselves as “Unclean”. 

The pries at our church talked about this in the modern setting.  He shared his opinion of who represented the “untouchables” of today’s world.  Then he added one more – us.  We are all lepers.  We hold God at a distance, preventing him from entering “our space”, our world, and engaging us with intimacy. 

 

A Prayer for Today’s Lepers

Mother God,
Father God,
I am a leper,
Unclean in mind and heart.
Heal me of my sins,
My faults,
My daily failures.
Enter my life.
Stay forever.
Hold me
In Your all-loving arms
Restoring me to full status
As Your child.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom

A Prayer of Relief Along the Journey Through Cancer – October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Please take a moment to pray with us.

Father-Mother,

I have been remiss in praying about Sue’s good news.  As today is her birthday, it seems like a good time to share her gift.  She had a recent CAT Scan which showed that her tumor had “disappeared”.  It didn’t “light up” on the scan.  Long after her radiation and chemotherapy had ended, they continued to work and shrink the tumor.  I guess that it’s a good sign that you can stop worrying about life, death, and treatment options, and let some other topic rise to the top of the problem list. 

 

A Prayer of Relief Along the Journey Through Cancer

Mother God,
Father God,
You have walked with Sue
through the days of fire
The days of shock
The days of hope.
You have been present
With her
In the waiting rooms of so many doctors
Where she joined
With others traveling along
Similar journeys.
You have allowed her to see
Faces of hope
Faces of courage
Faces of love, and
Faces of fear.
You have whispered
Into the depths of her soul
And touched her with
Your holy light.
You have surrounded her
With a gentle blanket of warmth
And freed her from everyday distractions
Creating a time for her
To be alone with You.
Let her cherish this time
Of solitude,
Of singular focus,
Of illumination.
Let her be free
Of any vestiges of cancer
And return to her role
As Mother, Grandmother,
Spouse, and Friend.
Let the lessons learned
Be cemented deep within her.
May the wisdom gained
Through this journey
Be a gift to many.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Peace,

Tom