Spirituality Café

A prayer for Labor Day

For all who work to help make
the world function, I pray.
For the unemployed and those who
work without a living wage, I pray.
For families unable to support
them selves, I pray.
For those unable to work, I pray.
For those whose livelihood is
threatened by technology, I pray.
For families that suffer because of
workplace pressures, I pray.
For persons with decision-making power but without a moral compass,
I pray.
For myself, I pray that I may act in these
challenging times with your power.
Lord, grant your grace to all of us, that
your will may be done in the
workplace. Amen.
(Author unknown, from On-the-Job Prayers by William David Thompson, ACTA)

A radical Jesus

“Jesus did not come to replace the Temple with other buildings, whether huts or rich cathedrals, but to instill a religion of the heart, with only himself as the place where we encounter the Father. At first one might think that Jesus would not recognize most of what calls itself religion today. But, on second thought, it would probably look all too familiar, perpetuating the very things he criticized in the cleanliness code, the Sabbath rules, the sacrifices, and the Temple. It was natural, therefore, for religion to kill him, since he was its foe. . . .

“What is the kind of religion Jesus opposed? Any religion that is proud of its virtue, like the boastful Pharisee. Any that is self-righteous, quick to judge and condemn, ready to impose burdens rather than share or lift them. Any that exalts its own officers, proud of its trappings, building expensive monuments to itself. Any that neglects the poor and cultivates the rich, any that scorns outcasts and flatters the rulers of this world. If that sounds like just about every form of religion we know, then we can see how far off from religion Jesus stood.”—Garry Wills, What Jesus Meant (Viking)

Today it is very fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately it is very unfashionable to talk with them.—Mother Teresa, who died Sept. 5, 1997 (Mother Teresa: In Her Own Words, Gramercy).

Sacred space
“Ground Zero in Manhattan, along with the crater in Pennsylvania and the slashed side of the Pentagon, constitute Ground Sacred. They are now the center of the world of spiritual truth, places where so much seems to be lost but where everything important about us is also found.”—(Eugene Kennedy, 9-11: Meditations at the Center of the World, Orbis)

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