Public Worship – Thomas Mergon

The liturgy cannot fulfill this function if we misunderstand or underestimate the essentially spiritual value of Christian public prayer. If we cling to immature and limited notions of “privacy,” we will never be able to free ourselves from the bonds of individualism. We will never realize how the Church delivers us from ourselves by public worship, the very public character of which tends to hide us “in the secret of God’s face.”

From:  Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, p. 27.

Adoration – Evelyn Underhill

“Adoration is the first and greatest of life’s responses to its spiritual environment; the first and most fundamental of spirit’s movement towards Spirit, the seed from which all other prayer must spring.  It is among the most powerful of the educative forces which purify the understanding, form and develop the spiritual life.”

From: Evelyn Underhill

 

Forget – Abraham Joshua Heschel

To worship God means to forget the self; an extremely difficult, though possible, act. What takes place in a moment of prayer may be described as a shift of the center of living–from self-consciousness to self-surrender.

From: Abrahma Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom


Worship – Evelyn Underhill

As the genuine religious impulse becomes dominant, adoration more and more takes charge. “I come to seek God because I need Him,” may be an adequate formula for prayer. “I come to adore His splendour, and fling myself and all that I have at His feet,” is the only possible formula for worship.

From: Evelyn Underhill, Worship,  p 9

Advent Fire – Edward Hays

If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.

– Edward Hays

Work, gratitude, prayer – Wendell Berry

Be thankful and repay
Growth with good work and care.
Work done in gratitude,
Kindly, and well, is prayer.
You did not make yourself,
Yet you must keep yourself
By use of other lives.
No gratitude atones
For bad use or too much.

From- Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems, 1979-1997

A Christmas Prayer – Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake,
Amen!

by Robert Louis Stevenson