Once again, it is closer to Monday evening than Monday morning. Today, beginning early this morning (or late last night), I have been absorbed with the shooting death of one of my clients -- quite a shock and meant as a political statement. There is not much one can say, but I have spent part of the day in consolation activities with those who worked with this client. We do have some pictures of our joint work, really nice ones, with him, and my employees have begun assembling them in hopes that the family will find some comfort in them, along with the words of consolation that we are putting together. Such sad news; it has, indeed, been a sorrowful day. We have had a litany of problems, related to individual employees' positions at work, but nothing to equal this level of sorrow. I sent some of the people most affected by the current issues home early because they could not concentrate.
So, once again it was quite late before I was able to settle in and read further in Micah. I did not get past chapter 7 (where I was last week) this week. I came across a passage about God's great mercy and compassion, and I think that is just what I needed to hear today.
Reading: Micah 7:1
Meditation:When humans create such misery, it is always a comfort to know that God's mercy is endless. In fact, at prayer group tonight, we re-read the liturgy for Ash Wednesday. I had felt that Lent started without me because I missed the Ash Wednesday Mass as a result of being out of town and being given the wrong time for Mass in the city I was visiting. Everyone wanted me to experience Ash Wednesday, so we read the readings from the Mass. The Ash Wednesday readings talked about God's mercy and compassion, a repetition of sorts of what is written in Micah. In talking about the "bad guy" who killed our client, one of the young members of our prayer group commented that the "bad guy" would get his comeuppance later from God. Hm. I wonder. If the "bad guy" repents, he will be forgiven. Somehow, I find that more than okay. I find that comforting. We all need forgiveness. Perhaps our "bad acts" do not include murder and the like, but whatever offends God is bad. We are all in need of forgiveness, and we all hope that God in His compassion will accept our repentance. So, we prayed that that the "bad guy" would indeed repent so that another spectacular example of God's mercy can be had.
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for His compassion. I will thank God for all the times He has forgiven me. I will, of course, also ask for His mercy in general and repent for all my "bad acts" (intentional and, mostly, unintentional) that have needed forgiveness. Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.