Be Glad and Rejoice
For I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever
in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Lord, we want to bathe in the newness that you create by the touch of your hand.
Letting go of our suffering is the hardest work we will ever do. It is also the most fruitful. To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way — in the newness of each moment where all is possible and nothing is limited to the old.
The Angelus (1857-1859) by Jean-François Millet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, ‘Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?’ A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, ‘Do this and you will be saved.’ At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.
—–Sayings of the Desert Fathers
What would life look like for you and me if we truly dedicated ourselves to work and prayer? At first glance it looks a little bit dreary, but with further thought it may begin to make a lot of sense. Most of us spend a great deal of time and money trying to figure out how to entertain ourselves. Another great goal is becoming a successful and productive person. If we truly dedicated our lives to work and prayer, I think both of those issues would be resolved. We would find ourselves very successful and productive, and with prayer very much at peace and rested. For a few days , let’s just try this work/prayer pattern and see what happens.
Lord let me see my work as prayer. This day I dedicate myself to be a person of prayerful work, that is, one who does my very best at every task that comes my way. Help me to truly see my work as sent from you as a way of loving me. In this I will find productivity and peace. It is only through this trust that I can come to see the fullness of your grace.
- Are You Ready for God?. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)
- Are You Striving in Prayer? (underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com)