Opening: 100 Days of Psalms and Prayers

Monday, August 30, 2021 (Day 86)

Katie Snipes Lancaster

Psalm 86 (from Robert Altar’s 2007 translation)
Incline Your ear, Lord, answer me, for I am lowly and needy am I. Guard my life, for I am faithful. Rescue Your servant who trusts in You—You, my God.

An Opening Word
Psalm 86 is full of familiar phrases and lines of poetry. It is a recycling of sorts, a rehashing of the prayers to God that slip with ease from the lips of the faithful. It is a prayer for help, and a Psalm of praise. God is “merciful,” “graceful,” “abounding in steadfast kindness,” a helper, a consoler, a protector. It asks “grant me grace,” and “show me a sign for good.” This Psalm could easily be prayed by anyone who is feeling deep trust for God, and simultaneously deep need (which is all of us, depending on the day).

Today’s mystic Mary Margaret Funk is following the path toward deep trust in God through contemplation, meditation, and interfaith dialogue. She became a Benedictine in 1961 and lives to this day in that same community in Beech Grove, Indiana. In 1993, she spoke at the Parliament of World’s Religions, an interfaith gathering that first began in Chicago 1893 back when Kenilworth Union Church was first forming, and subsequently impacted our community in its own ways. She went on to be director of the “Monastic Interreligious Dialogue” board, and was in formal dialogue with Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Confucianism, and Taoist monastic partners across the globe. Her interfaith work included a spiritual exchange program first in India, then in Tibet. Her Christian identity intermingles with her interfaith connections, and so her language about God has a kind of well-filtered quality about it—as if it were made more profound because it has been clarified by the multiple truths of seekers and meaning-makers around the world.

Prayer from the Mystics: Mary Margaret Funk (b. 1943)
God is our heart’s desire…
We can trust
That deep-down
Place in our heart.

May we trust, O God. Amen.

August 30, 2021

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