Published 10-3-11 The Religion Network publishes every Monday
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Black Elk, John Shelby Spong, Book of Psalms, Thomas Merton, Beth Moore
Black Elk was a Holy Man of the Oglala Lakota nation who managed to merge his Native American spirituality with Christianity. His prayer below resounds with power and depth, perhaps precisely because he
brought a religion of the earth to a religion of heaven. I invite you to examine and savor each poetic word.
For example, ponder the way he addresses God; firstly in a tender
and familiar way as "Grandfather," and secondly, with awe, as
"Great Spirit." Then he humbles himself in his own "feeble voice."
He attributes all of creation to this Parent who is also All-Powerful.
And then there's his powerful description of the Almighty as "older
than all need, older than all prayer." In seven words, Black Elk
places God beyond time; as the loving Being who treasures His
creation; and as the Beloved listening and lifting man to holiness.
Black Elk's prayer for the journey we all walk is at once
grounding and uplifting.
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Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
Grandfather, Great Spirit,
once more behold me on earth
and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need,
older than all prayer.
All things belong to you --
the two-legged, the four-legged,
the wings of the air,
and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters
of the earth to cross each other.
You have made me cross the good road
and the road of difficulties,
and where they cross,
the place is holy.
Day in, day out, forevermore,
you are the life of things.
Black Elk (1863-1950)
Famous Holy Man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux)
Send us anywhere in this world
You would have us go
Only go thou with us.
Place upon us any burden You desire
Only stand by us to sustain us.
Break any tie that binds us
Except the tie that binds us to thee.
John Shelby Spong (1931 - )
Liberal Episcopalian theologian
Come! Let us sing to Hashem, let us call out to the Rock
of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving,
with praiseful songs let us call out to Him. For a great
God is Hashem, and a great King above all heavenly
powers. For in His power are the hidden mysteries of
the earth, and the mountain summits are His. For His
is the sea and He perfected it, and the dry land--
His hands fashioned it. Come! Let us prostrate ourselves
and bow, let us kneel before Hashem, our Maker.
The Stone Edition Tanach
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Trappist monk, activist, author
The Last Word:
To God, our journey is as important as our destination.
Beth Moore (1957 - )
American evangelist, author
Utterly Random Bonus Quote:
You cannot travel within and stand without.
James Allen (1864-1912)
English inspirational writer
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