For Shorter Days

For Each Day

vincent van gogh Autumn-Landscape-with-Four-Trees

Master of Creation,

So often we mourn the passing of summer. We regret the long nights and cool weather. We grumble at forecasts of snow.

Yet You made this time, as well. You send the rain and snow, and turn our earth in its seasons. Instead of accepting the gifts we may not appreciate, we look at them as curses. We do not love changes.

Teach our hearts, O Lord, to use the dark hours for prayer and caring for others. Teach us to gather as Your people and warm each other’s spirits when gloom descends. Give us the Light of Christ, and let us thank You for shorter days.

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Paralyzed by grace? What we can learn from monastic discipline

An excerpt from an upcoming book by friend Chris Armstrong. His blog, “Grateful to the Dead,” is worth following.

Grateful to the dead


We wonder today why we are spiritually anemic. This post from the monasticism chapter of my forthcoming Medieval Wisdom: An Exploration with C S Lewis moves on from the first of the “principles of mastery”–passion–to the third–discipline:

Holiness is not optional, and it requires effort

All this talk of passion may make us think that what is required it the single big, heroic action: casting ourselves into harm’s way for the sake of our loved one. But wise teachers of the spiritual life have reminded us of something we have sometimes forgotten: our lives as Christians are not all about single crisis experiences—single events that change our lives. The imagery of sawdust-trail conversions and emotional “altar calls” may sometimes lead us to think in that way, seeking a sudden, emotional experience as the solution to all our ills—but it just ain’t so.

John Wesley, to take just one example…

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To Be a Child

For Each Day

vincent van gogh child-with-orange-1890(1)

Dear God, I have not forgotten my childhood. I remember clearly days of sun and green grass, days of grey snowstorms and winter chill. I remember the daily joys of that young life: A mother’s kiss, ripe strawberries, a new doll. I remember them thankfully, that innocent and deep happiness. Those days were a great gift of grace.

Father, I remember too the sorrows, the sudden sadness and fear of childhood. There dark nights when I wasn’t sure where my parents were, the first sense of losing something precious, the early sting of how irrevocable death is. There were childhood arguments that ended in tears, the flare of a temper not yet under control. And I thank You, too, for those moments to learn to quiet myself, and to trust You.

Lord, Give me the gift of the innocent trust of childhood, the sudden and uncynical happiness, the quick recovery…

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As We Change

For Each Day

vincent-van-gogh field with crows

Father, You have sent the seasons in their proper course.

You have let the earth rest and renew in autumn days, giving us time for harvest.

We ask for the simple gifts of warmth, shelter, food, rest and companions.

We ask that all Your creation may have its needs met in turn, and that none of Your children will go without those simple gifts.

Help us to help others as the days shorten, the nights lengthen, and the cold weather comes upon us all.

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Share God’s Blessings

For Each Day

We would like to expand our mission in Chicago, and help support our missioners in other countries, particularly India and our new mission in Brazil. Donations are needed! We give food, clothing, water, and transportation aid to the homeless and very poor. On occasion, we pay for medications and shelter. If you can help the YOKE and our Chicago mission, the YOKE, please send funds to Paypal: or leave a comment for me. Thank you. Help us to share God’s blessings!


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