Lent Meditations / Hours: Becoming Pain-Bearers with the People of Japan

I am continually amazed at the aptness and timeliness of the historic fixed-hour prayers of the Church; these age-old prayers continually find a profound relevance to contemporary events, in this case, the crisis in Japan. Use the following photos to aid in your prayers from the Divine Hours as we enter into the pain and suffering of the people of Japan.

Tuesday, First Week of Lent

The Call to Prayer

Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness;* let the whole earth tremble before him. Tell it among the nations: “The LORD is King!* he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Psalm 96:9–10

The Request for Presence

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,* for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3

The Greeting

I love you, O LORD of my strength,* O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven. My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,* my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise. Psalm 18:1–2

The Refrain for the Midday Lessons

Into your hands I commend my spirit. Psalm 31:5

A Reading

Here is a saying you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he can not disown his own self. 2 Timothy 2:11–13

The Refrain

Into your hands I commend my spirit.

The Midday Psalm

He Turns the Flint-stone into a Flowing Spring

Hallelujah! When Israel came out of Egypt,* the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech, Judah became God’s sanctuary* and Israel his dominion. The sea beheld it and fled;* Jordan turned and went back. The mountains skipped like rams,* and the little hills like young sheep. What ailed you, O sea, that you fled?* O Jordan, that you turned back? You mountains, that you skipped like rams?* you little hills like young sheep? Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,* at the presence of the God of Jacob, Who turned the hard rock into a pool of water* and flint-stone into a flowing spring. Psalm 114

The Refrain

Into your hands I commend my spirit.

The Small Verse

I will bless the Lord at all times And his praise shall be always in my mouth. Glory to the Father and the Son And the eternal Spirit.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept my prayers; and because in my weakness I can do nothing good without you, give me the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments I may please you in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. †

The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill my petitions, I pray, not as I ask in my ignorance, nor as I deserve in my sinfulness, but as you know and love me in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. †

(photos from National Geographic)

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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