Tag Archives: video prayers

Retreat Videos – Letting Go

The spooky internet algorithms that led me to the music of Audrey Assad also led me to discover Steffany Gretzinger, a singer with a non-denominational Christian music project.  She’s got a very unique voice, sort of reminiscent to me of a Christian Bjork meets Beth Orton. In any case, I found this song very moving and helpful for inviting God into the messier spaces of life. It’s called Letting Go. It speaks to me of the invitation to be vulnerable before God, to trust and most of all, to let God be God.

You’ve brought me to the end of myself
And this has been the longest road
Just when my hallelujah was tired
You gave me a new song

I’m letting go
I’m letting go
I’m letting go
Falling into you

I confess I still get scared sometimes
But perfect love comes rushing in
And all the lies that screamed inside go silent
The moment you begin

You remind me of things forgotten
You unwind me until I’m totally undone
And with Your arms around me
Fear was no match for Your love
Now You’ve won me

Retreat Videos – I Shall Not Want

Here’s another video I made on retreat pairing my photos and videos of God’s creation with Audrey Assad’s beautiful prayerful music. Enough said. I’ll leave the rest to her words, inspired of course by Scripture and tradition.

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

No, I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

Retreat Videos – You Speak

Sometimes on retreat I read. This year, I barely cracked open a page. Instead I read the pages before me of God’s creation and took oodles of photographs.

I was also recently introduced to some new to me music, thanks to the wonders of internet algorithms which accurately (and a bit spookily) suggested music I might like.  That is how I discovered the Catholic singer-song writer Audrey Assad. I spent a lot of time during retreat listening to her independent release, Fortunate Fall. It’s available on Amazon Prime, although I highly suggest downloading your own copy.

I made a few videos matching my photos with her words and music.  I’ve shared one of them above, set to “You Speak” by Audrey Assad.

You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos

From the chains of a lesser law you set me free.

In the silence of the heart, you speak.

And it is there that I will know you and you’ll know me.

You satisfy me till I am quiet an confident in the work of the Spirit I cannot see.

In the silence of the heart, you speak.

And it is there that I will know you God.

In the silence of my heart, you speak.

Her words so beautifully capture the desire to listen to our loving creator God and trust in the movement of the Spirit.  I found myself singing her words as I watched the sun rise and the birds fly and the waves crash.

Enjoy some of your own quiet time with the beauty of God’s creation speaking in your own heart.

Video Prayer Reflection: Be Not Afraid

This Easter Friday morning, I found myself praying with this song – “And Jesus Said” by Tony Alonso. Here’s a little video prayer reflection I made a little while ago to this beautiful song.

And Jesus said
Don’t be afraid
I’ve come to turn your fear to hope
I’ve come to take you through the deep
To be your friend
Until the end
And give your troubled heart to sleep

Praying with Joseph – Video Prayer Reflection

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph! Margaret Anna Cusack (Mother Francis Clare) chose St. Joseph as the patron of my religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, because he was a model of peace.  In the words of our original 1884 Constitutions:

Joseph1884

A few years ago I made this video prayer reflection for St. Joseph’s Day (complete with a rather funny typo).  I invite you to spend some time today with Joseph, model of peace.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Video Prayer Reflection: If Not Now

As I prayed with today’s Scripture readings this morning, I was reminded of this video prayer reflection I created last summer as I was facing the possibility of major changes in my life. It is set to “If Not Now” by Tracy Chapman, a song that has had great meaning to me ever since I first heard it as a 16 year old (this album was constantly in the tape deck of my first car). It’s also a song with meaning that has grown for me over the years. Even now, in a new context, the meaning shifts and deepens.

I’m not quite sure why the story (John 4: 43-54) of the royal official who asked Jesus to heal his child made me think of this video prayer. Perhaps it had something to do with my suspicion that while the official did believe that Jesus could bring about healing, and he took the step to ask him to do so, he also wondered how it could be so.

So much in our life and in our world cries out for healing. In the words of Isaiah 65, may we too believe that God is about to create something new, something which will be the cause of great rejoicing and happiness.

Our job is to show up, here and now. The rest, my friends, is up to our loving and creating God.

Closing Chapters

I’m writing this in a room which no longer feels like my own, getting ready to pack up my final batch of belongings and complete my move to New Jersey. I actually started my new adventure two and a half weeks ago, but I still hadn’t closed up shop here in Chicago.  I knew I was coming back for my Dad’s 81st birthday celebration this week, and so I staged the work of moving into two phases. Hence, while I left my grad school life on January 6th to begin my adventures in leadership land January 7th, it’s only now that I really feel closure on this wonderful chapter in my life.

As I woke up this morning, I found myself feeling very grateful for all the learning I was blessed to experience in this room. Reading late into the night, writing drafts of papers, etc…  I also thought of all the skype calls and conference calls I participated in from this room, helping to plan the Giving Voice Conference, engaging in theological reflection with CSJP people, praying together across the miles. I remembered the great conversations with friends, the silly movies and episodes of Project Runway I watched as I colored with markers to reset my brain.  The good nights of eight hours of sleep. Much of the past two and a half years has taken place in this CTU dorm room. It has been so very good and I am incredibly grateful for this chapter of my life.

These days of finishing up packing and finalizing the move have also held chances to visit again with family and friends. Relationships have also been an incredible blessing of this time. This has been the first time in my entire adult life that I have lived in the same city as  family members.  I’ve also been blessed to have a group of Giving Voice friends in town, and even living down the hall! Then there are the wonderful friends I’ve made through CTU. I know the relationships will continue, and for that I am very grateful, but it was also nice to have a chance to visit in person one last time as a fellow resident of Chicago.

In my prayer this morning, I also found myself remembering with gratitude all the chapters of my life so far. Some of them ended quite clearly, as this one has. Others sort of faded out into the next chapter before I even realized it. But each one has had its blessings, its learnings, its opportunities for growth, its challenges and sad moments too. All of it adds up to who I am today as I step onto the pages of the next chapter.

Early last month I shared a video prayer reflection I created set to “Write Your Story” by Francesca Battistelli. I share it here again because it was part of my morning prayer, and seems entirely fitting as I close my CTU Chapter and step more deeply into my new adventure in community leadership.

“I’m an empty page, I’m an open book, write your story on my heart, come on and make your mark.
Author of my hope, maker of the stars, let me be your work of art.
Won’t you write your story on my heart?”

Video Prayer Reflection: He Woke Me Up Again

I was the lector at mass this morning in the Chapel at St. Michael’s Villa where many of our senior Sisters live. I’m actually living next door now, so it’s wonderful to have such a faithful and welcoming praying community so close by.

Today’s first reading is a favorite of mine from 1 Samuel Chapter 3, where the young Samuel is called again and again by God. Samuel doesn’t know who is calling him, so he goes and wakes up Eli, thinking he was the one calling him. It seems to me like Eli is somewhat annoyed at being awoken again and again, until he finally gets it, and says to Samuel: “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’”  It was a pleasure to proclaim the word for my CSJP Sisters this morning, particularly this passage.

I also found myself remembering this video prayer reflection which I made a few years ago on retreat at Stella Maris, our retreat house on the Jersey Shore. It is set to a song by indie singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.  The song has always reminded me of this passage, and of God’s persistent love.

How wonderful it is that God calls, and calls, and calls, until we get it, until we are ready.  God is persistent and faithful and waiting for our yes. And sometimes, perhaps most times really, it takes others to help us realize and understand and respond to the call.