May Journal, Fifth Sunday after Easter, Rogation Sunday

HARVESTRogation means asking. Traditionally, Rogation Sunday called for prayers for the harvest, and thus we associate this time not only with prayer, but the natural world and its bounty. Rogation is a short season, lasting these next few days, ending on Wednesday.

The Church prays for priestly vocations so that souls may be harvested as well.

For we as Christians have been seeded in good ground, the ground of the Church, the ground of Christ, the first fruits of our world. We grow and mature and we flour, then we bear fruit to be harvested.

Human EmbryoThere was a time when I was an embryo, a union of sperm and egg, and at the moment of conception at fertilization, I became ensouled by God. This union of two to become one and even three, is one of the greatest transformations in the history of man. Its miraculous occurrence, so numerous, is taken for granted. And yet I, like many, grew hourly, daily, weekly, in the womb, fed by my mother, listening to her heartbeat and the swish of the pool in which I swam.

Then I was born, bursting from the darkness and warmth of my mother’s body, into the bright light of our world, breathing the breath of life.

I grew in the light, the seed of life maturing into an infant and into a child and into a youth. The world around me helped me grow, the many faces of family and community and country. They looked out for me, protected me with law and liberty, and sent me into the wide world to seed my own family.

And so I did, with some rough fits and starts, with failures and successes, with sorrows and joys. I gave birth to a son, an embryo allowed to live within me, fed by me, my flesh and my love and my spirit. My son grew to be a man who seeded a son and a daughter. These events were nurtured by our second family, the Church. For the Church continued the feeding and the growing and the protection promised by Christ. The Church picked me up when I fell down and healed my wounds of body and soul. The Church loved me through my living and my life.

ABP MORSE 2012To be human is to be wounded. To love is to be scarred. But we are rewarded by the knowledge of Christ, and we become surrounded and filled with his mysterious glory, his glorious mysteries. To be human, we learn, is to love as God loves us, his own.

And so we pray this day for many things, but we pray, above all, “Thy will be done.”

And we pray, “Show me thy will.”

A friend posted a prayer online, an asking, a petition to God, for all of us to offer. I am working on memorizing it, for I find if I can write the lines on my heart, engraft the words onto my soul, the prayer becomes food to enrich my days. We shall see how far I can travel this road of joy.

Here is the part I think I have down:

  1. “Let all of us, all our children, our children’s children, and all our future generations, know Christ fully and enter into Thy kingdom now to live with thee forever. Amen.”

The rest of the prayer goes like this:

  1. Lift, O God, any veil from our minds, and bring us revelation and enlightenment in all things. Amen
  2. May Thy Holy Spirit cover and protect us daily, with mighty angels and the prayers of saints. Amen
  3. Send godly people into our paths, examples of life in Christ, sharing with us the joys of true faith. Amen
  4. Defeat all that exalts itself against the knowledge of Thee, with all pride and rebellion, witchcraft, sexual deviance, and worldliness, increasing all that exalts Thee in each of our lives daily. Amen
  5. Drive ungodly thoughts and evil habits from us, and let only good and profitable thoughts and behaviors remain. Amen
  6. Bind Satan and prevent him from taking us captive through deceitful lies, and may the truth of God prevail to set us free forever. Amen
  7. Give us to wear the full armor of God: Thy Truth, Thy righteousness, Thy peaceful Gospel, Thy Salvation, Thy Faith, Thy Spirit and Thy Word in each and over every facet of our lives: may we stand in Thee and prevail, to Thy glory O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

birdI want to know Christ fully. I want to know his voice. I want to share with others this knowledge, to plant more seeds in fertile soil, to grow to the light, to be birthed into the sunshine, to be watered by the skies and inspired by the Holy Spirit as he breathes upon us. To fly.

And I have found that in church, sitting in a pew in the marvel-ous ark that protects me as I sail through this world of time, I am shown Christ more fully. I am with others who share this hunger for God, others kneeling alongside and in front of me and behind me, others who will receive the Real Presence of Christ at the altar rail with me, others who will share their joy later as we chat, then step out into the world together.

I am not alone. None of us need be alone. We have Christ and we have his Church. We have such a bountiful harvest all around us, life beginning in the womb, souls ensouled at the moment of conception, babies born into the light of day. We have been given so much, we must share much too, and we must protect and feed that which we have been given.

“Be ye doers of the word, ” St. James tells us in the Epistle today, (St. James 1:22), “and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” And in the Gospel, Christ promises, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” (St. John 16:23)

woman-praising-on-god-illustrationAnd so we ask the Father in the name of the Son, to protect our little seedlings that are growing toward the light in the dark womb, sheltered by their mothers. We ask, “Thy will be done.” We ask, “Show me thy will.”

We must protect precious life from death, at every stage; we must pray for our unborn children in these Rogation days, this season of asking. We must pray for our children and our children’s children and our future generations, that we may enter the kingdom to dwell with Christ forever. Amen.

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