September 1, 2015
Pathway to inner peace and freedom
All: In the name of our God, Creator of an imperfect world and evolutionary
humanity, our brother Jesus forgiving those who killed him, and Sofia Wisdom
gifting us with human consciousness and feelings. Amen
All: Opening Prayer:
"God of Evolution and Love, I know that my behavior, words or attitudes have
hurt myself and others. I am truly sorry; I want to forgive myself and to
forgive others who have hurt me. Help me avoid hurting myself and others
again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for the Love of me and all
of humanity for all time. Jesus is alive and hears my prayers. I surrender
my life to God today. May I continually deepen my relationship with you
from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to hear you
in the quiet of my soul and to do Your will for the rest of my life. As
always, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
First Reading adapted from Pathway to Peace and Inner Freedom. Steps 8*
by Judith A Terrameo, OSF
Step 8 Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
amends to them all.
Reader 1: Even though I may feel and think that my (behavior or words) did
not cause others pain and suffering I must remember that I do not live my
life in a vacuum. My life is always "rubbing shoulders" with others: the
members of my family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and so to think that my
(behaviors) were void of relational damage is to live in denial. ...I am
told that the first part of Step 8 is about simply making a list (author's
emphasis) of those I harmed...some names are easy and reasonable, others not
so easy as I recall past hurts and angers wrought upon me. So, the
resentments just well up within me. I cannot hold onto these resentments
lest they corrupt the work...
Reader 2: The second part of Step 8 is to become willing (author's emphasis)
to make amends. Realizing the struggle I am having with some of the names
on my list, I know that I need to turn to my (Loving God) for the grace to
do that which is beyond me: making amends to those who initially hurt me,
pushing my buttons and triggering irrational behavior on my part for
retribution's sake. I must acknowledge the part I played and accept the
Reader 3: These amends involve a process of forgiveness---forgiveness with
respect to those whom I have inflicted pain; which I have discovered helps
me in a process of self-forgiveness. Forgiving myself, however, is more
difficult. But I know that the God of my understanding wants me to be free
of guilt and shame that would continue if not let go of: and this is a
luxury that I cannot afford.
This is an inspired word All: Thanks be to God
All: In Love mend my brokenness.
Look at my affliction and my trouble,
And mend all my brokenness....
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
For you are my only hope. (Ps 25)
In Love mend my brokenness.
Help us o God of our Salvation,
For the sake of our glorious Name!
Deliver us! Atone for our sins
And rescue us for your Name's sake!
In Love mend my brokenness. (Ps 79)
Happiness comes from having your rebellion taken away,
From having our failure completely covered.
Happiness comes from YHWH not counting your mistakes,
From having nothing to hide. (Ps 32)
In Love mend my brokenness
Second Reading adapted from Pathway to Peace and Inner Freedom. Steps 9,*
by Judith A Terrameo, OSF
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so
would injure them or others.
Reader 1: I now undertake the action required of me in step 9---making
direct amends. (Author's emphasis) This is not something I can rush into. I
need to spend time in thought and prayer, inviting my Higher Power to direct
the process... I need a trusted companion with whom I can also share,
someone who can assist me in this step by step journey, especially with
those difficult amends which I could easily rationalize away due to the hurt
done to me.
Reader 2: And so begins...there are a couple of people I know I will never
see again, but who deserve an amends because of the hurt I caused them. I
write each of them a letter, in which I share as best I can what happened
and why. I offer my amends for he hurt caused, seeking forgiveness. The
letters are put into the mail without expectation (author's emphasis) of any
Reader 3: this is very important for me because I know that done with
expectation I will only set myself up for failure and for resentment. I
make these amends for my personal healing. How the other person responds is
not my concern.
Reader 4: For others, I begin a process of face-to-face amends. I set
appointments with some, others I call on the phone, some are immediate, and
others will take more time. As I undertake the process, I begin to
experience a new-felt freedom because I know that I am redeeming myself of
Reader 5: And there are still those who are no longer alive. I sit and
write each of them a "no send" letter in which I share my amends and my
regrets that things could not have been different. I read these letters to
my trusted companion so that I may face the consequences of my behavior and
own up to the fact that these amends involve changing the patterns of
behavior that caused the hurt in the first place. I then burn these letters
in a ritual---so that the smoke of these amends, like incense, may reach
them in heaven.
Reader 6 As I go through the process of making these amends I feel the sense
of shame diminishing, I am able to let go of guilt, and I feel an increased
sense of self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth. This is sheer gift from
my Higher Power, the by-product of taking seriously the humble work of
All: The final amends that I make are to myself because through these
hurtful behaviors I estranged myself from significant people in my life,
alienated myself from relationship with my Higher Power, and lost the beauty
of my own soul. This is an inspired word. Thanks be to God
Gospel Reading: A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26
Now it happened that Jesus was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers
of the Law, who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judea and from
Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Spirit Sophia was there
so that Jesus should heal. Now some men appeared bringing on a bed a person
who was paralyzed whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of
Jesus. But as they could find no way of getting through the crowd, they
went up onto the top of the house and lowered the paralyzed one down through
the tiles into the middle of gathering, in front of Jesus.
Seeing their faith, Jesus said, "My friend, your sins are forgiven you." The
scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. "Who is this man,
talking blasphemy? Who but God alone can forgive sins? But Jesus, aware of
their thoughts, spoke his reply, "What are these thoughts you have in your
hearts? Which is it easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say
"Get up and walk?" "But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority
on earth to forgive sins,'---Jesus said to the paralyzed one-'I order you:
get up, pick up your mat and go home." And immediately before their eyes
the individual got up, picked up the mat and went home praising God. They
were all astounded and praised God and were filled with awe, saying, "We
have seen remarkable things today."
This is the Good News of our Brother Jesus. All: Praise to you O Loving
What is your experience of asking and receiving forgiveness?
Did you feel release from shame, guilt and gain freedom and peace?
When did you feel the need to make amends?
Has someone made amends to you?
Prayers of the community
Response: All: God our forgiveness; hear our prayer.
Blessed are you, God of all creation, through your goodness we have this
bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made. This bread
is our faith community seeking forgiveness and making amends for hurts cause
This will become for us the bread of life. All: Blessed be God forever.
Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this
wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. This drink is our
desire to serve with Jesus in bringing a forgiveness and wholeness to all
whom we meet and to earth itself. This wine and juice will become our
spiritual drink. All: Blessed be God forever.
My sisters and brothers let us pray together that our gifts may be
acceptable to God our Loving Creator.
All: May God accept these gifts from our hands, for the praise and glory of
God's name, and our desire for forgiveness and reconciliation for all the
People of God.
Co-Presider: Ever gentle God, We give you thanks for the blessing of
worshiping you as a community. Accept our gifts and our worship. By
offering ourselves may we be filled with your Spirit of consciousness and
compassion every minute, every day. We ask this through Christ, our
brother. All: Amen.
Eucharistic Prayer from sheet
Our father/mother: sung
Sign of Peace: Let us share a hug of forgiveness amongst ourselves.
The bread is broken.
All: This is our Creator who prepared a banquet for his friends; who calls
each of us to a ministry of compassion to all whom we meet. How blessed are
we who are called to the supper of Jesus. May we be who we are--the Body of
Christ. May we be what we eat--the Body of Christ. Amen
Passing the bread "We are the Body of Christ." Passing the wine "We are the
Blood of Christ"
Prayers of thanksgiving and final thoughts
We give thanks for Your love and forgiveness. May we go forth to bring love
and care to all whom we meet. We know that the joy and happiness is given
to us through you; Loving God of Evolution, creator and sustainer of all.
Blessing. Raise hands in mutual blessing
All: May our evolutionary God of wholeness bless all gathered here and all
those in our families and community. We ask for a restful Labor Day for our
bodies and our minds. We ask for God's Healing Presence this fall in the
name of our Creator, in the name of our Brother Jesus, and in the name of
God's Spirit Sofia as we minister to one another as the people of God. Amen
Co-Presiders: Let us go in the peace of Christ, let us rejoice and give
thanks to the God reconciliation and our God's presence in our lives.
All: Thanks be to God.
Path In The Woods by George
Jesus Heals The Paralytic by Harold Copping