After evening prayer in the Edith Stein Kapel at Cardinal Schulte Haus.

After evening prayer in the Edith Stein Kapel at Cardinal Schulte Haus.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to attend the Diocese in Europe’s synod held in Cologne, Germany. Following a presentation on my experience as a Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme intern, I joined the three other Europe interns to lead evening prayer. It felt like a real capstone as I near the end of this CEMES journey.

This is the prayer of intercessions I prepared for the service. It seems particularly appropriate for Trinity Sunday.

Creator God,
we pray for a world which is thirsty, scattered and blemished.
We ask for you to pour Your living water on parched and weary people.
We ask you to visit all rulers and leaders with wisdom to transcend divisions,
and we ask for your newness to wash over your creation, making it clean.

Incarnate Christ,
we pray for our bishops, Robert and David, for priests and deacons and all ministers to your people.
May they shepherd us with love and show us an example of asking, knocking, and seeking.
We pray for those in need—in trouble, sorrow, sickness, adversity—and we pray as people who are also in need.
Remind us of our need lest we forget our calling to incarnation.
Help us see your face in the faces of those in need in order that we might love our displaced neighbors as ourselves.

Holy Spirit,
we join with the prayers of Thy Kingdom Come and ask you to look graciously on us,
and us, of our hallowing, thoughts that pass into prayers,
prayers that pass into love, and love that passes into life with you forever.
Amen.

 

Our time in Cologne concluded with a pilgrimage to Cologne Cathedral, where we visited the Shrine of the Three Kings and joined in noonday prayer before heading out for German pretzels and eiskaffee. We collectively breathed deep sighs of relief. The CEMES finish line is in sight.

At the beginning of this internship, I could not have known how my commitment to my vocation would come to deepen and expand. I did not know how frustrated I would be by setbacks and stresses. Jacob and I would have live apart. I would sacrifice time and work in ways that impacted our life significantly. Richard Rohr says that “there is a price that must be paid to be faithful to such foundational love. There is a cruciform shape to reality, it seems: loss precedes all renewal, emptiness makes way for every new infilling, every transformation in the universe requires surrender…”

I also could not have known how much the internship would give me space to learn, travel, reflect, speak, preach, connect, dream. At this time last year, I was pleading with God to allow my vocation to take form and flourish. This year, I am preparing to interview with the bishop and the advisory panel. Yes, loss, emptiness and surrender are constants in this journey. Yet holding it all, there is foundational, persistent, relentless Love. 

When I am quiet and still, I hear a benediction whispered, one which was spoken over Christ and has been spoken over each of us: “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Amen.

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