On Friday evening I saw Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. To say it was a moving experience is an understatement. His music has been a strong thread in my life because the man I love introduced me to it. From there, certain songs and certain lyrics have stuck to me and made their own impressions. I'm still processing the performance, including the fact that he ended by reciting the Our Father, a prayer that I pray often. It was unexpected, but it connected the beginning of the performance to the end of the performance, a performance which all of us could do because the themes are repeatable: life itself, the impact of each parent on us as individuals, our love and hate relationship with our home town, key relationships, and the movement of Spirit* in our lives.
Because it is routine, without giving it any thought, today my prayerful time began with the Our Father. It was the actual citing of all of the words, over and over again, but then eventually it became a consideration of the movement of the prayer from oral tradition to having been written down. When I considered my relationship with this prayer, I wondered if I memorized it as a result of speaking aloud the written words I read each week in the lectionary I held in the church pew, or if I already knew it before I had learned to read, simply because I had heard it repeated over and over again by others. I don't know the answer.
What I do know is that the prayer, spoken alone, recited together with others or orated to us, is sacred. I love this prayer for many reasons. One, it provides solace because it connects me with others from the first word, "Our." The connection continues when it affirms that we are all imperfect, which is why we must ask for forgiveness and forgive others. This sacred space allows us to question our goodness, to see our faults, even awaken them. That's where I am now, allowing those closest to me, including myself, to see my faults. It's divine time, a waiting space, a space to be held, to be vulnerable. It's very scary, but it brings me to another reason I love this prayer........it has promises of a better space (a heaven on earth).
Writing "divine time" brings me back to the research that said that what's written in the gospels originated from oral teachings and that those teachings, including the teaching of this prayer, were believed to have been from logia (divine origin). It also explained that many faiths have prayers with similar words.
Two days ago, the morning after the show, I wrote this in my journal: "I pray the Our Father over and over again because it grounds me. I believe it also grounds the earth and the people who walk it. Thank you for the creator of it. Thank you for the believers who recited it over and over. Thank you to the first person who wrote it down. Who are you? Did you know you were keeping reassurance alive, peace alive, cries for help alive, love alive?"
As usual, I have more questions than answers, but with divine time I feel connected.
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you! Your comment could have a major impact on someone else. Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.
1. Are you feeling connected or disconnected right now?
2. What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")
* I use the term God as a universal term. You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today. It is not for me to decide.
Photo by MH
Note: These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling which is simply journaling what's on your heart and mind and then asking God* what else you should know (read more at CardinalTouch.net).