Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Pause in Lent: Mercy

Excerpted from A Cry for Mercy:
O Lord, this holy season of Lent is passing quickly. I entered into it with fear, but also with great expectations. I hoped for a great breakthrough, a powerful conversion, a real change of heart; I wanted Easter to be a day so full of light that not even a trace of darkness would be left in my soul. But I know that you do not come to your people with thunder and lightning. Even St. Paul and St. Francis journeyed through much darkness before they could see your light. Let me be thankful for your gentle way. I know you are at work. I know you will not leave me alone. I know you are quickening me for Easter - but in a way fitting to my own history and my own temperament. 
I pray that these last three weeks, in which you invite me to enter more fully into the mystery of your passion, will bring me a greater desire to follow you on the way that you create for me and to accept the cross that you give to me. Let me die to the desire to choose my own way and select my own desire. You do not want to make me a hero but a servant who loves you. 
Be with me tomorrow and in the days to come, and let me experience your gentle presence. Amen.

Excerpt from A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee, Copyright © 1981 Henri J.M. Nouwen. Published by Doubleday.

Linking with A Pause in Lent


  1. That is a great prayer, especially when you see how Henri N. lived it out in his own life. Thanks!

  2. There is something incredibly poignant about this piece of Nouwen's. I think it speaks to everyone who has experienced a degree of restless spiritual longing and reminds us that it's often in the still small voice that the divine makes Himself known. That said, it's worth keeping the door of the soul ajar a crack for the God who makes himself known out of the storm to Job. Both experiences are authentic - the key perhaps is remaining authentic ourselves even if it means acknowledging disappointment that the dramatic experience is not currently ours. I shall adopt Nouwen's prayer for the remainder of Lent and see where it takes me. Thank you, Nancy. Blessings, E xx

  3. This prayer was hopeful and soothing to me. Lent is generally 40 days, yeah? Did you give up anything for it?

  4. I like your prayer Nancy, full of purpose, acceptance and hope.

  5. Thanks for sharing this prayer with us.


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