Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me– (Psalm 49:5)
Jesus, you are my light and my salvation, and you stay closer to me than any evil can come. Thank you.
those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? (Psalm 49:6)
Lord, we are a nation that is choking on wealth and yet the poor suffer and many go without. Have mercy on us and turn this nation around; help us place our trust and hope in you. Stamp “In God We Trust” on our hearts as well as our money.
No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him– (Psalm 49:7)
Jesus, thank you for paying the price of our redemption.
the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough– (Psalm 49:8 )
Jesus, you paid the price in full; thank you.
that he should live on forever and not see decay. (Psalm 49:9)
Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die for me — I live in the hope of the resurrection.
A word received: Pray for my blessing.
Pray for my people to turn to me — to seek me and pursue me.
Wednesday: 49, ; Genesis 16:1-14; Hebrews 9:15-28; John 5:19-29
Thursday: [59, 60] or 118; Genesis 16:15-17:14; Hebrews 10:1-10; John 5:30-47
Notes from the Front Line
***** If at all possible, attend the closing of the Welcome Home Initiative at the Spiritual Life Center at 11 a.m. today.
***** Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010
From: Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
Subject: Welcome Home Initiative Intercessors Update, Tuesday, January 26, 2010
To All Our Faithful Welcome Home Initiative Intercessors—
The second day of this Seventh Welcome Home Initiative has drawn to a close.
Noel led the morning discussion session, focusing on the questions What is PTSD? What is your comfort level with it? and Why don’t we ask for help? with an important sidebar to questions like Is this it? What is it all about? and What am I doing here? He spoke of the lives of Warriors being like a tripod, having elements of mental and physical training but sometimes missing a crucial third leg, that of spiritual preparedness. He recounted how the military equipped him in the mental/physical but it took a long time for him to trust that the spiritual leg of the tripod was valid, much less needed equipping. Vigorous discussion followed.
Two participants were tapped to share more at length in the early afternoon. The first, a double Purple Heart recipient, described his injury at the battle of Fallujah in November 2004 and the struggle back from horrendous physical wounds. He said,”I don’t have survivor’s guilt — my guilt is that I didn’t throw the grenade sooner.” He said that he and his comrades knew the odds: they had expected that one in four would die in that firefight. They were there to do a job they had trained for. “I chose to be there,” he affirmed. “My only regret is that the wounds I took ended my career in the Marines.”
The second Warrior spoke of his experience in Vietnam. He, too, had been there because he chose to fight, to serve his country and to do what he had been trained to do. He described fighting in Laos and in places “it is not permitted to admit we fought”, taking the same hills over and over, the only measure of the success of engagement being the body count. Telescope thirty years to being one of the first responders to 9/11: turning a corner in downtown Manhattan to the acrid smell of… napalm? No, it was fuel oil from the planes and burned flesh — so like the odor of napalm but this, not the odor of victory. He and his buddy were good at what they did: they recovered twenty-six firemen from the rubble before they were relieved by authorized recovery teams. This second service given for his country triggered repressed emotions from Vietnam and it was not until he began to recover the spiritual aspects of his healing that he was freed from the eruption of trauma in his dreams and daily life.
Both men set the stage for the Healing Prayer that followed. As in the past, we who were noncombatants withdrew, so I have no report from this confidential session. In the evening we reassembled for laughter and singing, and later conversation in the King’s Inn Great Room.
Keep us lifted in prayer tomorrow. We gather after breakfast for a Healing Service with veterans and Team, then walk up to Christ the King Chapel where the assembled local community will cheer these heroes in our midst. Chaplain Eric W. Olsen, Senior Chaplain with the New York State National Guard, will be the guest preacher. If you are available, join us for this Closing Ceremony, thank you and resounding Welcome Home to these veterans.
Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
For the Oratory of Christ the Healer at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, Greenwich, NY