The following are published in “Do Not Be Afraid” (Mt 14:27), a dedicated resource for Mental Health Illness ad Outreach from Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).
Written by Rita Sebastian Lambert
I will recall that I am a child of God.
I am one who is created out of Love.
I am chosen, good, holy and have purpose…a task to perform here on earth before I return to the Father.
I deserve to be treated as a person who has value and dignity.
I will embrace my illness or my family member’s illness as a friend this day looking for what it is teaching me about the mystery of God and life.
I will not allow the stigma of mental illness to defeat me this day. I will choose to have power over stigma by detaching myself from the stigma.
I will talk to someone today who will encourage me to see my goodness and holiness as a child of God. Maybe we will share a prayer together for one another.
I will look for humour and reasons to laugh and be happy. Quiet joy will be my goal.
I will read a passage from Scripture or something from a book of devotion, inspiration or spiritual reading that will encourage me to trust and hope in the power and love of God.
I will seek twenty minutes of solitude, silence, prayer this day. If my mind won’t quiet down, if my thoughts keep racing, I will offer that as my prayer to God. If necessary and helpful, I will listen to soothing instrumental music or inspirational/religious music to quiet me and remind me that God is present.
I will walk outdoors marvelling at a sunrise, a sunset, the song of a bird, the soothing colours of nature, the serenity of green grass, a blue sky, the softness of the pastel coloured blossoms and the peaceful waters of a river, lake or creek that ripple and flow. I will remind myself that everything in nature is a reflection of the Creator and pleases the Creator just as it is and so do I just as I am.
I will delight in the knowledge that we are each created different because it is in our differences we make a more powerful and beautiful whole. We reflect a different aspect of the mystery of Life and God. Individually and together we are a Masterpiece.
In God is my hope and my joy. I will give honour, glory and praise to God knowing and trusting what God has in store for me. We do not seek or like suffering but our suffering can make us strong in many ways and more compassionate and loving to others; our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Knowing for sure that although I long for God, God’s longing for me is even greater.
I will rest in that knowledge this day!
One Body in Christ
Jesus, you invite and welcome all to you.
We praise and thank you for inviting and welcoming us to be one with you.
Gently remind and encourage us that we are called to announce the Good News that you teach us; that we are all made in God’s image and we all have unique gifts.
Inspire us to actively invite and welcome all; for when we include everybody in the Body of Christ, we will then be truly one.
Send us your Spirit so that we, the Church, can strive to be a people of compassion and relationship, and a sacred place where our gifts are acknowledged, received and celebrated; for then we can truly proclaim that we are ‘one Body in Christ’.
© Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 2009
Living our Gifts
Loving God, author of all gifts;
We praise and thank you for all the gifts you have entrusted to us.
Pour out your Spirit upon us so that, true to our baptismal promises, we may form faith communities that recognise and promote the gifts in all people so that we may all share in the mission of Jesus.
Inspire us to be a Church that is welcoming and accepting, and which sees everyone as an expression of Christ.
May our faith communities nurture and commission all members to live our particular gifts as a reflection and imitation of Jesus’ life.
Give us the courage to be the light of welcome in the darkness of exclusion, a voice of gentleness in the wilderness of the unheard and an outstretched hand of love to those longing for community. Amen.
© Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 2004
Blessed are those who don’t have it all together
Blessed are those who have run out of strength, ideas, will power, resolve or energy.
Blessed are those who ache because of how severely out of whack the world is.
Blessed are those who on a regular basis have a dark day in which despair seems to be a step behind them wherever they go.
Blessed are you, for God is with you,
God is on your side, God meets you in that place
Jonathon Blundell (used with permission from ACBC)