Prayer on the Feast of St. Nicholas

Lord of miracles,

Open my eyes that I might see
the beauty and goodness of your world,
and open my eyes to the ways we have marred its beauty.
Open my eyes to the beauty and goodness of all your people,
and open my eyes to all the ways we exploit, wound, and kill each other.
Open my eyes to my own sinfulness,
that I may repent and live your life of compassion
and forgiveness a bit more deeply.
Open my eyes to the needs of the people around me.
Open my eyes to all the ways you come to me today.
Open my eyes to all the signs of love and kindness
others give to me today.
Open my eyes to all the signs of your coming in this Advent season.
Open my eyes to all the ways
I can be a sign of your coming in my work today.
Open my life, Lord, to this wonderful, graced world,
and the signs of your coming kingdom.
Open my eyes always, Lord, to your presence around me and in me.


~Reposted from
(A prayer for today from an Orthodox Hymn to Saint Nicholas.)

Lord, Let me Bring About Your Kingdom

Lord, Let me Bring About Your Kingdom

My Lord God and my King, my life, my breath, my being, I crawl to you this early morning for the warmth of your embrace. Wake not only my body but my mind and my spirit to Your wonderful ways. Let Your mysteries humble me and Your love sustain me.

As I practice the call of love, let your Holy Spirit be my guide. Fill me with wisdom to act always in accordance with Your will. Send me strength to perform selfless acts of love, humility to see all as better than myself, and grace to endure suffering and trial of all kinds.

I long to be Your good servant. Guide all of my thoughts in meditation, all of my words in writing, all of my movements in exercise to be for Your greater honor and glory alone.

May You bless my love with my husband, my play with my children, my work at home, and my interactions with others.

May you bless our family with happiness and contentment and accept our gratitude for the miracle of life.

You are All in All. In You I live and move and have my being. Take away my worry and remind me of Your providence. Present me with countless opportunity to bring about your kingdom and every grace needed to answer your call.


Hidden behind thick, deep green magnolia leaves,

“Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” ~Matthew 6:26

Hidden behind thick, deep green magnolia leaves, (Extreme Endeavor)

Hidden behind thick, deep green magnolia leaves,
tucked between branching limbs,
she sits, her coral-colored tail peeping
over the woody edge of her nest.

We have been talking of them for days, our cardinals;
his bright coat a beacon that draws our eye;
we halt in our collecting, sorting, sweeping
and watch him dive into the forsythia

emerging with the perfect twig, and she,
orange-beaked, reaching through the chain-linked fence
for the tiny fruits of our neighbor’s wild-berry bush;
the two fly from branch to bush to berry over and again

and finally we venture beneath the tree;
we peer upward, into the canopy of tangled limbs
just barely able to spy the wooden bowl;
we whisper in our minds, how many?

let’s not scare her, we agree, sneaking out
of the shade and back toward the porch.
How, I wonder, have these two mates
chosen our boisterous backyard

for such an extreme endeavor as this?
So close above our heads, above the commotion
of swings and slides, screams and screeches,
squirt guns and swimming pool.

How, even, have we come to be here,
nestled into this rise, this slope of earth,
cozied into this miniature fortress
of brick and mortar?

We are part of the extreme endeavor,
the searching, gathering, building,
foraging, feeding, guiding,
teaching, pulling, and pushing

work of love and forgiveness,
kingdom-seeking and righteousness,
giving and accepting,
asking and receiving.