Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry
[March 16, 2020] As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ Click here for – A new video meditation will be posted on Mondaysthrough May.
March 16, 2020: Habits of Grace
Hello. Last week while we were all planning and trying to reorder our lives and adapt to the new reality that we are in, I was texting back and forth with the Reverend Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, as we often do. And in the course of our texts back and forth, she asked, “Have you ever thought about maybe doing a short meditation each week for the church while we’re in these days of the coronavirus?” I texted her back and said, “That’s a good idea.” And so this week we began what I think will be a weekly short meditation. Just a word or a song, not sung by me, but a song, a poem, a prayer. Just something for the week in which we are living.
I keep a prayer list on my cell phone in the little note section of the iPad and I’ve noticed that that list is increasing. But the reality is while I often always say my prayer time early in the morning, there’s more time even during the rest of the day now. And so maybe the habit of prayer can increase a bit for me and maybe for us.
One of the things that I’m aware of is that consistent habits, what some have called habits of grace, can really be helpful especially in unsettling times. I was watching television and saw where in Milan and throughout Italy apparently, a movement has begun. Apparently at six o’clock every evening everyone who is in their apartment is socializing by coming out on the porch and at six o’clock they begin to applaud. They just start clapping. And everyone claps and applauds as a way of saying thank you to the medical folk who are working, the first responders who are working. Just a way of saying thank you. And then the applause moves into or morphs into a song. And they sometimes sing their national anthem or sing some other song, every day at six. A habit of grace. A way of centering the day. Whatever way you do it, find and keep that habit of grace or those habits of grace that center the day. Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be St. Patrick’s Day. There won’t be a parade, but maybe we can say a prayer attributed to St. Patrick.
“I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Holy Trinity. Through belief in the three-ness, through confession of the oneness, the creator of all creation. So Christ be with me. Christ before me. Christ behind me. Christ within me. Christ beneath me. Christ above me. Christ on my right. Christ on my left. Christ when I lie down. Christ when I sit up. Christ when I arise. Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me. Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me. Christ in the eye of everyone who sees me. Christ in every ear that hears me. Christ in the heart of friend and stranger.” *
God bless you. God keep you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.”