oremus

On long journeys by car or by plane, I like to catch up on my favorite podcast On Being with Krista Tippett.  Over the years, various poets, theologians, social scientists, and spiritual leaders have contributed to my personal faith formation through their commentary.  Whether questioning or seeking, I have found comfort and guidance both from the show’s hosts and guests.

On a recent trip to visit my daughter in Greensboro,  I had the opportunity to listen to four episodes.  I could not have asked for better company on the road trip.  Just when I think I understand what it means to center my spirit, I am reminded that there are a million beautiful ways to listen, to pray, and to grow.

Being a linguaphile, I was captured by a reference to the word oremus in an interview with Pádraig Ó Tauma.  In the episode, he and Marilyn Nelson eloquently shared their beliefs on storytelling and prayer and the deep personal connection we have to each other and to our Creator through these practices.

As a part of his description of prayer, Pádraig shared a piece he had written for his book Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community–an introductory chapter entitled “Oremus” or “Let us pray.”  I won’t share the spirit of the chapter because it is my hope you will find the book or it will find you when your soul needs it, but today, I am meditating on these words–the ones that captured me in the interview and have become a new form of prayer in and of themselves.

Prayer is like poetry–like breath, like our own names–has a fundamental rhythm in our bodies.  It changes, it adapts, it varies from the canon, it sings, it swears, it is syncopated by the rhythm underneath the rhythm, the love underneath the love, the rhyme underneath the rhyme, the name underneath the name, the welcome underneath the welcome.
So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble, friends, and build altars.  Let us listen to the sound of breath in our bodies.  Let us listen to the sounds of our own voices, of our own names, of our own fears.  Let us name the harsh light and hte soft darkness that surround us.  Let’s claw ourselves out from the graves we’ve dug, let’s lick the earth from our fingers.  Let us look up, nad out, and around.  The world is big, and wide, and wild and wonderful and wicked, and our lives are murky, magnificent, malleable and full of meaning.  Oremus.  Let us pray.

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