Monday of Pentecost 19 – Prayer of the Week

Merciful Father, Your patience and loving-kindness toward us have no end. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may always think and do those things that are pleasing in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

She was patient and she was kind. An African-American, she was caring for an elderly man, a white man, a man who had lived a long life. I did not know either of them, but saw this exchange in a nursing home some years ago. He was suffering from dementia. As often happens with those who suffer from dementia, when the façade of reason is stripped away, his character and personality traits were revealed and intensified. Chances are, he was not like this when he was in full possession of his faculties. To be honest, however, right now he was not a nice man. In fact, he said terrible things to and about this woman who was there help him.

She was patient and she was kind. I wanted to scold and rebuke this man for what he was saying. Some of it was truly vile. But she simply went about her work, bathing, changing, and caring for this man in his need. We note God’s patience and loving-kindness to us in this prayer. Jesus wrapped a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples to show all of us just what he was doing on the cross where he would die a few hours later. I like to think that I am in the full possession of my faculties. But am I really? Or am I also, like this fellow, filled with thoughts and desires which I keep a lid on only with some effort? He could not hold the lid on his inner conversation anymore. If I can, am I really any different than he is? I count on God’s patience and loving-kindness and need His Holy Spirit to think and do the things that are pleasing to God. Praise God for every moment he answers this prayer for you.

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