March 29, 2023

Good morning from Amsterdam! It’s a layover on the way back from the US to Scotland. But just enough time to get the weekly newsletter out.

Today there are two offerings, a message on one particularly hard-hitting passage in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, plus a touching (and humorous) prayer from the 16th century. Hope you enjoy them!

The Narrow Road

The Sermon on the Mount is an epitome of the teaching of Christ. How well do we know it? How well do we live it?

The latest iFaith video message on the Sermon on the Mount covers Matthew 7:13-14. To view it, CLICK HERE.

Prayer for an Aging Know-It-All

The following prayer could be called “I Am Growing Older,” or perhaps "A Prayer for the Aging Know-it-All." The words are those of Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582). Much of the prayer is tongue-in-cheek and playfully self-deprecating. Still, the inherent message is a good one, especially for the senescent.

Grumpy old man?

Lord, you know better than I myself
That I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to make use of it all;
But you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing,
And love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility
and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash
with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person
is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people.

And give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

You can also find the prayer HERE. For 180 more, please check ouAmen. Selected Prayers and Hymns for the Journey.

Thank you

Next week, expect another fresh iFaith message, as well as the launch of an important (new, and much-needed) ministry. I’ll be writing from Cornwall (southwestern England—see map below), where the family will be taking a vacation. And thanks for all your support.

Till the nets are full,