Evening Prayer Monday, 19 July 2021

by Saadi Youssef

Those who come by me passing
I will remember them,
and those who come heavy and overbearing
I will forget.

This is why
when air gushes between mountains
we describe the wind
and forget the rocks.

Good evening and welcome to Evening Prayer

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth
That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you,
O God, so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing
your praise now and for ever.

God is with me, but more, God is within me.
Let me dwell for a moment on God’s life-giving presence
in my body, in my mind, in my heart,
as I am here, right now.

I will ask God’s help,
to be free from my own preoccupations,
to be open to God in this time of prayer,
to come to know, love and serve God more.

Lord you have called me ‘the light of the world’.
Let me be always conscious of those you want me to serve,
The hungry and the homeless,
The sick and the destitute,
The stranger and the refugee.


Matthew 14:22-27

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’


“The Lord your God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and your whole strength.” 
(Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27)

Beatrice Bruteau (1930–2014), one of the great contemplative teachers of the 20th and 21stcenturies, offers an unusual metaphor to help us better understand what it means to be “pure of heart,” and maintain a single focus when we “practice the presence of God.” It sounds very much like what we might call “being in the flow”! 

These four faculties [in Jesus’ commandment above] can be interpreted in various ways. I have, for instance, called them intellect (mind), will (strength), imagination (soul) and affectivity (heart). . . .

Keeping the mind . . . single means keeping our heart whole, keeping our mind whole, our soul and strength [whole], not letting any of them divide in two. So when we
pray . . . we try to find our truest self by unifying and keeping whole our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This unification of the consciousness is what is usually called “concentration”: centering together. It is basic to spiritual practice.

How do you do this concentration? You just do what you’re actually doing in the moment, without thinking/feeling about the fact that you’re doing it. When you set your hand to the plough, you just concentrate on ploughing and go straight ahead without looking back to see what you ploughed or how well you ploughed (Luke 9:62).

You put your whole mind onto ploughing, the activity, in the moment in which you are actually doing it. You don’t allow the mind to divide into two, half on ploughing and half on ploughed. . . . And in fact, if you can put your whole mind on the activity, not dividing some part to look back and see what you have ploughed, you will cut a beautiful furrow.

You put your whole will into ploughing. You do not divide your will in two by partly consenting to plough, and partly resenting and resisting it and wishing you were doing something else. You “give yourself to” this activity totally, as you do it. The act of ploughing and the act of willing to plough become the same thing.

Similarly, you do not allow your imagination to conjure up some other scene for you to enjoy in daydreaming while you plod behind your plough. The imagination must . . . “be here now.” This is where you actually are, this is reality. Don’t create a fantasy. . . . Know who you are and where you are and what you are doing and really be there.

Finally, put all your feelings into this ploughing because this is where your life is at this moment. You have no other life here and now except this ploughing. Therefore feel this ploughing thoroughly, feel it in every way you can. Feel it through your body with all your senses, with your emotions. . . . Become ploughing. This is you at this moment. This is where you really are and what you are really doing.

That’s how you centre yourself, how you concentrate.

Beatrice Bruteau

Copyright © 2021 by CAC. Used by permission of CAC. All rights reserved worldwide.


We pray for the world…

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

We pray for the universal church of Christ…

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

We pray for one another and all those known to us…

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.


As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


Visit this place, O Lord,
we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace,
and may your blessing be always upon us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

See that you are at peace among yourselves,
my children, and love one another.
Follow the example of the wise and good and God
will comfort you and help you, both in this
world and in the world which is to come.


May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


Revd. Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga