Today

Today is not a rehearsal for anything. Today is your life.

It’s who you are and who you’re following and what matters most and where you’re headed…today.

The person you will be is the person you are becoming today.
So don’t waste it.

The challenge you face today is your chance to conquer as Jesus did.
So don’t miss it.

The fear you feel today is your chance to be strong in the Lord.
So grab it!

The tempest all around is driving you out of the storm and onto your knees.
Don’t fight it.

Today matters more than you know. You don’t even know if you’ll have tomorrow.
So stop the excuses. No more delays.

It’s not about others. It’s about you. Today.

Today is the day to love the people closest to you and forgive the people furthest from you.

Today is the day to embrace the humanity all around—as Jesus would, if He were in your shoes. Because He is, in your shoes.

He asks you to put yesterday behind, because it can’t change today.

He asks you to forget about tomorrow, because it only cares for itself, not today.

Today is all that matters—this is your life, your chance to live like Jesus.

It’s happening right now. Today.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Quoted in the Catholic Encyclopedia

What to Pray for a New President

What to Pray for a New President Seeking God’s blessing for a pluralistic, conflicted, and divided nation. by Mark Labberton There is no better time to renew our commitment to pray for our leaders than the start of a new presidential administration. Barack Obama needs our prayers and we should give them freely and eagerly no matter how we may have voted. I know our president needs prayer, because I know I do. My own life and pastoral leadership depends on prayer. I am aware that much of the blessing in the life of our church unfolds because of the prayers of people united in seeking God’s way. Blessings are not earned by prayer, nor should blessings be presumed because of prayer. But I do believe prayer increases our readiness to live humbly, wisely, and courageously.
These are also the qualities our new president needs. After a divisive campaign, an extraordinary economic collapse, a period of ecological vulnerability, and a time of war and global instability, our president and our nation need humility, wisdom, and courage. Wherever we or our congregations may be politically, these three qualities should guide our prayers for the leaders responsible for our nation and our world. Leadership that is lacking in any of these three will be far less constructive than these trying times demand. Our president needs the humility to live and lead in dependence upon God, practicing a clear estimate of our human and national limitations. Few qualities are more characteristic of Jesus than his willingness to serve in dependency on the Father, “emptying himself and taking the form of a servant.” Humble servant leadership is the essence of Jesus’ power. Let’s pray that as a new season of presidential leadership begins, Barack Obama will live before God with a clarified awareness of who he is and who he is not. When we lead our people to pray for our national leaders, we are praying for them to be wise. That means that they will be men and women led by the truth, who will act with discernment and justice. We may be tempted to pray that certain policies or political ideologies are enacted by the government, or for the authorities to establish our own utopian vision. This kind of prayer mistakenly treats the United States as a theocracy. Instead, we should be praying for leaders to have the wisdom to seek the shalom of the city, country, and world. This kind of prayer asks God to grant leaders the power and authority that allows people and communities to thrive. It is a prayer that neither over-reaches nor under-reaches. When we lead our people to pray for this new administration, we also need to pray that President Obama, and everyone in government, will have courage. Given the social, economic, environmental, and security threats today, we could accumulate a pile of fear-inducing situations to rival Everest. This is an exceptional time, when our leadership needs the strength of character and will to seek, say, and do what is right. When we pray for a pluralistic, conflicted, and divided nation like our own, we should recognize that we are not just praying for the church, for the community of God’s people. Instead, we are stepping into our role as faithful exiles, surrounded by a widely varied people, who seek God’s life-giving love, mercy, and justice, especially for the marginalized and for our enemies. We cry out to God for his shalom to be poured out upon others. That will be the evidence to the world that the blessing we seek isn’t just for ourselves, but that we truly care for all peoples, tribes, and nations. When we pray for these things—humility, wisdom, and courage—we are stepping beyond our own party affiliation or preference, beyond the bickering of the campaign, beyond the places where divisions are real and substantial. We are seeking instead to be prayerful partners of God’s shalom that comes, at least in part, through governments, civic leaders, and even presidents.

Mark Labberton is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California.