“Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Collect for Purity, Book of Common Prayer pg 355
I am currently reading a recently published book titled, Without Shame or Fear, From Adam to Christ by A Robert Hirschfeld. In the first chapter, Hirschfeld discusses the Collect for Purity and how when we stop to think about what it says, it can be a scary thing. Take a moment and re-read the collect. Take time to think about the words and notice how your body reacts to those thoughts.
My therapist, (yes I have a therapist I see regularly and I’m not ashamed to admit it) has been working to get me to notice how my body reacts to my thoughts. For me, when I stopped and pondered what the collect says, I became nervous and scared. Realizing that nothing about me is hid from God is a scary thought, as all my flaws and imperfections are visible. All my shame, all my fear is laid out for God to see. Everything I have done, both positive and negative, is revealed. As I further reflected, I had another insight though, no matter what I have done or who I am, I am God’s Beloved. As St. Paul’s says in his letter to the Romans, …nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:38-39)
As we begin the month of November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to God. Even though our hearts are open, all desires known and no secrets are hid to God, God still loves us. If there is only one thing that we are able to be thankful for today, it is that God loves us no matter what! I ask that you take a moment to ponder this; you are God’s Beloved whom God loves with no strings attached. What a wonderful gift, we are fully known and loved by Almighty God, the creator of all things.
This November, I challenge you to begin and end your day with a prayer of Thanksgiving. Offer a thanksgiving to God for all the wonderful things that are part of your life. If you are struggling to find something to be thankful for, give thanks for God’s love and the knowledge that God is always with us through good and bad. And finally give thanks for yourself and the love you have been shown by Almighty God.
In Thanksgiving for each and everyone of you,
Fr. Jay †