Today is the 75th anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
The event took place a few days after we dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. So it’s probable that the U.S. government knew at least a little about the death and devastation it would cause.
Mahatma Gandhi said at the time that these bombs would make peace a necessity. Peace has not come.
And, as the World War II generation around the world dies off, actual memories about the two actual uses of atomic bombs die, too. It’s more important than ever to learn about these events so we do not duplicate them.
Christian mindfulness calls for prayer and fasting today as a way to express sorrow over the deaths of these two cities and a combined 226,000 civilians. We as Americans in particular have an obligation to be responsible for making a more peaceful world.
Here is a prayer of lament and repentance for Nagasaki:
Above the clamor of our violence, your word of truth resounds, O God of majesty and power. Over nations enshrouded in despair, your justice dawns.
Grant your household a discerning spirit and a watchful eye to perceive the hour in which we live. Hasten the advent of that Day when the weapons of war shall be banished, our deeds of darkness cast off, and all your scattered children gathered into one.
We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.“Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers”
Today’s Christian mindfulness practice calls for 24 hours of attention. We are looking for “divine appointments,” things that God is calling us to do even though they are not on our calendars.
It’s true. The most important thing that Jesus wants you to do today may come entirely out of the blue. An unexpected phone call. A nudge to reach out about something. A whisper to pray for someone. An opportunity to be loving, especially if no one else is looking.
It’s hard to look for divine appointments when we are relentlessly charging through our to-do lists. Make time today to quiet yourself and ask God what He has planned. You may get a very nice surprise!
My sister bought me a perpetual calendar called “Meditations for the Busy Woman” by Jan Silvious in 1994. I still use it, although 2020 is the least busy year I’ve had ever.
Deletions, erasure marks and black scratches are all over many of our calendars these days. Today’s message on the perpetual calendar seems very timely.
Unrest in the Nest
Our God is honor-bound to make even the tearing up of our nests, the unraveling of our homes and dreams, the canceling of our plans and appointments, to work together for our good. Remember that today as you struggle with a nest that feels shaky beneath your feet. Jan Silvious
Is it easy to practice Christian mindfulness while standing in a line? No. Yet it may be harder to practice waiting on the Lord.
The contemplative practice asks us to remain prayerful in God’s presence while we wait patiently for direction or answered prayer. This practice is all over the Psalms, especially in Psalm 27 written by David.
13 I remain confident of this:David
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Today let us quiet our minds. Let us listen for the Lord’s direction via Scripture and prayer. I always find that synchronicity is a sign. If I hear, read and see the same verse or holy thought again and again, I know the Lord is knocking on the door.
Today’s version of waiting in line usually requires standing six feet away from the people in front of you. This makes lines seem longer, although we know they are just spaced out. This Christian mindfulness exercise helps us bring some space and calmness to our wait. We might even enjoy it.
Whenever we are waiting — in a line, in a car, in front of a computer screen — practice Christian mindfulness. Speak to the Lord and seek His presence. The Holy Spirit is standing in line with you, after all.
Notice what is around you. Who is there? Can you offer up a prayer from them? What do you hear and smell? Is there a cashier or service person who needs a word of encouragement when you get to the front of the line? wai
This Christian mindfulness practice came from someone else, but I have no idea who. That person created a list of profound questions for daily reflection or examen. Although I neglected to note the author back then, I’ve found answering these questions bring lots of insight.
- Where in this day did I feel the presence of God working in my life and in the world?
- What in this day seemed like it was a part of my leading?
- What made me believe that?
- How does that leading fit into my personal and spiritual life?
- What did I do today to feed my spirit or move me ahead on my spiritual journey?
Let’s try using these questions for discernment in quiet time. They are also great for journaling.
Other good morning exercises are here.