Birthday Brownies

Morning Prayer: Birthday Brownies
February 27, 2014
Prayer by Mr. Eric Rangus, Director of Communications:

My birthday was two weeks ago. It fell right in the middle of our second snowstorm, so the celebration was rather muted, and in many ways, better than the original plan. Instead of a night out for dinner, it was a night in with neighbors. Instead of some big meal in some loud restaurant, I got brownies delivered.

It was a great evening and since I was home all day, I got to watch a lot of Olympic curling, which is not insignificant. Another unintended weather-related consequence was that by necessity, the celebration was extended to allow everyone to take part.

Last week, all the staff in the Hartnett Building, where my office is located, got together for a casual birthday lunch and desserts. We do this for everyone in the building –it’s a very nice tradition, and I was the lucky one whose turn came up.

Father Rowland led the blessing and he wrote a beautiful prayer for me. I won’t read it verbatim, because I don’t want to steal anyone else’s work, but one phrase has stuck in my mind ever since I heard it. In mentioning my role here at Marist, Father Rowland described it as being “charged with the task of following in the footsteps of the Archangel Gabriel and communicating the message about the mission and spirituality of the Society of Mary.”

Following in the footsteps of Archangel Gabriel. The Messenger of God. That’s a pretty serious path. Am I up to following that road? What if I can’t?

I thought about that a lot, and first thing that entered my mind was how I thought about it. What if I can’t? What if I can’t communicate the word of God? I thought about it some more and really focused on the word “can’t.” And it’s negativity. Was I assuming that it would be too difficult and I couldn’t measure up?

And then I thought about it some more and realized, I was looking at it all wrong. I should be thinking about the ways that I can deliver the word of God. Not only on a page or a computer screen, but in my actions and deeds. Speaking and acting with humility and generosity and ardent love of neighbor. Accepting with grace the gifts that I am given and to give gifts of my own with happiness.

That’s not a difficult path. It’s an aspirational one to be sure. And it does require some effort. It can be easy to step off the trail, but it is just as easy to get back on it. Wherever it leads.

Let us pray …

Dear Lord, please watch over us and guide us as we communicate your word in our own ways – be writing or speech or action.

And when plans go awry or our path hits a wall or leads to a cliffside, or a big patch of ice. Give us the strength to change that path or plan … to improvise, find a new direction for it may lead to brownies … amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us.



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