On May 24, 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, United States, killing nineteen students and two teachers, and wounding seventeen people. Just a week prior, on May 14, 10 people were killed and three were injured in a racially motivated attack at a Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.
Posted by Micah Bucey on March 21, 2022
Spirituality & Practice celebrated its 16th Birthday on March 21, 2022. The team gathered on Zoom with people from our community for an hour of sharing about the work we do and why we are happy doing it. Micah Bucey, one of S&P's film reviewers and the author of The Book of Tiny Prayer, launched our time together with a tiny prayer for those who need to be celebrated.
Posted by Micah Bucey on February 24, 2022
In a pre-dawn televised address on February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine as Russian forces invaded the country from Russia and Belarus in the east and north and by landing on the southern coasts from the Black Sea and Azov Sea. Within hours, Ukraine's military sites had been bombed and Russian troops had taken over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and Hostomel airport near the capital of Kyiv. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Ukrainians to defend their country while leaders in Europe and the United States considered their options to respond.
Posted by Micah Bucey on January 7, 2022
Sidney Poitier died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on January 6, 2022, at the age of 94. The Bahamian-American actor, film director, and ambassador was the first Black person and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field. He was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the ceremony shown above). In 2002, he was given an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his "remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being"
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 2, 2022
Creator of trees, fire, wind, and warmth, You have given us the capacity to feel deep compassion for places and beings affected by wildfires. In 2012, Colorado suffered from a record-breaking wildfire season with more than 4000 fires. While we were visiting Mary Ann's sister, she drove us through the desolation wrought in the area by the Black Forest Fire northeast of Colorado Springs. It looked like a savaged and desolate war zone with blackened trees and ground. Between 80 and 100 homes were destroyed. We saw burnt out cars and areas where the sandy soil was spreading onto roads, with all the grasses and bushes that had held it in place before now burned out. We will never forget that experience.
Posted by Micah Bucey on December 12, 2021
On Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11, 2021, an unusually large outbreak of tornadoes -- at least 30 -- ripped through six states in the United States -- Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Whole communities were destroyed, and at least 100 people are feared dead. Casualties were reported in a candle factory in Kentucky, an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, a nursing home in Arkansas, and elsewhere.
Posted by Micah Bucey on December 1, 2021
Stephen Sondheim died November 26, 2021, at the age of 91. The obituary in The New York Times described him as "the theater’s most revered and influential composer-lyricist of the last half of the 20th century and the driving force behind some of Broadway’s most beloved and celebrated shows." He was known for his collaborative style and his ceaseless encouragement of actors, writers, and composers. I can attest to that. After his death, I got out a note I had received from Sondheim years ago. He said that he was unable to attend my show, but I should keep writing. And I have. Below is my prayer of gratitude for Stephen Sondheim.
Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on August 16, 2021
August 15, 2021, Afghanistan. The Taliban, having defeated the Afghan security forces in other areas of the country, entered the capital of Kabul, thus solidifying their total takeover of the country. United States military, diplomatic and business personnel, as well as other foreign nationals were evacuated, as thousands of Afghans tried to secure an escape as well. But most people of the country, exhausted from twenty years of war, had no options but to face what is presumed will be a strict and deadly regime.
A Taliban spokesperson told a BBC reporter that they will reimpose their version of Sharia (religious) law, which includes such things as stoning for adultery and amputation of limbs for stealing. The fate of women is uncertain. The spokesperson assured the BBC that women would be respected, allowed to work, and be able leave their homes without a male escort; girls would be able to go to school. But this was not true when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 – 2001. Women who for two decades have had those rights, now worry their freedom will be taken away. Those who have attained professional and political power fear they will be killed. The women and girls of Afghanistan face an uncertain future and will need courage, strength, international support, and empathy for their suffering. The latter is expressed in the following prayer psalm.
Posted by Guest Contributor on July 19, 2020
We recently heard from Nell Wulff in St. Louis, Missouri, and Moe Nieman in Cincinnati, Ohio, who together wrote a blessing for face masks. They agreed to share it and invited us to do so. You may want to keep a copy next to your masks, as a reminder of the good that they do.
The Blessing of the Masks
by Moe Nieman and Nell Wulff
Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on March 20, 2020
In times that strain our resources, our energy, and our resilience, we need refreshment of spirit more than ever. The following prayer by Christine Valters Paintner — an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland, who founded the Abbey of the Arts — helps refill our wells by recalling all for which we can be grateful during this pandemic and by blessing all who find themselves in need. Our thanks to Christine for her permission to share this work-in-progress with you.
Praise Song for the Pandemic
Praise be the nurses and doctors, every medical staff bent over flesh to offer care, for lives saved and lives lost, for showing up either way,
About This Blog
The daily news summons us to prayer. The people, situations, and events of our times call out for our compassion and God's healing presence. In this blog we will pray in a variety of forms as we lift up the needs of the world. We hope that by praying the news in this way we will also expand both our spirituality and our practice. More