What does it mean to be as clay in the hands of the Lord? Does the clay direct the potter what to do with it? The Lord is our potter, and our hearts should be as malleable to His hands as clay.
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“Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” is an American spiritual that was first printed in 1899.
“Were You There” was likely composed by African-American slaves in the 19th century. It was first published in William Eleazar Barton’s 1899 Old Plantation Hymns. In 1940, it was included in the Episcopal Church hymnal, making it the first spiritual to be included in any major American hymnal. As reported in Howard Thurman’s autobiography, the song was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorites. The song has been recorded by artists including Marion Williams, Johnny Cash, Phil Keaggy, Max Roach, Diamanda Galás, Harry Belafonte, The Seldom Scene, Diamond Version (with Neil Tennant), Bayard Rustin, and Rajaton.
Prayer for students is vitally important in culture today. School campuses are full of temptation and negative influences targeting students. Prayer is a way to influence students to make wise choices and excel in their studies. There are many topics in the curriculum that will impact their decision making for years to come. Our youth and young adults approach a time of their lives where they will make significant decisions about careers, marriage, children, and other life choices.
The Act of Contrition is part of the Sacrament of Penance and is prayed by the penitent after the priest assigns a penance and before he gives the penitent absolution. It is also customarily said especially before one goes to bed at night. It is generally supposed that individuals might have recourse to an Act of Contrition when they find themselves in extremis.
The prayer expresses in words a deeply personal “act” that engages a person’s affections and will. Catholic teaching holds that “imperfect” contrition, is also a gift of God. Born of fear of eternal damnation or other penalties, it is nonetheless sufficient to inspire a valid Act of Contrition. There are different versions of the Act of Contrition, but all generally include an expression of sorrow, an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and a promise to amend one’s life and avoid sin.