Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Forward Day by Day Meditation for July 19, 2018

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.


Matthew 26:6-7 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.

One of my favorite statements by conservationist John Muir came from his defense of Hetch Hetchy Valley near Yosemite. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”

Muir lost the battle—the valley was flooded to create a reservoir—but the question remains: Would the world be better off if we poured all of our resources into what is “useful,” into what serves a practical purpose? The disciples certainly think so. When the woman with the alabaster jar anoints Jesus, they are incensed. Couldn’t that ointment have been sold and the money given to the poor? Of course—but that’s not the point.

Like Muir, Jesus believes that value isn’t strictly a function of utility. Beauty—including acts of kindness and mercy—is as necessary to the spirit as bread is to the body. 

MOVING FORWARD: What represents great beauty and good bread in your life?  

PRAY for the Dioceses of Eastern Oregon and Easton 

Today the Church remembers Macrina, Monastic and Teacher, 379.

Ps 37:1-18 * 37:19-42 | Joshua 3:14—4:7 | Romans 12:1-18 | Matthew 26:1-16 



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