Ends, Beginnings, and All Along the Ways: Invocation for Commencement

Last weekend was graduation here at Saint Joseph’s University. I was honored to be asked to give the invocation prayer at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 11.  All went well, as far as that sort of thing goes. (Can you really evaluate a prayer?)

Invocation photo

Melissa Kelly/Saint Joseph’s University

For me, the most compelling thing about the experience was the silence. Several thousand people were there, and yet there was so little to hear. For all the busyness of the day and of our lives, it is nice to have moments where we pause to quiet ourselves and attend to the depth of our experience, even for just a moment.  All the more powerful when it is in such a big group.

Perhaps these sorts of experiences are better left to memory. But I thought I’d post the prayer for those who might like to remember such things.


Holy and loving God,
    We ask you to be with us on this wonderful day;
    a day of transition and a day of transformation.

We ask you to be with us today
    just as you have been with us each and every step of the way.

Be with us as you have been with us each morning,
    as we bent our minds to the rigors of the classroom
    and struggled to navigate life with roommates.

Be with us as you have each noon
    sharing lives with friends over a meal;
    and grading papers and preparing lectures for students.

Be with us as you have been with us each afternoon,
   in the lab, parsing the secrets of creation;
   and at service sites, putting flesh on your call to justice.

Be with as you have each evening,
    training our bodies in practices and games;
   and working overtime to pay tuition bills.

Be with us as you have been with us each night,
    reading the next book and writing the next paper;
   and gathering to praise you in liturgy;

    lying awake, worrying about a son or daughter so far from home;
    and resting our minds and bodies for the days ahead.

Spirit of God—breath of life—continue to be with us today
   as we celebrate the many things we have accomplished together.

Bless this moment, and these lives we have woven
   and the lives that we begin today.

In your name, we pray.

Happy Birthday Rewiring Virtue!

© Caroline’s Cakes

A year ago, I was on sabbatical writing a couple of articles on technology ethics.  One of the great things about academia is the fact that people engage in serious conversation and are willing to put work into understanding one another’s perspectives. We write books and journal articles so that we can figure out how the heck the world works and—in my field—how to create a more human and just society.

The down side is that this conversation takes ages.  One of those articles still hasn’t been published yet.  The other only took 16 months to publish—and that was positively speedy.  The glacial pace drives me crazy.  So, I wanted to see if I could move the ideas and the conversation along a bit faster.  That’s why I started Rewiring Virtue. One year and 112 posts later, I think things have worked out pretty well.  I certainly have been able to do a lot of thinking and learning about the mediated life. And I’ve been fortunate that folks have found it interesting.

Thank you for being my conversation partners.

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