Prayer

The Hour of Smallness

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Evening Prayer to God

O eternal God and Ruler of all creation, You have allowed me to reach this hour. Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain. Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You by my deeds throughout my entire lifetime, and that I be victorious over every spiritual and physical enemy. Deliver me, O Lord, from all vain thoughts and from evil desires, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.   ~   Saint Macarius

 

          Today, from the birdsong morning hours, I vowed to give glory to my God.

          I did all I could to stay close to my Lord’s heart.

          Hurrying from one appointment to the next, we squeezed in a quick stop at church in the city and I was delighted that we managed it. I seal my heart in Thy Tabernacle, I prayed and then got up to leave. Despite our busyness, I remembered to weave prayer buds into the hours, praying the Divine Mercy chaplet for the troubles in our land. Later in the day, returning home in the wan sunset blessed by rain dimples, a huge rainbow journeyed  alongside us, and I gave God glory for the reminder of His promise to me that help is coming.

          Today was one of those rare days when I had been busy yet immersed in prayer. I was quietly pleased I had lived the hours the way I did.

          Everyone was tired and I was eager to get dinner going for an early night in.

          But in a sudden moment, I let a dart of anger lead the way. Despite the prayer~laced hours before, in that split second of the present moment when the path forked, I chose to be Lot’s wife, I chose to return to the old me. I seemed to have stayed so close to Jesus today, yet something in my day nefariously assured that I had a right to indulge this old sin – the price of which is the company of sadness and regret even in the quiet midnight hours. Although dinner was good and laughs aplenty, that one moment sits by still my window of consciousness.

          How could I have let this happen? What I wouldn’t give to take it back.

          Then comes this sunset prayer, tiptoeing to my mourning,

Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain.

          I whisper its lines to my heart, feeling no comfort, no hope, wondering if I’ll ever leave this gnarled of old behind, these sudden bursts of anger. Suddenly, I’m made aware of my smallness, my inadequacy, and only now do I see that nothing of this day was through my power. Not the prayers, not the plans.

It was all by the grace of the Most High.

          There’s nothing I can do for now but place the hurt I’ve caused an innocent heart, and my own sorrow and regret, into my Saviour’s Heart, and whisper my plea,

Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Posy for My God

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          I’m on a 9-day break from today and there are no words for the relief and thankfulness at not having to see my work place for 9 days. But I wished to also put the 9 days to good use, mainly by resting as much as possible to prepare for the tough coming months. I’d have to travel to the city daily for a couple of days but there is home and family and love and duties to return to each day. There’s the beckoning of a garden waiting to be loved, stomachs to be filled and perhaps a head start on the Christmas cleaning of closets too!

          In my head, I had the 9 days pretty filled.

          Then, I realized something. Rather than put myself and my responsibilities at the centre of my break, I could consciously try and live these 9 days for God – making it a special prayer. A perfect novena. 

          I am so grateful for this break, and what could be more beautiful than making a posy of each day for God?

 

 

 

 

Transfiguration Prayer

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          Upon rising in the dark pre-dawn embers, on this Feast of the Transfiguration, I asked Jesus for His prayer for me this day. In the past, He has given me the simple, Transfigure me, O Lord. I expected today to be the same.

          Instead, He asked this of me:

 

Shine Jesus Shine

Lord, the light of Your love is shining

In the midst of the darkness, shining

Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us

Set us free by the truth You now bring us

Shine on me, shine on me

 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth Your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence

From the shadows into Your radiance

By the blood I may enter Your brightness

Search me, try me, consume all my darkness

Shine on me, shine on me.

 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father’s glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth Your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness

So our faces display Your likeness

Ever changing from glory to glory

Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story

Shine on me, shine on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Give You Everything

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Our Lord loves you and wishes to see you advance with great speed in the way of His love, however crucifying to nature. Therefore, do not bargain with Him, but give Him all, and you will find all in His divine Heart.   ~   St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

          Thanks to a fellow blogger, I think I’ve fallen in love with Switzerland, Mürren especially. It’s a car free Alpine village and it’s gorgeous. I think that with the need to walk (since we don’t have cars there), the sheer loveliness around and quietness of the place, I’d be thin in no time.

          And it would be easier to be good!

          There are times when we need all the help we can get just to be good and kind. Beautiful flowers everywhere, crisp, clean air, decent people around you – can do wonders for me. But God’s not going to create a Mürren for me so that making sacrifices comes easily, or that prayer just springs from the heart instead of having to go and dig for it, and then to lash my will to it.

          God is not going to make me a Mürren to make anger management easier either. Life doesn’t work that way, at least not for me. So, so often, I ask myself, Where has my young heart gone to?

Where is the spirit that used to quicken at the pink and orange blush of the dying evening skies?

Where is the girl who used to awaken at nights just to enjoy the sound of the winds singing among darkened boughs?

          And there is no answer save that of, She is gone.

          For years now, I’ve looked high and low for her, this person whose spirit is primed to settle into the deeps of the smallest cups of loveliness. Sometimes, I think I have glimpsed her, but when I reach deep within to hold on to her, to stop her from running away again, I come up against emptiness, as if she was never there.

          I feel the bite of tears for the girl I once was, rising quickly in hope and light after every fall and push, but to cry is to hold on to what has gone – for that young one is no longer there. I am no longer that girl, I’ve grown old; but my soul is likely still young – immature, petty, unsteady. In a perpetual wobble. Never learning well enough the many lessons God has taught me over and over, I flounder in the breech between the past and the present.

          I am tired. Tired of this life, so very, very tired. Unlike many, I have so much to live for, yet, today, I can barely see each gift. It is not for want of trying though;

My eyes are dimmed with sorrow,

worn out because of all my foes   ~   Psalm 6:8

Today, as the hot evening motherwinds try with all their might to sing me their strength, nothing slips past the door of my spirit.

          Our Lord loves you and wishes to see you advance with great speed in the way of His love, however crucifying to nature. Therefore, do not bargain with Him, but give Him all, and you will find all in His divine Heart.

          This was God’s word to me yesterday. I see the word, crucifying, and I flail against it. Oh, how right my priest was when he looked deep into my eyes and read my soul right, Patience, you need patience. But soul loved by God himself, the priest did not leave me bereft of hope. The miracle you seek will come, he has assured me gently. It will come, but not in the violent wind, not in the fire, nor in the earthquake. It will come in a quiet and gentle unfolding.

          The tears come then, and this time, I do not dam the stream, pretending a fortitude I do not possess. I have given my all today. There’s nothing left in me. No hope, no excitement even for the future. It is as if all has died. Nothing left to be of use to God, my cup of offering is dry.

          Patience, you need patience

          Then, give me Yours, Lord, I pray in deep weariness, for I have none left in me.

…do not bargain with Him, but give Him all…

          How can I give what is no longer there?

…do not bargain with Him, but give Him all…

          I give you everything, Lord. What is there and not there. What is seen and unseen. I give you everything, Lord.

          I am moving on empty now. Somehow, I clean the house, teach the younger ones their lessons.

 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

 

 

 

 

Jesus of My Mornings

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O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

 

          I awakened early today for my time with God. For some weeks, ever since I believe He told me to Rise early, I’ve been trying to obey Him by rising earlier than usual. Truth be told, the initial excitement over this special morning encounter had waned somewhat in the face of increasing tiredness. But I was determined to hang on. Even if I didn’t quite feel the benefits of waking up at 4:30 in the morning and trying to give God my undivided attention, I knew my God was not going to tap me on the shoulder to alert me to everything He was working within my soul.

          Secure in this awareness, I went to my morning devotions today. At the end of it, I prayed the prayer of the day, the Holy Heart of Jesus prayer. My heart fell into its lines, as if it were my angel praying my very needs. I had not lived the past few days well enough. I had need of reparation for sins of pride, I truly needed to humble myself. And here were the very words for my ill.

         The clock ticking, I settled some last chores. Momentarily overcome by weariness, I sat down and closed my eyes for a bit. It was going to be a long work day. I wished I didn’t have to go in. Heart of Jesus, I prayed.

          Eyes closed, before me appeared dark mountains, and a small, piercingly bright sliver of the dawn sun, slowly rising, but moving from the left to the right, from behind those dark ridges. 

          Not sure where that came from, I put it down to my imagination and firmly dismissed it.

          Heart of Jesus, I called once more.

          The same scene appeared again. This time, the sun slid swiftly to the middle of the sky. Suddenly, it  pulsed brightly, sending its light directly into my own heart, startling me.

          It is Him! I thought, stunned into realization. The Heart of Jesus truly! Come to show me it wasn’t my imagination at all. Coming when I least expected.

What is man that Thou should be mindful of him,

a son of man that Thou care for him?    ~ Psalm 8:5

          Who was I that He needed to give me this sign?

          And yet He had. He had come not just to comfort but to assure me of His presence, His faithful and patient wait in my mornings. Even if no breeze caressed my waiting spirit, no answer pressed to my questions, His holy Heart awaited me each time I came before Him. Tired or fresh, straight or bent mattered not to Him. What mattered was I not allow anything to hold me back from Him. No doubt, no weariness, nothing of this fallen world.

          And He would be there, each time.

          I sought Him once more, the Jesus of my mornings,

Heart of Jesus,

I place my heart in Yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 26 ~ Immerse

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         Two days ago, when I had very little genuine and unforced compassion and charity for my superiors and co-workers, I asked God the question, How long more till the promised help comes?

          God answered me early the next day with, God will help it at the break of dawn   ~   Psalm 46: 6.

          While it gave me deep consolation, it didn’t tell me how I was to bridge the gap between the now and the fulfilment. So, assuming this ‘how’ was hidden in the petals of a bloom I had once known, I returned to prayers I had prayed in the past.

          Then, a small hand pushed a wreath of words towards me. Words I had read, believed and prayed as a prayer 3 years ago.

Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.   ~   Chaplet of the Divine Mercy novena, 1st day.

          The words immerse and console pulsed strong. I had been firmly drawn to consoling Jesus through my recent night and early morn offerings of, I seal my heart in Your Tabernacle. Now, in a deeper way, I understood that it was not me; it had been Jesus drawing me closer to Him through that prayer – leading me to the next prayer:

Immerse souls in the sea of my Mercy.

          Later that day, through another person’s sharing of a troubling experience with nightmare neighbours, yet again, Jesus deepened the lesson that the never ending duels with my superiors and co-workers had a purpose:

Only through suffering would I be hurt enough to cry to heaven.

Moreover, I had to cry to heaven not just for myself, but for those oppressors as well.

And the prayer for my oppressors now was to be,

I immerse them in the sea of Your mercy.

          I stepped back from the call of life to meditate on this development. I realized it was no random prayer. I had journeyed to this point from the very early days of this Lent when God told me this was to be a Lent to console Jesus through the fasting for oppressors. I had discerned and obeyed as best as I could and that took me to the next stop and the next prayer for oppressors,

Replace his blood with Yours

          And now, after that, after whatever offerings of sacrifice and obedience of worth, I had come to,

Jesus, I immerse them in the sea of Your mercy.

          Each time, the darts of anger pierced my heart, I prayed,

Jesus, I immerse them in the sea of Your mercy.

          Every time they annoyed me. Every time I observed my oppressors desecrate whatever was good and pure and blessed. Every time I felt that I could not go on another day in this hell.

          Then, my husband shared his sufferings with me. And it was the same  wounding too.

Jesus, I immerse them in the sea of Your mercy.

          And also with our children.

          Each and every time the spirit moves me, I pray that prayer. Through the day. Each awakening in the night. In hope. In brokenness. When I can. When I cannot. When I don’t want to.

Jesus, I immerse them in the sea of Your mercy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 23 ~ I Seal My Heart

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          All through the night, at each gentle awakening,

I seal my heart in Your Tabernacle

          The prayer of consoling Jesus, even when sleep might take me away from Him. For some reason, I was peacefully bound to this prayer last night. Perhaps someone was in need. Or that God needed the silence of my will to work on my heart. Or even yet another way He is helping me to keep my eyes on Him.

          As the gentle rain ties diamonds everywhere it falls, I too secure my heart to Jesus once more,

I seal my heart in Your Tabernacle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 13 ~ Returning of Hopes

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          I read about the Holy Spirit Rosary on Susan Skinner’s blog, Veil of Veronica, and like her, I too was immediately drawn to it. The drawback was that it needed to be prayed as a group – to ensure we do not attribute to the Holy Spirit what is actually something out of our own heads. I didn’t have a group I could meet with to pray the Rosary together. Even with friends, no common time to come together as well.

          This afternoon, with the weather the way it was, sullen and sulking, I decided to go it alone. I prayed with all my heart that my mind, my will and my emotions be bound to the Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That nothing of me pierce through. It was incredibly difficult, to be honest. I viewed with suspicion everything that moved past the window of my consciousness. I felt as if I was all tightly bound up, stiff and rigid. Not the best way to pray, for sure, but there didn’t seem to be any other way.

          I decided to pray all 5 decades on the meditation of the Agony in Gethsemane. I imagined myself beside Jesus in the garden. Then, I wished I had done some research on this so as to better imagine the place. While I was dragging my scattered thoughts back to the garden, I somehow ended up in the desert with Jesus during His 40 days fast. I’m not sure how that happened. Nonetheless, somehow, that worked out a lot better than trying to imagine the Garden of Gethsemane.

          I believe I imagined Jesus sitting on a wide smooth slab of rock, facing straight ahead. And I settled myself beside Him. He didn’t seem to be aware of my presence. I likely imagined that too. I must have seen the time in the desert to be an intense time, of  deep, penetrating  silence. That would explain why I imagined or pictured Jesus in that still, unmoving, undistracted manner. I remember telling myself not to be a distraction to Him, not to squirm and wriggle trying to get comfortable on hard stone.

          Again, that was just probably my way of quelling my own distractedness.

          As I whispered my Hail Marys and tried to be as still and as unyielding towards travelling thoughts, I sank into a slight weary sadness. I saw hopes that were so long in coming true. I saw dreams that didn’t seem possible any more. Expectations being raised and then, dashed.

          As I struggled and struggled to meditate on His Agony all alone in Gethsemane/Desert, I felt a gentl-ing of my tightness. As I felt the ropes I had bound myself with earlier begin to loosen, I came face-to-face with an old shadow inside me:

The hopes within me were my own, not God’s.

          While He had given me signs and shown me glimpses into the future, I had taken them and embellished them with my own visons and expectations. I had sewed on my own buttons of desires, embroidering the garment with my ideas of how life should work out for me.

          And when what I had conjured in my head collided with God’s reality, hurt swelled  and soared like churning seas.

          Sitting by His side looking out at the expanse of sand and rock, I slowly returned to Him my tattered garments of hope, rent and stained by earthly wiles and wishes, by my own undoing of selfishness, pride and vanity. I gave back to Jesus,all the hope that was of me, born of my passions.

          He’d know what to do with it, I reasoned.

          I cannot be sure how I ended up here, at this point of returning. Was it the Holy Spirit Rosary? Was it just the way my thoughts were weaving through the haze of hours and events?

          I suspect it’s not me. Because despite the dulled spirit, when the Rosary ended, I rose and went to my chores with a lightness in my step.

          You don’t confront sadness and disappointment, and yet, leave in light – unless it was the Spirit’s doing.

 

 

 

Lent 10 ~ Precious Blood

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Consoling Jesus today with,

Invocations to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Precious Blood of Jesus, shed in the Circumcision,

make me chaste of mind, heart and body.

Precious Blood, oozing from every pore in the Agony of Jesus,

grant me to love only the holy Will of God.

Precious Blood, flowing abundantly in the Scourging at the Pillar,

pierce me with a keen sorrow for my sins and a love of suffering.

Precious Blood, falling in profusion from the Crown of Thorns,

grant me a love of humiliations.

Precious Blood, furrowing the way to Calvary,

fill me with courage to walk unfalteringly in the bloody footsteps of Jesus.

Precious Blood, shed so profusely in the Crucifixion of my Jesus,

make me die entirely to self-love.

Precious Blood, shed to the very last drop by the opening of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

give me that generous love that sacrifices all for God.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood in atonement for my sins and for the sins of the world.

Precious Blood, heal me.

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 9 – God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

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God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are You.

turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.   ~   Esther 4: 14, 30

 

          Not the easiest of days, yet a Hand is over my heart today, no permission granted to ache or hurt for myself. Today, twice, a commenter has reminded me, Spring is on its way! How beautiful! How especially beautiful on this day of my friends’ soft tears and trembling smiles. Today, I tread carefully among the wounded, touching sorrowing hearts, willing them to believe that spring is coming even as it seems winter won’t let go, in the hiddenness of my own heart, praying,

God of Abraham,

God of Isaac,

God of Jacob,

turn our mourning into gladness,

and our sorrows into joy,

Blessed be God,

Blessed be God,

Blessed be God.