PRAYING FOR OTHERS

Lent 10 ~ To the Heart of God

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That prayer is most likely to pierce heaven which first pierces one’s own heart.   ~   Thomas Watson

          Early this morning, someone visited me in a profound dream. A sports superstar, one of the greats in his field. He lives on the other side of the world. His world and mine have never intersected and never will.

          And yet in the purple darkness of a day just coming to life, it appears that he came to me in a pleading.

          When dreams are dramatic yet leave no lasting mark on my soul, it is the sign to me that they mean nothing. But this one today, in the darkest hour before dawn, pierced my heart with its sadness and regret. A man in an invisible prison, held behind bars no one could see, asking for the impossible.

          Many are the struggles of this human race, yet, the most public of them are seldom the hardest. Often, the crosses that bite the deepest constitute the most hidden of struggles. A man like this star, for whom money could buy almost anything, could certainly avail himself of any form of luxury or aid. But when success places one on the pedestal of worship and adulation, it can be hard to ask for help. It can be harder to even convince others that help is needed.

          In a dream many years ago, I saw a white map of the world, suspended in the bluest skies above an old European city of whitewashed buildings and clean but deserted streets. In that dream, I was warned of a coming nameless terror. Later, St. Jude indicated to me that it was time to “leave my church” and to go to another of need. Pray for others, St. Jude had said to me. Then, today, comes this searing dream, this voiceless plea from a man who has seemingly everything, a man in a European country, a world away.

          A dream come today perhaps to ask if I would pray for others as others have prayed for me. But more importantly I suspect, to first acknowledge my own sins and come clean before God, and then to pray for this man, icon of the world, yet as broken as any of us.

          All the more I turn away – because to pray for this soul, I will have to pass through the portal of my own weaknesses. There is no pleasure in that. But at the very moment I make ready to flee, I recall something I read just the day before: that before any form of prayer is prayed, we need to first squarely face ourselves. No hiding behind excuses or distractions but to come clean to ourselves. If we can be honest with ourselves, only then can we open our own hearts to God. Only then can we reach out and give help where it is needed, exactly as it is needed.

          And so I turn back to face myself. Then, I gather up my sins and go before the Heart of God. I reach into this Great Heart and leave them there. Finally, I lift up this man and into this same Heart, I place him and his needs as I have perceived them.

          Still praying, a while later I realise that only the memory of the dream remains. The sadness is no more, not a trace.

          It tells me that my work is done. We have both gone to the Heart of God.

When All Is Gone

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          When all is gone, not everything is lost, although it may seem that way. I continue to learn this truth in each one of my own journeys, from the swell of pain to the light of seeing. In many of my deepest struggles, it took me many, many years to find my treasure in the ash heap of loss. It was never hidden from me. But my hurt, my bitterness and lack of faith clouded my sight and blighted my seeking. I searched for hope and truth, but being guided by my sin~mottled will, I never saw my treasure.

          Even in the greatest loss, some things will remain, waiting for our spirits to recognize them. If we care to place our pain and weeps in the Holy Wounds of Christ, and persevere in searching among the ashes of brokenness, we will find that treasure that has withstood the lash of storms and the sear of flames. We will find that on which our eyes should remain.

          From yesterday, I am sensing the word Persevere being written on my heart. It comes and goes fleetingly, like a fairy’s feather light touch. But it comes and goes very often. So, I am going into the mountains to pray for those whose hearts risk a deadly hardening from one too many storms and flames. I hear the call to persevere for my brethren. To pray for those who cannot pray for themselves. To pray for those who continue to cling to the Cross despite the lash of dissenting winds.

          I hear the call to pray them all to their treasure in the midst of loss.

          Seek and ye shall find ~ Matthew 7:7. Christ’s promise is a promise never broken.

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CONSOLE ME

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          A fat jasmine bush lives contentedly by our window, and this crisp blue morning, it was laden with pure white pearls. Tendrils of its perfume circled me playfully in gentle invitation. I thought I read the floral note right, but as I proceeded to fill a bowl with the pert white blooms, two words ribboned by softly,

Console Me

          I paused for a second. The First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary prayer of reparation had been recited in the morning, but I had wished then that I could have offered Mother more, given Her something from my heart.

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Console Me

          The bush and its cream jewels waited expectantly. Only then, did I understand the invitation I had sensed.

          And so I tried. With every wee flower I picked, I made a small prayer offering to the Immaculate Heart.

For lost souls,

For grieving mothers, grieving fathers,

Those left behind after crashes, accidents, left to weep and mourn,

For Parkinson’s sufferers, Dementia, Alzheimers,

For old people, loneliness, sadness, fear,

Breast cancer sufferers, all cancer sufferers,

For Eva,

Susan

Sick children,

Worried parents…..

          With every cream white that went to its repose in my bowl, a small quicksilver prayer was sent to the Mother of Angels. The wildgreen bush had bequeathed its prayer pearls for her Queen this day, but in peaceful anticipation, are many more prayer buds to crown the Queen in Blue, in days to come.

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