Saturday, January 29, 2011

Confession and Prayer

I confess to Almighty God..... that I have sinned through my own fault.... in my words....

This is part of the liturgical confession. A couple of days ago I was inside at a line of a fast-food establishment for a carry-out order (my reason will be explained in my confession). It was lunch time and the line moved slowly because only one register was open. Those in front of me were a group of senior citizens who did not have the "gift" of ordering quickly (or, seemingly, even understanding what the options were) – not conducive for my patience. My "irritation button"was getting primed.

When I was (finally!) able to place my order, it was for me, my son and two grandchildren. The bags were being filled with my order before my eyes, and as the employee presented it I noticed that one sandwich had been omitted. I called her attention to this as the manager happened to walk up and added, "I came inside for my carry-out order because you guys always leave something out." Nothing like a barbed, poor-me quip to release my impatient frustrations....

Except it didn't relieve anything; the manager's response made it clear that my words had wounded. I left feeling awful because I had not exhibited those fruits of the Spirit called patience and kindness. What a paltry thing to cause disgruntlement.... How easily we (I) lapse into a selfish spirit. I so badly need to be saved – totally converted, so that I am like Jesus. Salvation begun is not salvation accomplished until we are transformed to be like our Lord.

And so I say yet again, I confess to Almighty God..... that I have sinned through my own fault.... in my words....

My ongoing prayer is, "Father, make me holy," and so, pray for me to the Lord our God.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Conversion of St Paul

Today the Church honors St Paul. Fr Dwight Longenecker posted this prayer on his blog and it's worthy of wide distribution:

Prayer for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

O Lord, before it is too late I pray for true conversion of heart. If need be, knock me off my high horse with a true vision of your glory. Blind me so that I may see. Show me how useless are all my worldly contacts, lofty education and wealth are if all they have done is make me self righteous, proud and arrogant. Teach me true wisdom and draw me ever closer to a life of faith, hope and love, but most of all love. AMEN

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prayer - from the Liturgy

Christ prays for us: he is our priest;
he prays in us: he is our head;
we pray to him: he is our God.
Let us be ever aware, then, of our prayer in him, and his prayer in us.

Lord, extolled in the heights by angelic powers, you are also praised by all earth's creatures, each in its own way. With all the splendor of heavenly worship, you still delight in such tokens of love as earth can offer. May heaven and earth together acclaim you as King; may the praise that is sung in heaven resound in the heart of every creature on earth.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Battles

Today the Church remembers St. Vincent, a deacon martyred for his faith under the Diocletian persecution. St. Augustine reflected on Vincent in one of his sermons and included the following:

Against Christ's army the world arrays a twofold battleline. It offers temptation to lead us astray; it strikes terror into us to break our spirit. Hence if our personal pleasures do not hold us captive, and if we are not frightened by brutality, then the world is overcome. At both of these approaches Christ rushes to our aid, and the Christian is not conquered.

Call to mind how Christ our Lord in the Gospel exhorted his disciples. It is the very king of martyrs equipping his troops with spiritual arms, explaining their battles, offering them support, and promising them their reward. He once said to his disciples: In this world you will suffer persecution, and then, to allay their fears, he added, but rest assured, I have conquered the world.

It has been said that if a Christian is not being persecuted, he should be careful that he is not being seduced.

Our Lord conquered by dying. May He give us the grace to die – literally if need be, and surely to die daily to all that is not like Him.

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