Category Archives: Prayer/Prayer Requests

Spiritually Pregnant!

If you are observant, you might have seen a tiny change to my site today.

Lilypie Maternity tickers

I got an e-mail this morning letting me know that I’m expecting! ๐Ÿ™‚ Spiritually, that is. I have adopted a baby that may be in danger of being aborted (or some other disaster), so I will be praying during these next 9 months for the life and safe delivery of this baby.

Since today I found out about the baby and will begin praying, I’m counting this as my date of conception. I looked up when my due date would be, and that is December 31, 2014. What a perfect day! A New Year’s Eve baby! Just in time for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!

Please support me during my “pregnancy” and help me pray for my little one. I’ll keep you updated on how we’re doing!

ABCs of Talking to God

Perhaps you will enjoy lots of little posts throughout the day, instead of one big post with a thousand different topics? ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyways…

I am trying to be more intentional and more thoughtful about my prayer life and the various spiritual reading that I do. My tendency is to skim through things just to get them done, rather than to ponder them for the spiritual riches they may contain. Then, when I do find something worthwhile, I seldom take the time to write it down, and I eventually forget about it, so all that benefit? Gone.

I received this article, How to Talk to God, as a link in my e-mail yesterday. Her ABCs are to (A) Focus on God, (B) Listen Carefully, and (C) Respond Thoughtfully.

Distractions seem to be my way of life. And then I get distracted from my distraction and everything snowballs until it’s several hours later and I haven’t accomplished a single thing. Frustrating. Sometimes my prayer time is like that too. I know that it’s difficult for me to sit still. It’s physically painful, as well as out-of-the-norm for me. So, I bring things for me to do: rosary, Bible, spiritual reading, lists of people to pray for… But then, I end up going from thing to thing and don’t get solid time to be quiet before the Lord. Granted, it’s still good to spend time in the presence of the Lord, even if you are just — as Father puts it — balancing your checkbook. But so much better if you are actively working on growing in intimacy with Jesus.

Then the listening part. Truly, if you know of a really good way to learn how to listen… I’m… listening? Most of what I’ve heard is to Just. Do. It. Sit before the Lord and be quiet. And eventually good listening skills will come. I am still waiting. Fidgety. May the Blessed Mother help me.

God invites, God gives grace, and then we are to respond. Like, to actually *DO* what He says, not merely to agree that X is a good idea.

Where will *you* seek out God?
Adoration at Vigil
Adoration at Vigil, World Youth Day, Sydney, 2008

Pope Francis’s Grandmother’s Creed

This was written to Pope Francis in honor of his ordination by his grandmother. It is very beautiful and worthy of some reflection, perhaps particularly during a moment of silence before the tabernacle as we prepare ourselves for Lent, which is not too far away.

May these, my grandchildren, to whom I gave the best my heart has to offer, lead long and happy lives, but if one day hardship, illness, or the loss of a loved one should fill them with grief, may they remember that one sigh directed to the tabernacle, home to the greatest and most august martyr, and a glance toward Mary at the foot of the cross, may cause a soothing drop to fall on the deepest and most painful of wounds.
— Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words

St. Ralph

Since I have a moment of free time, I’m browsing through some old e-mails and come across one with a question.

The situation is that I was hanging around outside the sacristy after Mass waiting for a friend of mine and overheard him (he’s a priest) speaking with a parishioner. I don’t pay attention really to these things, but it was quiet and I happened to hear the guy ask about prayers for an eye problems and mentioned St. Anthony.

My friend corrected him to St. Lucy, who is the patron saint of eye conditions.

Okay. But then I got to thinking… (Dangerous, right?)

I know nothing about horticulture, but I’d be happy to pray for the success of your garden.

Why NOT Anthony? I mean, sure, Lucy, but why exclude the guy? He might want different requests from time to time, you never know.

So, really, what we want to do is… have it as a Mass intention. That way all of the angels and saints will be interceding for your intention, no?

Just think of poor Ralph… sitting in heaven, no one asking him to intercede on their behalf. I bet Ralph goes over to Lucy and Anthony and helps with their lists.

That’s what I’d do… ๐Ÿ™‚

So… Now, I’m wondering…

*Is* there a St. Ralph?

Why, yes! There is! Check him out! ๐Ÿ™‚

And… just in case you were wondering… my friend told me that he’s sure that Ralph gets plenty of requests. ๐Ÿ˜‰

An Encounter with the Living Christ

This fall, my parish — Our Lady of Good Counsel — is going to be focusing our efforts on facilitating encounters with Jesus. This will mainly be done by via the Alpha program (of which I know just about nothing… yet…).

DSCN2352
Jesus is right here in the tabernacle.

What made me think about this this morning was a podcast I was listening to by Fr. John. No. Not our Fr. John, but Fr. John Nepil of “Catholic Stuff You Should Know.” His podcasts are hilarious and very informative. ๐Ÿ™‚

His latest podcast is called “Theology of Mountaineering” and in it he and Deacon Nathan talk about a recent pilgrimage they made where they were away from technology. I think one of the great things about this podcast was that they noted that while surrounding yourself with beautiful places, great people and removing distractions may be helpful to dispose yourself to having an encounter with Jesus, they don’t guarantee that you will have an encounter.

So, don’t get discouraged if you “do everything right” and still feel that the personal connection you were seeking “didn’t happen”. No time spent in prayer is wasted. Even if you don’t “feel” anything. And faithfulness and perseverance in prayer is important.

God’s Affection

It’s one of those things which happens right on the edge of sleep, when you are most vulnerable. For me, this is probably when I am most accessible to God. When I am least likely to discount an experience as something coming purely from my imagination.

And also why I am writing this as soon as I awake from my nap, so as not to lose it to the “greater wisdom” of the day.

After Catechism, I came home and had dinner while watching part of a movie. When it was over, I went into my prayer room and sat in my comfy chair for a bit. I was thinking a bit of the movie, about these two people who loved each other so much that each was willing to give everything for the other. And I started to think about the relationships in my life and in the lives of those of my friends.

I became acutely aware of the fact that I am single. There is no one who loves me “best”. I am not first in anyone’s life. Sure, I am loved by friends, and I have some close friends, but I am no one’s #1. They have spouses or others who hold that position in their hearts. I wonder if I have ever really been first for anyone? If I have, it has not been for long.

I begin to really weep. For me, but not only for me. Also, for all the other people in the world who are not first in anyone’s heart. Isn’t that our deepest desire? To be fiercely loved?

I think of God. He is supposed to love us all with this fierceness, right? Right?

But then again, Jesus loved John in a way in which He did not love the other disciples, yes? Aren’t we told of some primacy in His affection for John, the beloved disciple?

I think of how I am lonely here, in my singleness. I have no one here who puts me first. I think of what Heaven might be like. And I weep. For if Jesus can have greater love for one of his disciples, what are the chances of Him loving *me* like that? I mean, sure, God loves us all in the sense that He wants what is best for us, but what about this fierce love that we crave so much?

Will I not be First for You, Lord?

And as I weep, I ask Him to explain it to me. To tell me what love is. To let me know how His love for me works. Not the mechanics of it, but how He can love each of us, so that no one is left in Heaven, standing on the sidelines, looking at how He loves others just a little more….

How did the other disciples feel, seeing Him love John as He did? What about Bartholomew? What do their relationships look like now, when they are all with Him in Heaven?

And so, while crying myself to sleep, I continue to ask Him to explain this all to me.

I wake up, a few hours later. I am no longer sad, but my question resonates in my mind:

Will I not be First for You, Lord?

Then, He flips the question back on me:

Will I not be First for you?

And I understand this as His cry to each one of us. He wants to be First in each of our affections. But for the vast majority of us, this is not the case. At least, not for long.

And I see an image of each of us weeping, He and I, our heads down and an arm outstretched towards the other, desperately seeking the heart of the other. But, as yet, separate.

And as I sit here, recounting this experience — one which I know will be all too easy to discount in the light of day, but one which I also know is one which is *not* to be discounted — I think about the nature of that love which we so desire. What kind of love is it that we want? What is it that I am looking for in my life?

I want that one person who will put me first above all others. Well, that’s not completely accurate, is it? Is it? It’s not really that I want to be loved *more* or that I want anyone else to be loved *less*…

I just want to be loved completely. To be grabbed and held on to. For someone to love me so much, that they would give everything, just for me. That they would die, just for me.

Well now. That kind of sounds familiar.

Prayer for the Election of a New Pope

papal flag close

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the Good Shepherd,
And you never leave your flock untended.

You gave your life that we may live,
And you appoint shepherds after your own heart
To lead your people by word and example
To likewise give themselves away in love.

We thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI,
And for his service to the Church and the world.
We ask that you now give him a fruitful period
Of rest and prayer, of gratitude and praise.

We ask you, Lord Jesus, with the Father,
To send the Holy Spirit on the Church once again.

In particular, guide the Cardinals who will shortly exercise
The obligation and privilege of electing a new Pope.
Guide their deliberations and decisions
With divine wisdom and insight.

Even now, Lord Jesus, give to the new Pope,
Whom you have already chosen,
An abundance of holiness and strength,
To carry out the mission you have entrusted to him.

May your Word reign supreme in his life,
And may his every word and action point the Church to You,
The supreme and eternal Shepherd,
And the only mediator between God and humanity,
For you live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

[From OLGC Parish Bulletin 2/24/13]

Prayer for Forgiveness

Jesus Over the Earth

My Savior, by Your painful death,
You purchased by unworthy soul,
Deliver me from all my sins,
Teach me kindness and self-control.

Fill me with love beyond compare,
The kind of love You bore for me,
That all I do and all I say
May reflect Your sovereignty.

Be with me, everyday, my Lord,
Protect me from each harmful way,
Touch my body, mind, and spirit,
And never let me slip away.

Amen!

Novena to the Thirteen Blessed Souls

A friend asked me to pray this novena for her for the next 13 days. The 13 blessed souls are Jesus and the 12 apostles (I’m assuming Matthew and not Judas for the 12th apostle).

If you’d also like to pray this novena with me, here it is!

(Please Note – The repeat of the first line is not a mistake it is supposed to be read twice.)

Oh my thirteen Blessed souls so wise and understanding, I ask you for the Love of God that my request be answered. Oh my thirteen Blessed souls so wise and understanding, I ask you for the Love of God that my request be answered. Of you I ask for the sake of the blood that Jesus shed that my request be answered.

My Lord Jesus Christ that your protection wrap me with your arms. Guard me with your eyes.

O God of kindness you have been my defender in life and death. I ask that you free me from the difficulties that torment me. My thirteen blessed souls so wise and understanding having received the grace I seek from you [state request] I will be devoted to you.

Say 13 Our Fathers and 13 Hail Marys for 13 consecutive days and offer a Mass of Thanksgiving.

Sacred Space

A friend sent me a link to Sacred Space, a prayer site run by Irish Jesuits. On a whim during my lunch today, I popped on and starting praying with their prayers, reflections, and Scripture for today.

The Scripture was the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. After reading the passage, they ask you to reflect upon how this Scripture made you feel.

In the beginning, they describe the people as being like sheep without a shepherd. This made me think of myself as a sheep, and how I would feel if I were without my shepherd. And I became sad. I need my shepherds. I would be lost without them.

Then, they spoke of how all the sheep were gathered up and held within the communion symbolized by the loaves and fishes, and I saw in this the analogy of the Mass. It made me reflect upon the profound connection that there is between our priests and the Mass. And upon how much I need both.

I need this sacramental life like I need air to breathe. And I can’t imagine my life now without it.

Thanks be to God.