Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Let Me Be Merciful

I have discovered the joy of praying written prayers. It forces me to not rely on myself, my own intellect my own desires or imaginations. After 30 years of spontaneous prayer, it was a little hard initially to get use to praying as I read the words from someone else's devotional life. I found though these prayers from this saint too irresistible to be kept for her alone. I need to humble myself and admit; I need my heart to echo the word's of this believer. May God give us all the mercy that Saint Faustina prayed for.

I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.

Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Saint Faustina, Pray for us to have a heart for God and others as you did. You are with Him now, close to His heart of mercy. Pray for this grace for me . Thank you Saint Faustina for your prayers for me today.


Blogger Adoro Te Devote said...

Interesting perspective. As a cradle Catholic, I grew up on existing prayers, and they remain a huge part of my devotional life. Most Catholics can also pray via conversation with Jesus (I do all the time), but I have no gift with spontaneous prayer--in public, that is. In fact, I am simply not a prayer leader.

Well, I'm starting to teach RCIA this year and this last Wed. I had to give the scripture reflection, which also meant I was prayer leader. I agonized all day praying for inspiration from the Holy Spirit so I wouldn't sound like a bunbling fool. I'm trying to glorify God here!

I actually went to the Adoration Chapel and prayed to Jesus to teach me how to pray, those exact words, after acknowledging my weakness and need for his grace in that regard.

I was prompted to pick up the Gospel reading for that day, which I had not yet read. I had not attended Mass that day and in fact, the class time was the same time as Mass, so I'd miss the evening Daily Mass.

I picked up my Magnificat and the Gospel reading was Luke 11: 1-4 --where Jesus taught the Apostles the Our Father.

I was stunned. I dont' think Jesus could have been more direct!

Well, I lead prayer via the reading of that story, the Gospel, and asked them to stand for the Our Father. I passed out sheets ahead of time with the prayer on it, wondering why as most of the students are Christians of varying backgrounds or even Catholics who were simply never Confirmed.

Well, after I had given my reflection which was prepared with regard to this coming Sunday's Gospel, I sat down and a girl in front of me turned around and asked for one of the printouts of the Lord's Prayer.

Apparently it's one she didn't know...and I had taken it for granted that EVERYONE knows this prayer.

It's a good reminder on several fronts...not only that we can't take what we consider to be basic knowledge for granted, but also that Jesus himself was not advocating spontaneous prayer...he stated himself that all that was needed to was to state a certain prayer and the Father would know what we meant.

I got that lesson in a direct way this week and I think that we ALL need to remember that spontaneous prayer is neither a sign of guaranteed salvation, nor is it a sign of piety. It is a special gift, definitely (Obviously St. Faustina had that gift), but all we really need to do is pray as Jesus taught us, in all humility...and He will do the rest.

(Sorry so long)

October 13, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks so much for your comment!
I too this week was very impressed with Jesus' prayer He gave to us. Boy it sounds like He sure answered your prayers.
An interesting phenomenon that can occur with spontaneous public prayer is that the person praying becomes acutely aware of the content and style of their praying in front of others and they end up praying for the benefit of the listeners here on earth and not necessarily for the ears of our Father in heaven. I have been guilty of that more than once and now I see the beauty and benefit of praying written prayers. Because I can't inject my pride, loquaciousness, or own agenda into the prayer! A classic example of this is when the person leading the prayer begins to address God in the original King James English!
It may have once been appropriate in the 1600's but thee's and thou's are not the vernacular anymore. Yes , I too was guilty of this sayeth the Tiber Jumper!
So I guess the bottom line is as Jesus taught, is the heart of the person praying, when he showed us in his parable of the lofty pharisee vs. the wretched publican's humble style of praying.
Thanks again, for reading my blog and posting your comment. I will pray for your RCIA group .

October 14, 2006 8:08 AM  

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