Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lost Prayers #3

Acts of Homage to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Part 1: Prayer

Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist, sweet companion in our exile, I adore Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee.
Heart solitary, Heart humiliated, I adore Thee.
Heart abandoned, Heart forgotten, I adore Thee.
Heart despised, Heart outraged, I adore Thee.
Heart ignored by men, I adore Thee.
Heart, lover of our hearts, I adore Thee.
Heart desirous of being loved, I adore Thee.
Heart patient in waiting for us, I adore Thee.
Heart eager to hear us, I adore Thee.
Heart longing to be prayed to, I adore Thee.
Heart source of new graces, I adore Thee.
Heart, wrapped in silence, desiring to speak to souls, I adore Thee.
Heart, the sweet refuge of the hidden life, I adore Thee.
Heart, the teacher of the secrets of union with God, I adore Thee.
Heart of Him who sleeps, yet ever watches, I adore Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, have pity on us.
Jesus victim, I desire to console Thee.
I unite myself to Thee, and sacrifice myself with Thee.
I annihilate myself in Thy presence.
I would forget myself to be mindful of Thee.
I would be forgotten and despised for love of Thee.
And be neither understood nor loved, unless by Thee.
I will silence myself to listen to Thee; I will abandon myself to lose myself in Thee.
Grant that I may thus appease Thy thirst, the thirst for my sanctification and salvation, and that being purified I may bestow on Thee a pure and true love.
I would no longer weary Thy patience; take possession of me; I give myself to Thee.
I offer Thee all my actions, my intellect to be illuminated by Thee, my heart to be guided by Thee, my will to be made strong, my soul and body to be nourished, my misery to be lightened.
Eucharistic Heart of my Jesus, whose blood is the life of my soul, may it be no longer I that live, but do Thou alone live in me. Amen.

(This prayer comes from the 1910 edition of the Raccolta.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Colossians 1:3 – Praying

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ continually for you praying...

Praying... Paul and Timothy combine their thanksgiving with praying. We all know that prayer is central to Scripture and to our Christian life, but how often do we stop to think about the meaning of prayer? For most of us, probably not often at all.

The Greek word for “praying” here is proseuchomenoi, which is a present tense participle that modifies the subject “we,” indicating Paul and Timothy are the ones praying. The participle comes from the verb proseuchomai, which contains two parts: pros meaning towards or exchange and euchomai meaning wish or pray.

Based on this definition, praying involves two movements, wishing/praying towards and exchanging wishes/prayers. The first of these is fairly obvious. When we pray, we direct our wishes toward God. We tell Him about our needs and desires (and about everything else, too, for God wants us to talk to Him in this intimate way), and this is very good when we behave like trusting children, placing ourselves and our lives in God's hands.

But there's also a second element. When we pray, we exchange wishes with God, and this is perhaps even more important than merely asking God for something. When we pray in this “exchanging wishes” sort of way, we learn to let go of our own views, our own desires, our own needs and accept God's will instead. We realize that God sometimes says “no” to our prayers and that He does it for our own good because He sees infinitely further than we do and knows what is truly in our best interests. We begin to discover that prayer is more about relationship than anything else, that it's more about getting Someone than something. In prayer, we open our hearts to God that we may know Him better and love Him more.

Prayer, then, should change us. As we encounter God more and more deeply, our ideas, our attitudes, our desires, and our actions should all change. We should become more and more like God the more we pray, the more we exchange wishes with Him, the more we learn that prayer is not so much about what we want as about what our loving Father wants for us.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Colossians 1:3 – Giving Thanks

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ continually for you...

Paul assures the Colossians that he and Timothy give thanks to God for them always, but there is more here than the apostle simply saying, “Hey, God, thanks so much for these great people!”

The Greek verb for “give thanks” is eucharisteō. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? The verb is comprised of the prefix eu, meaning “good,” and a variant of the noun charis, “grace.” When we give thanks, we are gratefully acknowledging the good grace that God has showered down upon us.

And the Eucharist is as good a grace as we can possibly receive, for in the Eucharist Jesus gives Himself to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. He enters into our very bodies and allows us to share in His divine life.

Paul's choice of this verb, eucharisteō, hints that he doesn't merely thank God for the Colossians in a general way. Instead, it suggests that Paul and Timothy offer the Eucharist for their fellow Christians, much like we do today. When we offer Mass for someone, living or dead, we hold that person before God in a special way and ask for an abundant outpouring of His grace, the great grace of the Mass, to envelope him or her and to heal him or her spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally, whatever is needed.

Like Paul, then, we should frequently offer Mass for our loved ones. We can do this by stopping in at our parish office and requesting Masses (there will usually be a small donation requested). We can also request Masses from organizations like the Seraphic Mass Association, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, the Society of the Little Flower, or the Salesian Missions. At the very least, we can lift up our loved ones to God when we participate in the Mass, holding them closely in our hearts and asking our Lord for graces for them.

Then we will be like Paul and Timothy, who continually gave thanks, eucharisteō, for those they loved and served.

(Greek definitions come from Biblehub.com, especially HELPS Word Studies.)