Prayer to Start Your Day

O Master and holy God, who are beyond our understanding: at Your word, light came forth out of darkness. In Your mercy, You gave us rest through night-long sleep, and raised us up to glorify Your goodness and to offer our supplication to You. Now, in Your own tender love, accept us who adore You and give thanks to You with all our heart. Grant us all our requests, if they lead to salvation; give us the grace of manifesting that we are children of light and day, and heirs to Your eternal reward. In the abundance of Your mercies, O Lord, remember all Your people; all those present who pray with us; all our brethren on land, at sea, or in the air, in every place of Your domain, who call upon Your love for mankind. Upon all, pour down your great mercy, that we, saved in body and in soul, may persevere unfailingly; and that, in our confidence, we may extol Your exalted and blessed Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, always, now and forever. Amen.

“Here I Am” by Downhere

Sometimes Your calling comes in dream
Sometimes it comes in the Spirit’s breeze
You reach for the deepest hope in me
And call out for the things of eternity

But I’m a man of dust and stains
You’re moving me, so I can say:

“Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life I make an offering
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan
Here I am”

Set backs and failures, and upset plans
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands
Are You not the closest when it’s hardest to stand?
I know that You will finish what You began

And these broken parts You redeemed
Become the song that I can sing:

“Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life I make an offering
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of your plan
Here I am!

Overwhelmed by the thought of my weakness
And the fear that I’ll fail You in the end
Oh, in this mess I’m just one of the pieces
I can’t put this together, but You can…

…So here I am, Lord send me
I wanna live my life as an offering
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is part of Your plan
So here I am

Here I am, all my life an offering to You,
To You,
Somehow my story is a part of your plan
Here I am

Spiritual Occupying

?????????????????“No one who has stood for high values — love, truth, justice — has died being able to declare victory, once for all. If we embrace values like those, we need to stand in the gap for the long haul, and be prepared to die without having achieved our goals.” – Parker J. Palmer

It is true we are fighting the battles for a war that is already won.  “It is finished,” though uttered by Jesus from the cross, was  declared in action through the resurrection three days later.

But the battle still wages.

Paul told us we are called to wage war,[1] armed with “weapons for our warfare”[2], to live life as an occupying force[3]

This is a concept of which I am familiar — life in a war zone as a member of an occupying force.  The mission remains center, the weapons remain at the low-ready, and the soldier remains vigilant – mindful of the fact conflict could break out at any time, and the soldier must be ready to do what needs to be done.

This concept is lost on many Christians today.  Not only have we become lazy soldiers, and not only do we not have our weapons ready and employed, but we are actually becoming comfortable in the culture in which we were sent to occupy and recon.

“When in Rome…” right?

In fact, not only have we forgotten our mission, our calling, and our marching orders, but we have begun to experiment and play with the weapons of our enemies.

I had never thought about it in that light until recently.  Paul tells us that the weapons for our warfare are not carnal[4] – do we realize he is saying the weapons of the other side *are* carnal?

I had to go King James on you for the world “carnal” – other translations use “of the world,”[5]  “worldly,”[6]  “of the flesh,”[7] “worldly.”[8]  Those other translations appear speak more to the idea of carnal meaning  “made by humans,”[9] or being of earthly origin, but the King James may be closer to Paul’s original idea.  The word it translates as “carnal” is what we used to use when we talked about being a “carnal” Christian – a Christian who acts like the world.  They may have “saving faith”, but in every other way they look just like the world – their values, their actions, their words, their attitudes.  “Carnal Christian.”

You don’t hear that phrase a lot anymore, do you?

What has convicted me when thinking of Paul’s call and his insistence that we use weapons that are not “carnal” is that the “carnal weapons” he talks about are actually the weapons of the enemy – sin.  Temptations point the way to the arsenal of carnal weapons – lusts, bad attitudes and motives, hatred, illicit passions – all birthed from the biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction known to mankind — selfishness.

So when I give into sin, I am not only sinning – but I am playing with satan’s weapons.

Maybe a bit of an obvious point — we know temptations and sins come from satan, so yeah — a bit of a no-brainer.  But would we be as quick to give into temptation if we knew the very sins we “play with” are actually deadly weapons?  The weapons being used to destroy the world around us?  The very weapons Jesus died to destroy and disarm?

And those carnal weapons?  When we employ them, we actually use them against ourselves.

We are fighting the enemy’s battle for him — our lives become characterized by the very things Jesus came to defeat.  He came to undo the work of satan[10] — we begin to perfect satan’s work in our lives.

Our values and our works have to remain rooted in love, truth, justice.  If we have an action in our life, or a motive, or a word that does not reflect those three, we need to consider the source.  And while we may never see the reign of love, truth, and justice — they will reign in our lives.  And as battle rages — lives will be touched and saved because we have employed love, truth and justice.

Choose your weapon…

[1] 2 Corinthians 10.3
[2] 2 Corinthians 10.4
[3] 2 Timothy 2.4
[4] 2 Corinthians 10.4 King James Version
[5] New International Version
[6] New Living  Translation
[7] English Standard Version
[8] Holman
[9] God’s Word Translation
[10] 1 John 3.8

Prayer of Padre Pio

ImageStay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. 

Stay with me Lord, because I am weak, and I need Your strength, so that I may not fall so often. 

Stay with me Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor. 

Stay with me Lord, for You are my light, and without you, I am in darkness. 

Stay with me Lord, to show me Your will. 

Stay with me Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. 

Stay with me Lord, for I desire to love you very much, and always be in Your Company. 

Stay with me Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. 

Stay with me Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. 

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late, and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile. 

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. 

Stay with me Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to you, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. 

Stay with me Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your presence, oh yes, I ask this of You. 

Stay with me Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. 

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. 

ImageLord, from You flows true and continual kindness.
You had cast us off and justly so,
but in Your mercy You forgave us.
You were at odds with us,
and You reconciled us.
You had set a curse on us,
and You blessed us.
You had banished us from the garden,
and You called us back again.
You took away the fig leaves that had been an unsuitable garment,
and You clothed us in a cloak of great value.
You flung wide the prison gates,
and You gave the condemned a pardon.
You sprinkled clean water on us,
and You washed away the dirt.

ImageDevout soul, whether you are writing, reading, or teaching or whatever you are doing — may nothing have taste for you, nothing please you, apart from Jesus.  To the little Infant begotten in you spiritually, give the name Jesus, which means:  Savior, amidst the miseries of this life.  May He save you from the vanities of the world which entice you, from the deceits of the devil which surround you, and from the weakness of the flesh which torments you.

Devout soul, amidst the many scourges of this life cry out:

Jesus, Savior of the world, save us
whom you have redeemed by your cross and blood.
Help us, O Lord our God.
Save us, sweet Jesus, our Savior.
Strengthen the weak, comfort those who mourn,
help the frail and give constancy to the faint-hearted.

ImageMost High,
Glorious God,
Enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out Your holy and true command.