Sunday, August 8, 2010

Favorite Prayers

How sweet of Patty to include me in a recent post on her Favorite Catholic Prayers.  These were the rules.  What a great opportunity to think about my favorites prayers.

As I think about the role prayer has played in my life over the last few years, I am reminded of a conversation I heard between an aspiring medical student and a woman physician Christian she admired.

The student asked,
"where is the best place for a Christian woman to be in medical school?" 
(meaning to ask what schools would be best suited for her). 

The experienced Christian physician understood the question, but replied wisely,
"In prayer. On her knees."

This has certainly been true for me about medical school.  I guess you could make the same statement about motherhood.  So you can imagine how valuable the time in prayer is for me everyday.  Here are a few of my favorites: 

Prayer One:

~Saint Francis of Assisi:
Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

This prayer has always been precious to be because of the way it helps me stop focusing on myself and instead focus on the needs and struggles of others.  I need these reminders daily, because in trying to love my neighbor as I should, I am struggling against a lot of personal selfishness.  


Prayer Two:

Somedays, this feels like our life.

"Let Nothing Disturb You"
~Saint Theresa of Avila
Let nothing disturb you.  Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass.  
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.  Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
God has no body now on earth but yours;
no hands but yours; no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.

There have been many days in my life when waves of uncertainty and trial seemed too overwhelming to endure.  Saint Theresa's prayer (herself a woman who endured great uncertainty and trials) is powerful because it reminds me that the trials of this world are nothing compared to the greatness of God.  When I remember that I lack nothing in God, I am able to live a life of hope rather than a life of fear and despair. There is so much good work to be done in the world for Jesus, if we only life in hope rather than in despair.

Prayer Three:

The view of the hill from our honeymoon hotel room.  Not all crosses look so beautiful.

"Your Cross"
~Saint John of the Cross
The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity 
the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost Heart.  
This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,
 understood with His Divine mind, tested with His wise justice,
 warmed with loving arms, and weighed with His own hands 
to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.
  He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His grace,
 perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage,
 and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you,
 a gift of the all-merciful love of God.  

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I have days when this prayer almost makes me laugh.  What?!  This IMPOSSIBLE frustration, this AGONIZING situation, this PERTURBING thing --- this is a GIFT?!  A special GREETING from heaven?!  Seriously?!  I find, though, that the truth of the prayer wins out in my heart after a few moments.  The reminder that God will not give me more than I can handle, will give me enough grace for every moment if I look to Him, is just what I need to hear some days.  So next time you feel overwhelmed with a cross to carry in your day (if you are like me, that will surely happen sometime within the next 2 minutes), think of God sending it Fed Ex, special delivery. 


Alright, now to finish off the rules of the meme, here are a few bloggers who you might enjoy hearing from as well....

Building Cathedrals: my seven Princeton girlfriends writing on life and motherhood.

Just Me at Peace Out Blogger.  I always love her comments.

Happy Sunday!


Just ME said...

How sweet! I feel like such a cool kid! I am so blessed to have connected with someone so great!

Patty said...

These are beautiful prayers! I just love hearing what others are praying. Thanks for sharing the prayers and the other bloggers!