These words are from the heart of God … for the heart of God.

Posts tagged “Religion and Spirituality

Prayer for Healing

Lord Jesus Christ, by Your patience in suffering

you hallowed earthly pain

and gave us the example of obedience to your Father’s will:

Be near me in my time of weakness and pain;

sustain me by Your grace,

that my strength and courage may not fail;

heal me according to Your will;

and help me always to believe

that what happens to me here

is of little account if You hold me in eternal life,

my Lord and my God. Amen.

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Prayer for a Good Husband

 

O Jesus, lover of the young, the dearest Friend I have,

in all confidence I open my heart to You

to beg Your light and assistance in the important task of planning my future.

Give me the light of Your grace,

that I may decide wisely concerning the person

who is to be my partner through life.

Dearest Jesus, send me such a one

whom in Your divine wisdom

You judge best suited

to be united with me in marriage.

May his character reflect some of the traits of Your own Sacred Heart.

May he be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble,

so that with united efforts and with pure and unselfish love

we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body,

as well as the family it may please You to entrust to our care.

Bless our friendship before marriage,

that sin may have no part in it.

May our mutual love bind us so closely,

that our future home may ever be most like Your own at Nazareth.

O Mary Immaculate, sweet Mother of the young,

to your special care I entrust the decision I am to make

as to my future husband.

You are my guiding Star!

direct me to the person

with whom I can best cooperate

in doing God‘s Holy Will,

with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life,

and attain eternal joys in the next.

Amen.


Popes: from St Peter to current

This list is compiled from articles in the Original Catholic Encyclopedia and is provided for your benefit.

The list is sortable by name (alpha) and by chronology.

Order Name Years Notes

1 Peter, Apostle, Saint Reigned 33-67

2 Linus, Saint Reigned c.67-76

3 Anacletus, Saint Reigned 76-88 aka Cletus

4 Clement I, Saint Reigned 88-97

5 Evaristus, Saint Reigned c.98- c.106 Aristus in the Liberian Catalogue

6 Alexander I, Saint Reigned c.106-115

7 Sixtus I, Saint Reigned 115-125 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

8 Telesphorus, Saint Reigned 125-136

9 Hyginus, Saint Reigned c.136-140

10 Pius I, Saint Reigned c.140-c.154

11 Anicetus, Saint Reigned c.157-168

12 Soter, Saint Reigned c.166-c.174

13 Eleutherius, Saint Reigned c.175-189

14 Victor I, Saint Reigned 189-c.198

15 Zephyrinus, Saint Reigned 198-217

16 Callistus I Reigned 218-c.222

17 Urban I Reigned 222-230

18 Pontian, Saint Reigned 230-235

19 Anterus, Saint Reigned 235-236 aka Anteros

20 Fabian, Saint Reigned 236-250

21 Cornelius Reigned 251-253

22 Lucius I, Saint Reigned 253-254

23 Stephen I, Saint Reigned 254-257

24 Sixtus II, Saint Reigned 257-258 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

25 Dionysius, Saint Reigned 260-268

26 Felix I, Saint Reigned 269-274

27 Eutychianus, Saint Reigned 275-283

28 Caius, Saint Reigned 283-296

29 Marcellinus, Saint Reigned 296-304

30 Marcellus I, Saint Reigned 308-309

31 Eusebius, Saint Reigned 309 or 310

32 Miltiades, Saint Reigned 311-314

33 Sylvester I, Saint Reigned 314-335

34 Mark, Saint Reigned 336 aka Marcus

35 Julius I, Saint Reigned 337-352

36 Liberius Reigned 352-366

37 Damasus I, Saint Reigned 366-383

38 Siricius, Saint Reigned 384-399

39 Anastasius I, Saint Reigned 399-401

40 Innocent I Reigned 401-417

41 Zosimus, Saint Reigned 417-418

42 Boniface I, Saint Reigned 418-422

43 Celestine I, Saint Reigned 422-432

44 Sixtus III, Saint Reigned 432-440 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

45 Leo I, Saint Reigned 440-461

46 Hilarus, Saint Reigned 461-468

47 Simplicius, Saint Reigned 468-483

48 Felix III (II), Saint Reigned 483-492

49 Gelasius I, Saint Reigned 492-496

50 Anastasius II Reigned 496-498

51 Symmachus, Saint Reigned 498-514

52 Hormisdas, Saint Reigned 514-523

53 John I, Saint Reigned 523-c.526

54 Felix IV (III) Reigned 526-530

55 Boniface II Reigned 530-532

56 John II Reigned 533-535

57 Agapetus I, Saint Reigned 535-536

58 Silverius, Saint Reigned 536-537

59 Vigilius Reigned 537-555

60 Pelagius I Reigned 556-561

61 John III Reigned 561-574

62 Benedict I Reigned 575-579

63 Pelagius II Reigned 579-590

64 Gregory I Saint Reigned 590-604

(the Great),

65 Sabinianus Reigned 604-606

66 Boniface III Reigned 607

67 Boniface IV Reigned 608-615

68 Deusdedit, Saint Reigned 615-618

69 Boniface V Reigned 619-625

70 Honorius I Reigned 625-638

71 Severinus Reigned 640

72 John IV Reigned 640-642

73 Theodore I Reigned 642-649

74 Martin I, Saint Reigned 649-655

75 Eugene I Reigned 655-657

76 Vitalian, Saint Reigned 657-672

77 Adeodatus, Saint Reigned 672-676

78 Donus Reigned 676-678

79 Agatho, Saint Reigned 678-681

80 Leo II, Saint Reigned 682-683

81 Benedict II Reigned 684-685

82 John V Reigned 685-686

83 Conon Reigned 686-687

84 Sergius I, Saint Reigned 687-701

85 John VI Reigned 701-705

86 John VII Reigned 705-707

87 Sisinnius Reigned 708

88 Constantine Reigned 708-715

89 Gregory II, Saint Reigned 715-731

90 Gregory III, Saint Reigned 731-741

91 Zachary, Saint Reigned 741-752

92 Stephen II Elected 752 died before his consecration; excluded from some lists

93 Stephen III (II) Reigned 752-757

94 Paul I Reigned 757-767

95 Stephen IV (III) Reigned 768-772

96 Adrian I Reigned 772-795

97 Leo III, Saint Reigned 795-816

98 Stephen V (IV) Reigned 816-817

99 Paschal I Reigned 817-824

100 Eugene II Reigned 824-827

101 Valentine Reigned 827

102 Gregory IV Reigned 827-844

103 Sergius II Reigned 844-847

104 Leo IV, Saint Reigned 847-855

105 Benedict III Reigned 855-858

106 Nicholas I, Saint Reigned 858-867

107 Adrian II Reigned 867-872

108 John VIII Reigned 872-882

109 Marinus I Reigned 882-884

110 Adrian III, Saint Reigned 884-885

111 Stephen VI (V) Reigned 885-891

112 Formosus Reigned 891-896

113 Boniface VI Reigned 896

114 Stephen VII (VI) Reigned 896-897

115 Romanus Reigned 897

116 Theodore II Reigned 897

117 John IX Reigned 898-900

118 Benedict IV Reigned 900-903

119 Leo V Reigned 903

120 Sergius III Reigned 904-911

121 Anastasius III Reigned 911-913

122 Lando Reigned 913-14

123 John X Reigned 914-928

124 Leo VI Reigned 928

125 Stephen VIII (VII) Reigned 929-931

126 John XI Reigned 931-936

127 Leo VII Reigned 936-939

128 Stephen IX (VIII) Reigned 939-942

129 Marinus II Reigned 942-946

130 Agapetus II Reigned 946-955

131 John XII Reigned 955-964

132 Leo VIII Reigned 964-965

133 Benedict V Reigned 964

134 John XIII Reigned 965-972

135 Benedict VI Reigned 973-974

136 Benedict VII Reigned 974-983

137 John XIV Reigned 983-984

138 John XV (XVI) Reigned 985-996

139 Gregory V Reigned 996-999

140 Sylvester II Reigned 999-1003

141 John XVII (XVIII) Reigned 1003

142 John XVIII (XIX) Reigned 1003-1009

143 Sergius IV Reigned 1009-1012

144 Benedict VIII Reigned 1012-1024

145 John XIX (XX) Reigned 1024-1032

146 Benedict IX Reigned 1032-1044

147 Sylvester III Reigned 1045

148 Benedict IX Reigned 1045

149 Gregory VI Reigned 1045-1046

150 Clement II Reigned 1046-1047

151 Benedict IX Reigned 1047-1048

152 Damasus II Reigned 1048

153 Leo IX, Saint Reigned 1049-1054

154 Victor II Reigned 1055-1057

155 Stephen X (IX) Reigned 1057-1058

156 Nicholas II Reigned 1058-1061

157 Alexander II Reigned 1061-1073

158 Gregory VII, Saint Reigned 1073-1085

159 Victor III, Blessed Reigned 1086-1087

160 Urban II, Blessed Reigned 1088-1099

161 Paschal II Reigned 1099-1118

162 Gelasius II Reigned 1118-1119

163 Callistus II Reigned 1119-1124

164 Honorius II Reigned 1124-1130

165 Innocent II Reigned 1130-1143

166 Celestine II Reigned 1143-1144

167 Lucius II Reigned 1144-1145

168 Eugene III Reigned 1145-1153

169 Anastasius IV Reigned 1153-1154

170 Adrian IV Reigned 1154-1159

171 Alexander III Reigned 1159-1181

172 Lucius III Reigned 1181-1185

173 Urban III Reigned 1185-1187

174 Gregory VIII Reigned 1187

175 Clement III Reigned 1187-1191

176 Celestine III Reigned 1191-1198

177 Innocent III Reigned 1198-1216

178 Honorius III Reigned 1216-1227

179 Gregory IX Reigned 1227-1241

180 Celestine IV Reigned 1241

181 Innocent IV Reigned 1243-1254

182 Alexander IV Reigned 1254-1261

183 Urban IV Reigned 1261-1264

184 Clement IV Reigned 1265-1268

185 Gregory X Reigned 1271-1276

186 Innocent V Reigned 1276

187 Adrian V Reigned July-August 1276

188 John XXI (XX) Reigned 1276-1277

189 Nicholas III Reigned 1277-1280

190 Martin IV Reigned 1281-1285

191 Honorius IV Reigned 1285-1287

192 Nicholas IV Reigned 1288-1292

193 Celestine V, Saint Reigned 1294

194 Boniface VIII Reigned 1294-1303

195 Benedict XI, Blessed Reigned 1303-1304

196 Clement V Reigned 1305-1314

197 John XXII Reigned 1316-1334

198 Benedict XII Reigned 1334-1342

199 Clement VI Reigned 1342-1352

200 Innocent VI Reigned 1352-1362

201 Urban V, Blessed Reigned 1362-1370

202 Gregory XI Reigned 1370-1378

203 Urban VI Reigned 1378-1389

204 Boniface IX Reigned 1389-1404

205 Innocent VII Reigned 1404-1406

206 Gregory XII Reigned 1406-1415

207 Martin V Reigned 1417-1431

208 Eugene IV Reigned 1431-1447

209 Nicholas V Reigned 1447-1455

210 Callistus III Reigned 1455-1458

211 Pius II Reigned 1458-1464

212 Paul II Reigned 1464-1471

213 Sixtus IV Reigned 1471-1484

214 Innocent VIII Reigned 1484-1492

215 Alexander VI Reigned 1492-1503

216 Pius III Reigned 1503

217 Julius II Reigned 1503-1513

218 Leo X Reigned 1513-1521

219 Adrian VI Reigned 1522-1523

220 Clement VII Reigned 1523-1534

221 Paul III Reigned 1534-1549

222 Julius III Reigned 1550-1555

223 Marcellus II Reigned 1555 (22 days)

224 Paul IV Reigned 1555-1559

225 Pius IV Reigned 1559-1565

226 Pius V, Saint Reigned 1566-1572

227 Gregory XIII Reigned 1572-1585

228 Sixtus V Reigned 1585-1590

229 Urban VII Reigned 1590

230 Gregory XIV Reigned 1590-1591

231 Innocent IX Reigned 1591

232 Clement VIII Reigned 1592-1605

233 Leo XI Reigned 1605

234 Paul V Reigned 1605-1621

235 Gregory XV Reigned 1621-1623

236 Urban VIII Reigned 1623-1644

237 Innocent X Reigned 1644-1655

238 Alexander VII Reigned 1655-1667

239 Clement IX Reigned 1667-1669

240 Clement X Reigned 1670-1676

241 Innocent XI Reigned 1676-1689

242 Alexander VIII Reigned 1689-1691

243 Innocent XII Reigned 1691-1700

244 Clement XI Reigned 1700-1721

245 Innocent XIII Reigned 1721-1724

246 Benedict XIII Reigned 1724-1730

247 Clement XII Reigned 1730-1740

248 Benedict XIV Reigned 1740-1758

249 Clement XIII Reigned 1758-1769

250 Clement XIV Reigned 1769-1774

251 Pius VI Reigned 1775-1799

252 Pius VII Reigned 1800-1823

253 Leo XII Reigned 1823-1829

254 Pius VIII Reigned 1829-1830

255 Gregory XVI Reigned 1831-1846

256 Pius IX Reigned 1846-1878

257 Leo XIII Reigned 1878-1903

258 Pius X Reigned 1903-1914

259 Benedict XV Reigned 1914-1922 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

260 Pius XI Reigned 1922-1939 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

261 Pius XII Reigned 1939-1958 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

262 John XXIII, Blessed Reigned 1958-1963 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

263 Paul VI Reigned 1963-1978 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

264 John Paul I Reigned 1978 (33 days) Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

265 John Paul II Reigned 1978-2005 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

266 Benedict XVI Reigned 2005-present Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia


Lumen Christi: A Guide to a Better Life Through Prayer

with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and first commandment.

And the second is like it.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 

Jesus of Nazareth

When you have a serious problem and need fast action, what do you do?

First pray to the Holy Spirit, to Jesus, to Mary or to an admired saint. Ask for the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.

Yes, but what else could you do?

The Epistle of St. James (5:13) states, “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray.”

Verse 16 says, “Pray for one another that you may be healed.” The complete answer is, Pray and ask others, including non-church goers, to pray for your special need.

 

When Our Lord Moves Us to Pray with Another

First, ask the person for permission. “I can see that you are deeply troubled. May I pray with you — right now?” If possible, ask him what is causing him so much pain.

Invite the Holy Spirit to come and to treat this person’s particular need. You might say something like, “Holy Spirit please come and help (name) who is carrying a heavy burden (briefly mention). There is much sadness and pain in his life and he desperately needs your help.”

Ask the person whether he wants the Holy Spirit to come into his life and help them. Tell him that, “God loves you very much and His power can overcome your problems.”

Listen without judging the person and respect their right to privacy. Don’t worry about what to say, but keep your words short and simple as in normal conversation. You may decide to recite the Our Father together.

It is not our words but the action of the Holy Spirit that heals and restores lives. Holding the person’s hand or placing your hand on their shoulder can bring a sense of coming together before God. You can both either stand or kneel, or even sit down. God doesn’t mind.

The most healing thing that we can do is to bring Jesus into the center of their problem. Our primary task is not to give advice or to get rid of their pain — which usually we are unable to do. While being aware of the manipulations and games that people sometimes play, it is more important to be conscious of their burdens and sorrows. And Jesus will love you.

You may decide to end by saying something like this: “Jesus, I know that You will help (name). Lord, we will love and praise You all the days of our life.”

 

Share Lumen Christi

It is no longer possible to bring people to Jesus solely by intellectual argument.

They must see Him in our lives.

Baroness de Hueck

 

The rector of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Scotland told the story of two men who were business partners. The first man regularly attended church while the second professed no religion. They met on a Sunday morning when one was going to church and the other was going to play golf. After a brief “Good morning”, the golfer asked the man on his way to church, “When are you going to give up all this hypocrisy about religion and churchgoing?”

“I don’t understand what you mean,” said the other. “I mean just what I say. When are you going to give up this hypocrisy?” Much offended, his partner answered, “What right have you to call my religion hypocrisy?” “Well,” said the golfer, “we have been partners for twenty years. We’ve met and talked together every day. Yet if what you profess to believe is true, you have never said one word to help me be anything different.”

Don’t let fear of what others may think stop you from sharing your belief in Christ. “If you are ashamed of Me before men, then I will not recognize you before My Father.”

Sharing does not mean you have to stand on the street corner with your Bible, asking people if they are saved. Instead, you should pray to be given the right moment and the right word to tell a person what Christ has done for you. You can invite the person to attend church service with you. Often people are looking for an invitation, but are afraid to ask. Our attitude should be: “I have found something that helps me to live, something that brings joy into my life and I would like to share it with you.”

In reaching out there must always be respect and love for those who do not see as you do. Welcome discussion, be honest and don’t gloss over differences. Always recognize the validity of their search. In prayer ask the Lord to show them the road to follow. Strive to see Christ in all men, including those who have found a spiritual home different from yours.

Today countless people live in spiritual darkness. They have this unmet inner need, this innate drive for something that transcends self. Many are lukewarm Christians. Christ is a stranger to them. Their lives lack the joy and real meaning which only comes from a close personal relationship with Jesus. Although they are often financially secure, there is a deep spiritual poverty. They nourish their body but neglect their spirit. This causes a strange and persistent emptiness, which they can’t explain. The more material things they have and the older they become, the more troubling is their question, “Is this all that there is to my life?” They are left with a disturbing feeling that there must be more. They are like a person trapped in a dark room trying to find the exit.

If you believe that Christ is the Light of the World and that He is the way out of spiritual darkness, then share your faith with others. Encourage them to practice Quiet Time. Then they will experience the joy of having Jesus at the center of their life. The Light of Christ, Lumen Christi, will transform their lives in ways they never dreamed possible.

 

Poet’s Corner

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar as with eagles’ wings,

they shall run and not grow weary,

and they shall walk and not grow faint.

Isaiah 40:31

 

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd;

there is nothing I lack.

In green pastures you let me graze;

to safe waters you lead me;

you restore my strength.

 

You guide me along the right path

for the sake of your name.

 

Even when I walk through a dark valley,

I fear no harm for you are at my side;

your rod and staff give me courage.

 

You set a table before me

as my enemies watch;

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

 

Only goodness and love will pursue me

all the days of my life;

I will dwell in the house of the LORD

for years to come. (New American Bible)

 

Prayer to Avoid Evil and Do Good

O My God,

I give myself to you,

with all my liberty,

all my intellect, heart, and will.

 

O Holy Spirit of God,

take me as your disciple:

guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me.

 

Bind my hands, that I may not do evil,

cover my eyes that I may see it no more,

sanctify my heart that evil may not rest within me.

 

Be my God and my guide.

Wherever you lead me I will go;

whatever you forbid I will renounce,

and whatever you command,

in your strength I will do. (Cardinal Manning)

 

I See His Blood Upon the Rose

I see His Blood upon the rose

And in the stars the glory of His eyes,

His body gleams amid eternal snows,

His tears fall from the skies.

 

I see His face in every flower.

 

The thunder and singing of the birds

Are but His voice – and carven by His power

Rocks are His written words.

 

All pathways by His feet are worn,

His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,

His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,

His cross is every tree. (Joseph M Plunkett)

 

Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord 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

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;

it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

Canticle of Love

(author is Saint Augustine, 4th century Bishop of Hippo)

My love of You, God, is not some vague feeling;

it is positive and certain.

 

Your word struck into my heart

and from that moment I loved You.

 

Besides this, all about me,

heaven and earth and all that they contain

proclaim that I should love You.

 

But what do I love when I love You?

 

Not material beauty of a temporal order;

not the brilliance of earthly light;

not the sweet melody of harmony and song;

not the fragrance of flowers, perfumes and spices

not the manna or honey;

and not limbs the body delights to embrace.

 

It is not these that I love when I love my God.

 

And yet when I love Him

it is true that I love a light of a certain kind.

 

a voice, a perfume, a food, an embrace;

but they are the kind that I love in my inner self

when my soul is bathed in light

that is not bound by space;

when it listens to sound that never dies away;

when it breathes fragrance that is not borne away on the wind;

when it tastes food that is never consumed by the eating;

when it clings to an embrace from which it is not severed

by fulfillment of desire.

 

This is what I love when I love my God. (Confessions 10: 6-8)

 

Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

For He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid.

 

For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

 

For He that is mighty has done great things for me; and holy is His name.

 

And His mercy is on them that fear Him throughout all generations.

 

He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts.

 

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the humble.

 

He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away.

 

He remembering His mercy has helped His servant Israel;

As He promised to our forefathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

(Luke 1:46-55)

 

Canticle from Revelations 15:3-4

Great and wonderful are your deeds

Lord God the Almighty:

Just and true are your ways,

O King of the nations.

 

Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?

 

For you alone are holy.

 

All nations shall come and worship in your presence:

and the fact that I think that I am following your will

 does not mean that I am actually doing so.

 

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

 

And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

 

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

 

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road

though I may know nothing about it.

 

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost

and in the shadow of death

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

(Thomas Merton)

 

Who Am I?

Who am I? This or the Other?

 

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

 

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others.

 

The Path to a Better Life

The Lumen Christi Road Map

By your life may every person know that

you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

For your just dealings have been revealed.

 

To Him who sits on the throne and

to the Lamb:

Be praise and honour, glory and might

For ever and ever. Amen

 

The Road Ahead

My Lord God

I have no idea where I am going.

 

I do not see the road ahead of me.

 

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

 

Nor do I really know myself,

And before myself a contemptible woebegone Weakling?

 

Or is something within me still like a beaten army

fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

 

They mock me these lonely questions of mine.

 

Whoever I am, Thou knowest O God. I am thine.

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

 

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost and now am found

Was blind, but now I see.

—— (Middle stanzas omitted) ——–

The Lord has promised good to me,

His word my hope secures,

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come,

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far.

and grace will lead me home. (John Newton)

 

Your life is a journey that stretches from the time that you are conceived to the time that you die. It is a difficult journey. All of us know how easy it is to mess up our lives. We need a road map to follow. If you regularly follow the Lumen Christi road map, Christ will dramatically change your life. You will experience a peace and a joy that only He can give.

Step 1

Commit your life to Christ

This is not a one-time decision. Each day resolve to love Him and to follow Him. If you have never known Jesus, if your relationship with Him has grown cold or if you have seriously messed up your life, then this is the place to start. Now is the time to stop the excuses and to surrender your life to Jesus. You might write out your decision, date and sign it.

Prayer of Surrender: Jesus I am sorry for the many times I have offended You. I now turn away from my sins and turn to You. Please come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. I recognize You as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Thank You Jesus.

Suggestion: Now is the time to bury every fear of the future, of poverty, of suffering and of loss. Bury all thoughts of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your disappointment in others and in yourself, your sense of failure and your despondency. Having confessed your sins to the Lord, leave all shame and guilt buried and go forward to a new and risen life with Christ.

 

Step 2

Remove the obstacles to a closer union with Jesus

See the list on page 10. Which of these roadblocks applies to you? After you have identified the roadblock, then take steps to get rid of it. This can be a life-long process. The forces that try to separate us from Jesus never completely go away until we die.

Suggestion: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome the roadblocks to a closer union with Jesus. Discover attitudes or situations that cause problems. Avoid them. Stop giving in to them.

 

Step 3

Read the Bible every day

The New Testament remains the richest source for our meditations. Read a page or a chapter daily and reflect on the words. The resulting thoughts will have a profound effect on the way you think and act. Focus on the New Testament, but also read Psalms, Book of Wisdom, and Ecclesiastic.

Suggestion: Memorize passages that have special meaning for you. They will help you get through difficult times in your life.

 

Step 4

Be aware of Christ’s presence — He is always with you

Be aware of God’s presence. In times of trouble remember that Jesus is very near. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you” (ICor. 3: 13).

Suggestion: Talk to Jesus during the day. Praise and thank Him and express your love. Knowing Christ is always present can dramatically change what you say and do.

 

Step 5

Reach out to others — your life is not solely your own

Love is a paradox. The more that you give away, the more that comes back to you. The more you hoard, the less you have. Finding Jesus in other people is not always easy, but then we ourselves are not always lovable.

“Love one another as I have loved you” (Jesus Christ).

Suggestion: Give time each week to help people in need. Share your faith with others. Help others by your prayers, financial help and words of encouragement. Let your job title be “Servant of Jesus Christ.”

 

Step 6

Be thankful that you have Christ in your life

Be thankful that God, Who created the universe, loves you. Give thanks to Jesus Christ, Who gave His life to free us from our sins. Although we cannot see the road ahead, the Lord is our Shepherd and there is nothing for us to fear. Always and everywhere give thanks to the Lord.

Suggestion: Give thanks for having Jesus in your life and for all He has done for you. Thank the Holy Spirit for the faith that is in you. A strong faith drives out worry and fear. Give thanks for the gray days as well as the sunny days. To everything there is a purpose.

 

Step 7

Acknowledge God publicly by going to church

We have a duty to honor God publicly as well as privately. We have an obligation to come together to publicly honor God, to acknowledge His Goodness and to ask for His help.

Suggestion: Join a church group. You will meet people who can help you in your spiritual journey. Receive the Eucharist, Christ’s Body and Blood, as often as possible.

 

Step 8

Be happy — Christ is in you and you are in Christ

Following Christ is the foundation of happiness. We don’t have to wait until our resurrection to be happy. Christ wants us to be happy at this moment. How can you be unhappy if you truly believe that Jesus loves you and is always with you? Remember Christ’s promise that “whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).

Suggestion: Reflect on God’s great love for you. Be happy. Don’t worry. Memorize Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” Trust God in good times as well as bad times. Whatever happens, let your heart say The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Praise the Lord. In your daily practice of Quiet Time, include consecration to the Sacred Heart and prayers to the Mother of Jesus. Saying the rosary brings you closer to her Son Jesus.

 

God Has a Special Plan for You

Jesus Christ, Son of the Virgin Mary, for the rest of my life I will follow You.

God has a special plan for you. He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him. He wants you to grow in holiness, then people will see how Jesus has transformed your life. They will be attracted by your unselfishness and by the peace and joy evident in your life. You will preach Christ by the way you treat other people. You will make Christ real to a doubting world.

To find out what God wants you to do, listen to His voice during Quiet Time. Read the story of Christ’s life as told in the Bible and you will learn how to live your life, Receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and He will open your heart to His love,

Part of God’s plan for you is revealed in Matthew 18:3 where Jesus placed a child in the midst of His disciples and told them, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” I believe Christ is telling us that we must stop our mindless pursuit of status, fame, wealth and worldly pleasures. God’s plan for you does not include these goals. You are to become like Christ, who did not come as a king, but as one who serves.

To carry out God’s plan, ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life. The Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge and the strength to go wherever God’s plan may lead you. Ask Mary, the Mother of God, to show you how to please her Son. And then you will know the path to follow.

You don’t know how God is going to use you, so in Quiet Time ask Jesus, “Show me what you want me to do, Lord, and I will do it.” You might add, “But I will need your help.” Let His power work through you, and you will bring others to Christ.

Christ expects you to take time to minister to others. You might take part in a prayer group, or assist at church services. You might volunteer at a food bank, or coach sports. If you can’t participate directly, then you can pray for people having problems. And you will grow in holiness.

God’s plan for you might lead you down a dark and difficult path — one that you would rather not take. You might have serious health or financial problems. There could be tragedies or troubles with family members. But God will be with you and He won’t give you a cross that you can’t handle. You may be afraid and wonder what His purpose is for you. Continue to trust God and to believe that He is with you at every step of your journey. Hold fast to Christ’s promise of your resurrection and future life with Him, and there will be peace in your heart.

In everything that you do, work for Christ, with Christ and through Christ. The size of the task doesn’t matter; how you do it, does. Take no credit, but give Him all praise and honor. And your life will be a love story between God and you.

You too are with the Nazarene, Jesus

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you

and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.

Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven.

Matthew 11

 

The scene is the high priest’s courtyard in Jerusalem. The disciple Peter is seated with the guards and is warming himself before an open fire. Earlier, Jesus had been seized by a crowd with swords and clubs and taken to a building connected to this same courtyard (Mark 14:53-72). Inside, the chief priests of the high court are interrogating Jesus. They are trying to obtain testimony in order to put Him to death.

While Peter is seated in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s maids looks intently at him and says, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But Peter denies it saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” Later, the maid again sees Peter and charges him with being a follower of Jesus. Once more he denies it. Then a bystander says to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you too are a Galilean.” Mark’s gospel tells us that Peter begins to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man you are talking about” (Mark 14:71).

It is easy to harshly judge Peter for denying that he knew Jesus. But think of the times you didn’t want people to know that you were a Catholic. Think of the occasions when you avoided giving an honest answer to a moral question. You were afraid to lose a friendship. You didn’t want to be unpopular. Yet your silence signals, “I do not know this Man, Jesus.”

Our failure to acknowledge Christ is understandable. It takes courage to go against the crowd. Publicly stating your moral position is not easy. If you disagree with our secular society, you are labeled a religious fanatic or a hate monger. Do you have the courage to be pro-life and to speak out against the murder of unborn children?

Two public health nurses came to my Grade 9 class, They showed the students how to use condoms and answered their questions. It was never mentioned that this behavior was unwise and morally wrong. When they left, I talked to the class. I stressed that sex was a special gift from God, that they should not allow themselves to be pressured into having sex and that they should listen to their parents’ advice. To my surprise, the students clapped. To my sorrow, there were other occasions when I was silent.

If you are baptized, then you too are with the Nazarene, Jesus. Don’t betray Him. Be both happy and proud that you’re a Christian and that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Don’t apologize or try to downplay your principles or abandon them as some claiming to be Christians do. What you say publicly, more than what you say privately, reveals who you truly are.

Some may dislike you because your beliefs make them feel uncomfortable. To state that premarital sex, adultery, abortion and the practice of homosexuality are contrary to Christ’s teachings is guaranteed to make you unpopular. To state that only Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour is considered intolerant by many. If you are with the Nazarene, expect some conflict with the system — people who were lukewarm or fence-sitters angered Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the courage to tell the truth, to make your voice heard and to be the person you claim to be — a follower of Jesus Christ.

You Are What You Read

The lamp of the body is the eye.

If your eye is clear then your whole body is filled with light.

Mathew 6:22

 

Avoid reading or watching material that may offend God. Suggestion: Visit a religious bookstore for books that strengthen your faith. Consider giving an interesting and inspiring book as a gift.

 

Story of a Soul (Saint Therese) – this beautiful book has brought many to Jesus

Jesus and His Message (Rev. Mahon) – a clear introduction to Jesus; will enrich all who read it

Our Grounds of Hope (Fulton Sheen) – reflections on the pain and suffering in our lives

Seven Story Mountain (Thomas Merton) – his journey and struggle to be close to God

Poustinia (Catherine de Hueck Doherty) – Christian spirituality of the east for western man

The Cost of Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) – teaches us how to face God and ourselves

Becoming Human (Jean Vanier) – his vision for changing our lives by reaching out to others

Loving Jesus (Gonzalez-Balado) – notes on Mother Teresa, a sure cure for weak faith

Simpler Living, Compassionate Life (Schut) – how voluntary simplicity can lead to wholeness

Contrary to Love (Dr. Patrick Carnes) – invaluable help in dealing with sexual addiction

The Road Less Traveled (Dr. M. Scott Peck) – helpful insights leading to wholeness

Theology for Beginners (Frank Sheed) – clear explanations from a street corner apologist

The Seekers Guide to a Christian Marriage (K. Finley) – ways to build a satisfying marriage

Surprised by Truth (Patrick Madrid) – 11 conversion accounts; biblical and theological proofs

Catholics and the New Age (Fr. Pacwa) – study of Jungian psychology, reincarnation, astrology

Beyond Personality (C.S. Lewis) – a deeper understanding of God and His plans for you

Prayers of Hope (Cardinal Van Thuan) – thoughts and prayers from 9 years in solitary confinement

 

Read Holy Scripture (try to read at least one page of the Bible each day).

A study of the New Testament Epistles gives us clear lessons on how to lead a disciplined life pleasing to God. Think of them as letters to you. Before beginning to read, ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and to strengthen your will, so that your life will reflect what you have learned. Ask yourself the following questions: “What can I learn from this passage; how do I presently act; what specific changes are needed to make my behavior more pleasing to God?”

It is hard for us to realize that the words of Christ, spoken nearly 2000 years ago, are contemporary in every age. Read the gospels and allow God to whisper in your mind and in your heart words that can have a profound effect on the way you think and act.….He will find us if we listen to his voice calling to us through the fog that often surrounds us. (Cardinal Hume)

 

A Prayer Book

The Perfect Prayer

Participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Mass, is the most perfect act of worship of the Precious Blood of Christ. The Church tells us that “the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the source and summit of the whole of the Church’s worship and of the Christian life. The faithful participate more fully in this sacrifice of thanksgiving, propitiation, petition and praise, not only when they wholeheartedly offer the Sacred Victim, and with it themselves, to the Father with the priest, but also when they receive this same Victim sacramentally.”

“The Eucharist brings the power of Christ’s death on the cross into the lives of the faithful.” (Pope John Paul II, Sept. 14, 1984)

 

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil. Amen

 

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

Gloria

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

 

Jesus Help Me

Jesus help me, your servant whom you have redeemed by your Precious Blood.

In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying Jesus help me.

In all my doubts, perplexities and temptations Jesus help me.

In hours of loneliness, weariness and trial Jesus help me.

In the failure of my plans and hopes Jesus help me.

In disappointments, troubles and sorrows Jesus help me.

When I throw myself on your tender love as a Father and a Saviour Jesus help me.

When I feel impatient and my cross is heavy Jesus help me.

When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot do their work Jesus help me.

Always, always, in joys or sorrows, in falls and short-comings Jesus help me and never forsake me. Amen.

 

Prayer of Parents

Grant us, 0 Lord Jesus, to imitate faithfully the example of your Holy Family and to make our home another Nazareth.

May peace, love and happiness prevail.

Grant us the grace to be the parents we should be for our children.

Grant that our children may find solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love within the embrace of our home.

When the time comes for each of us to go to the ever-lasting home you have prepared for us, may your glorious Mother and St. Joseph take us to you, after the final grace of a happy death. Amen.

 

Prayer to my Guardian Angel

Angel sent by God to guide me,

Be my light and walk beside me;

Be my guardian and protect me,

On the paths of life direct me.

 

A Student’s Prayer

Lord there are many things in my life that need your help.

I need help in understanding my studies and passing my exams.

Also help is needed in managing my finances and my relationships with others.

But most of all I need your help to do what is right,

when so many advise me to do whatever I want.

 

Prayer for Employment

Jesus, you gave us the Lord’s Prayer.

You told us to include the words,

“give us this day our daily bread.”

 

Lord, I desperately need to find a job,

so that I can pay my bills and put food on the table.

 

So far the people that I have contacted

and the resumes that I have sent

have not led to a full-time job.

 

Now I turn to you and ask for your help.

 

Jesus I know you will hear and answer my prayers.

 

I will continue to look for work

and to trust in your loving care.

 

Prayer of a Separated or Divorced Person

Father, I belong to you.

I place myself anew in your hands

and acknowledge you as Master and Lord of my life.

 

Grant me the gift of a forgiving heart

and cleanse me of any anger, hostility or revenge.

 

Heal my hurts and wounds

and teach me to rely on your love.

 

Grant me wisdom of heart and strengthen me

by your grace to move on in faith, in trust and in love.

 

Thank you Lord for your love in my life. Amen.

 

For Our Holy Father

God our Father, shepherd and guide,

look with love on our holy father Pope Benedict XVI,

your servant, the pastor of your Church.

 

May his word and example inspire and guide the Church,

and may he, and all those entrusted to his care,

come to the joy of everlasting life.

Grant this through Christ your Son. Amen.

 

For Priests

Heavenly Father,

we join together with Jesus in prayer for our priests.

 

You have called them from among us to offer the Holy Sacrifice

and to proclaim the Good News.

 

We praise and thank you

for showing your goodness

through the work of their hands and hearts.

 

With faith and confidence

we ask that you make our priests fervent in prayer

as they lead your people.

 

Help them to become more Christlike day by day,

in their service to the Church.

 

Give them a new heart and a new spirit,

a spirit of compassion and self-sacrifice

that they may give witness to your love for your people.

 

This we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

The Divine Praises

Blessed be God.

Blessed be his holy Name.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

Blessed be the name of Jesus.

Blessed be his most Sacred Heart.

Blessed be his most Precious Blood.

Blessed be Jesus in the most holy Sacrament of the altar.

Blessed be the Holy Spirit.

Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.

Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.

Blessed be her glorious Assumption.

Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.

Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.

Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints.

 

Prayer to Saint Joseph for a Happy Death

O Blessed Joseph,

you gave your last breath

in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary.

 

When the seal of death shall close my life,

come with Jesus and Mary to aid me.

 

Obtain for me this solace for that hour,

to die with their holy arms around me.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul,

living and dying, into your sacred arms.

Amen.

 

In Time of Personal Illness

O Jesus, you suffered and died for us;

you understand our suffering.

 

Teach me to embrace my suffering: to bear it in union with you,

to offer it with you to atone for my sins and to obtain your grace for those in need.

 

Calm my fears; increase my trust.

 

May I willingly accept your holy will

and become more like you in trial.

 

According to your will, restore me to health

so that I may continue to work for your honor and glory and for the salvation of all. Amen.

 

Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for me.

Prayer of Acceptance

My Lord and my God,

I willingly accept from your hands

the type of death you plan for me.

 

All its sorrows, pain and anguish

I join to your sufferings on the Cross.

 

All that I ask is that you stand beside me and never leave me.

 

The Lumen Christi program contains no promise that following this path will make your life problem-free. But if you seek God with all your heart, He will provide for you. No matter how dark and difficult the road you travel, Christ will be there to strengthen and guide you. And at the end of your journey, you will hear Him say words to the effect, Well done good and faithful servant, now enter into My Kingdom. And your joy will have no end.

 

Commit Your Life to Jesus Christ

In the Old and New Testament, God made a covenant with His people. We in turn commit our lives to Jesus when we are baptized. By publicly renewing our commitment to Jesus Christ, we experience Him in an exciting new way.

Father Bob Bedard C.C., a former high school chaplain, recounts how he witnessed again and again to genuine religious experience. “The Lord was at work. He was doing what I had never been able to do — change people’s lives.” At their graduation, Father had his students attend Mass in the school chapel. Before communion the students would come forward, kneel and read the commitment prayer together. What a wonderful way to start a new chapter in their lives!

Other suitable occasions to make this commitment might be at the conclusion of a parish prayer meeting, at a retreat, or at the final class of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. You can use the following text or compose your own:

Dear God, I place myself in your presence.

 

I worship you as Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth.

 

Now I make the commitment that I believe your Son Jesus is calling me to make.

 

Loving Father send your Holy Spirit to help me pray this promise.

 

Jesus, you died on the Cross to take away my sins and the sins of all the world.

 

I confess my sinfulness and claim the forgiveness that you have gained for me.

 

And I forgive all those who may have hurt me in any way.

 

Jesus, out of love for each one of us you suffered your sorrowful passion.

 

And you would have done it out of love for me alone. I now accept your unfailing love.

 

Jesus I want you to have complete charge of my life.

 

I desire a personal relationship with you as my Lord and my Savior.

 

Everything that I have and all that I am, I surrender to you this day.

 

Lord, plan and guide my life in whatever way you think best.

 

Jesus, my faith is weak and I often face temptations.

 

Lord, develop in me a strong faith and the wisdom to call on the Holy Spirit when I am in trouble.

 

Jesus, with your help I will turn away from sin.

 

I will place a guard over what I watch, what I hear,

what I say and what I do in order not to offend you, my loving God.

 

Jesus, Son of Mary,

I will strive to set aside time each day to praise you, to love you,

to thank you and to seek your help.

 

Jesus I trust you completely.

 

May all glory, praise and thanksgiving be given to the Father,

and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

 

Signed by:__________________________ Date: ______________________


Hello God, I Need to Talk to You

“Hello God, I need to talk to you.”

Speaking to God honestly is the beginning of prayer…

(Father John Powell S.J.)

 

Tell God your thoughts, desires and feelings.

This includes being angry, having doubts, taking drugs,

having sexual feelings, trouble praying, and so on.

Have faith in God’s promise to help you when you talk to Him

Mathew 7:7-8 tells us:

 

“Ask and it will be given to you,

seek and you will find,

knock and the door will be open.”

 

“But he should ask in faith, not doubting…

for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea

that is driven and tossed about by the wind,

for that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7

 

There will be times when God wants to talk to you.

 

Don’t worry about what He may say or ask you to do.

 

Remember… God always wants the best for you.


Living the Christian Life

Welcome. This information is intended for those who are already believers. Some people believe that if they sincerely work at living a Christian life, they will be a Christian. This is fundamentally wrong. Living a Christian life does not make one a Christian.

Baptism, prayers, taking the sacraments, tithing, assisting in worship activities, being an elder, a song leader or a Youth Bible Class teacher are only activities for those who have been to 1st Base with God.

Do you have a moment of conscious conversion, when you trusted Christ personally as your Saviour? That moment of salvation is 1st Base. Jesus referred to this as the new birth. In John 3, Jesus told a very religious man he would never be in the Kingdom of God unless he was born again. (John 3:3,7)

  • A natural birth brought us into the human family.

  • A spiritual birth is required to bring us into God’s Family.

  • The Christian Living section is for those who have been born into the family of God by their conscious personal acceptance of Christ as their Saviour.

If you have experienced the New Birth you are in the Family of God. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord. Our desire is to please Christ.

He is not only our Saviour, He is our Lord.


What is Christianity?

Christian identity is to belong in a place that Jesus defines for us,

By living in that place, we come in some degree to share His identity, to bear His name and to be in the same relationships He has with God and with the world.

Forget “Christ/ianity” for a moment –

Christianity as a system of ideas competing with others in the market;

concentrate on the place in the world that is the place of Jesus the anointed,

and what it is that becomes possible in that place.


The Secret of the Saints: basic prayers

Here are basic Catholic Prayers that will give structure to your life.

 

The Sign of the Cross

The sign of the cross is the simplest of basic catholic prayers.

We should begin our day with the Sign of the Cross… it is a prayer.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Signum Crucis

In nómine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.

Catholics should begin and end their prayers with the sign of the cross and should cross themselves when passing a church, upon entering a church, and after receiving Communion.

Using your right hand, touch your forehead at the mention of the Father; the lower middle of your chest at the mention of the Son; and the left shoulder on the word “Holy” and the right shoulder on the word “Spirit.”

This prayer strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.

It is often made by athletes before a match, students before an exam, or any time when a person needs courage or protection.

Holy water is “water blessed by the priest with solemn prayer, to beg God’s blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness.”

It is a catholic custom to make the sign of the cross with holy water when we enter church.

 

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;

And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

Amen

 

The Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit

Source of all wisdom and knowledge,

Guide me by Your Light,

Teach me what I should say and do,

Fill my heart with Your Love

so I may reflect Your Love

to everyone I meet. Amen

 

The secret of the saints

Say the name Jesus

The saints had a secret. They were always aware of God’s presence.

Say the name, “Jesus” often, as you would say a friend’s name. Use the name, “Jesus” to drive away fear, to rescue from temptation, to banish loneliness and to conquer your faults.

When you tenderly say the name, “Jesus”, God Himself hears and quickly attends to you.

 

A constant awareness of God’s presence

The secret of the saints is that they were always aware of Christ’s presence.

For them, heaven and hell were very real. They lived to please Jesus and to gain Heaven.

We can learn from them

If we had this awareness, we would want to talk to Jesus, whether we were riding on a bus, or in a car, or working in an office, school, kitchen, or wherever else we might be.

We would praise God or thank Him or ask for His help

Turning to God doesn’t interfere with other things we do. It blesses our work and brings us closer to Our Lord.

Try to live and act as if Jesus is with you at all times and in all places.

And talk to Him. How much happier your life would be.

 

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


A Life Committed to Jesus

When your life is committed to Jesus, you see the world in a different light.

You willingly accept those things in your life that cannot be changed.

And you believe that Jesus has some purpose for the cross you carry.

 

When you have a heavy cross to carry:

• Pray with open hands and open heart

• Hold a crucifix and see how Jesus suffered for you

• Know that your suffering brings you closer to the suffering Christ

 

To carry your cross means:

• to turn to Jesus despite your pain

• to trust Jesus no matter what happens

• to love Jesus when it’s not easy to love

 

When you are committed to Jesus you join your suffering to the sufferings of Our Lord.

 

Your prayer might be:

Jesus I was not present at your agony in the garden, or your scourging,

or your carrying of the cross, or your crucifixion.

Although my sufferings cannot begin to compare,

I offer you my sufferings for those who have lost their way.

All honour, praise and thanksgiving to you my Crucified Lord.

 

Sometime in our life, each of us will experience our own personal cross. We will journey through darkness and a valley of tears. We may stumble many times. Each time, we need to get up again and return to our Father.

 

Ask Jesus to help you carry your cross

If we put Jesus first in our lives, then we are able to bear the pain of our own cross for His sake.

Jesus accepted His Cross out of love for us.

The greatest test of our love for Jesus is our acceptance of what can’t be helped in our life.

We should try to accept our cross out of love for Jesus.

Then we no longer ask, “Why did this have to happen to me?” Instead, you trust Jesus completely.

 

Suffering can bring us closer to Jesus or separate us from Him

A young boy in our church died of cancer. Around the same time an older boy in our church also died of cancer. Both mothers had prayed very hard for a miracle, which never happened.

The mother of the younger boy thanked God for the years she had with her son. The mother of the older boy decided that there was no God and she stopped going to church.

“Jesus, I offer You my sufferings for those who have lost their way.” You may want to offer your suffering for a particular person(s) or for the souls in purgatory.

Life goes very quickly. Your future is eternal life with Jesus. And then there will be no more sadness or pain.

 

Into your hands I commend my spirit, O Lord

Into your hands I commend my heart,

For I must die to myself in loving you

Into your hands I commend my love.

(Taken from an old hymn)