Sunday, April 13, 2014

Prayer and Fasting~Lent 7

     Time is a most precious outgrowth of prayer and fasting. My personal experience has been an enhanced awareness of time. It is perhaps more difficult to surrender than food or alms. "First Things First" in this context, means that time spent in prayer and contemplation comes before other activities. Listening to God requires a great deal of discipline. I have become increasingly aware of how little control I have over life's episodes. However, when I put Jesus first, "things" miraculously fall into place. My "schedule" is replaced by God's plan. I may not understand His will, but during times of prayerful fasting He blesses me with the graces I need to accept it. Events unfold according to His time. Meanwhile, I am invited by Jesus to align my thoughts, words and actions with His life, passion, death and resurrection, all of which transcend time. As Jesus leads me step by step into Holy Week, how grateful I am that He has so generously blessed us with the gift of eternity with Him!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Prayer and Fasting~Lent 6

     Prayer and fasting effectively transport our attention above whatever placates worldly aspirations.  Trusting in God by turning away from the mundane opens the window to personal transformation. The desire to feed the ego is redirected to serving the needs of others. Self pity surrenders to forgiveness. Fondness for adulation is replaced by supernatural yearning to glorify Jesus with every thought, word and action. 
     Seeds of miracles awaiting manifestation are quietly embedded within the words of a famous prayer popularized in the early 1900's. The author is unknown. The prayer has often been attributed to Saint Francis, probably because of its resemblance to the way he lived his faith in Jesus.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury pardon
Where there is error, truth
Where there is doubt faith
Where there is despair hope
Where there is darkness light
Where there is sadnesss 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 tha we are pardoned
And it is in dying 
That we are born to eternal life.