Monday, February 04, 2008
Priere Du Jour - Prayer of the Day!!!
Prayer and Devotions
The Window through Which the Light of God Flows
by Father Paul Hubert, LC
Resolution: Speak of Jesus’ plan for our lives to someone who needs to hear about the key to real freedom.
February 3, 2008
Fourth Sunday in ordinary time
Matthew 5: 1-20
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are here. I do not see you, but I know you are here. Like the blind person hears sounds, I hear your steps in the things that surround me. My eyes see; my arms embrace you. I welcome your gift: this new day you have given me to be with you, to hope in you and, in your grace, to be better. Because I want to love you as you loved us, I want to love you where you told me I could find you: in my neighbor.
Petition: Lord, grant me a faith that lets you flow through me to love others. Let your love imbue my thoughts, words and deeds.
1. Why Persecution Comes When We Follow Him Why should I rejoice when I mourn or when I am being persecuted? Should I not expect to be praised and feel at peace for my good deeds, my help to my neighbor? Why was Christ persecuted? He did everything right. He worked wonders — not only doing what is right humanly speaking, but also doing miracles: curing the blind and paralytics, raising people from the dead. Yet, he was persecuted by men who recognized his wonders, even when he raised Lazarus. Christ was not persecuted because he had done wrong. Perhaps, doing good, he showed them they were wrong, and they could not bear the light he irradiated. Was it because when they presented him the adulterous woman, Christ followed the only rule he had, which is mercy and love? Only your rule of forgiving and love can unite everybody in heaven, Lord. Violence, injustice and rivalries only widen the gap between us. What a difficult rule to follow here on this earth! However, only by following the rule you put in us can we be at peace.
2. The Only Order That Can Free Me Lord, you created all things. We see the marvels of your design in the creation that you established and maintain. We see trillions of stars follow their orbits and the laws you set to guide them. We see the animals follow their instincts and grow, develop and reproduce as you planned. How is it possible for me not to follow what you tell me to do, even in the things that are difficult for me? You tell us that “until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” Your law is for our good; you want to give us the best for our lives. Lord, help me always have your law in mind, always to respect it, and always to think about the good of others. What a great law you set to guide us: Love others as you loved us!
3. The Freedom of the True Light Lord, you want us to guide our lives in your light. We experience freedom when we take your light – your law – and your love inside us and then let them shine onto the world that surrounds us. You made us lamps to contain your light. What a commitment and responsibility: to bring your message of deliverance to others! Lord, thank you for your light. Help me always to hold it and follow the path it opens in front of me.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for giving me the gift of faith so that I might see beyond the circumstances of my life to what is right. Help me to be faithful in my dealings with others when they contradict your teaching. Help me to bring your light to others.
Resolution: I will speak of your plan for our lives to someone who needs to hear about the key to real freedom.