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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Jesuit prayer of Humility

So it's been a crazy long time since I have blogged, but not because I haven't had anything to say.  I dont know why I sarted this blog but then I so seldom use it, I guess the short blurbs on Twitter are enough for me most days.

But anyway, the reason i'm blogging today is to share a prayer I just read on someone else's blog that really shook me up.  This is a prayer I think we should all pray, but I am not sure we are all bold enough to do so. This prayer is prayed by the Jesuits, so please put away all your reservations about the Catholic denomination and just hear the heart and truth behind this prayer.

Check this out and let me know what you think of it:

A PRIVATE LITANY OF HUMILITY
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of comfort and ease, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being criticized, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being passed over, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being lonely, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being hurt, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
help me put my self importance aside
to learn the kind of cooperation with others
that makes possible the presence of your Abba’s household.

Adapted from a prayer by Rafael, Cardinal Merry Del Val,
from the prayer book, For Jesuits, 1963, Loyola University Press

Friday, August 6, 2010

Are you Living in worry and fear? STOP!!!!!

I recently talked to a friend of mine from a long time ago and one of the things he said to me inspired this post.  We were talking about how our lives had changed and how we were older now and had become fathers.  He then told me he had a son that was 16 and a senior in high school. His next statement really stood out in my mind, he said "my son is girl crazy and i'm scared i'm going to be a grandparent soon". Surprisingly enough, I wasn't as bothered about the concerns we all have about the safety and welfare of our children as much as I was bothered by the term "scared".

I began to ponder the actual magnitude of his statement and what it meant to his life and how it reflects the state of so many of our mindsets.  We are often scared and worried about things we should not be, as a matter of fact we shouldn't be scared or worried about anything according to the Word of God.  I know this is, as the disciples would say, "a hard saying" or hard to swallow, but its the Word of God so its right and true.

Here are two reasons not to live in fear and worry:

1. God said not to.
  • In Phil 4:6 God instructed us to not worry but instead pray about everything and thank him in advance for the answers. (Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God NKJV)
  • In 2 Tim 1:7 We are told that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind  ( 2 Tim 1:7   For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. NKJV
When we look at these two scriptures together it is clear that God doesn't want us to cower in fear and worry over our circumstances but instead to seek him for answers and to stand boldly against those things that would cause the average person to worry and fear.

2. Fear and worry often times bring the exact things we are afraid of or worried about into our lives.
  • When we read the story of Job and we see all the things he went through and we see that finally he actually confesses that the things he feared have happened to him and what he dreaded most has now come upon him. (Job 3:25  For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
    And what I dreaded has happened to me
    NKJV)
We see here that fear and worry often times magnify the problems or the issues we are facing when we should instead be magnifying God as the word instructed us to (Psalms 34:3). When you magnify something you make it or see it as bigger.  We should see God and his word as bigger or greater than anything we have to fear or worry about.  When we choose the other route we begin to see our issues or problems as so heavy and overwhelming that we allow them to overtake us or we don't even do the things necessary to solve them because we end up in a state of hopelessness.

As opposed to worrying and living in fear and dread, we should apply the word of God to our lives and pray and trust him.  All of our problems will not be solved by miraculously going away but most times this stance of prayer over worry allows God to give us the wisdom to solve the problem and overcome the issues we face in life.  Prayer also helps us to handle these situations better while we are in the middle of them.

Love and God Bless

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Starting Out

So...i'm starting a new blog, something I've been wanting to do for a long time.  But now that I'm typing I find myself wondering if I have anything to say at all.  This is an odd question, especially if you know me, because I never really have a shortage of things to say.  Here though, I want to say things that are meaningful and entertaining, but most of all edifying to others.  I named my blog, Striving For More, because lately I find myself striving for more. The word strive has several definitions:
1. to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: He strove to make himself understood.
2. to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: to strive for success.
3. to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.

So lately I find myself exerting myself vigorously and trying hard to accomplish several things.  I am striving for more of God, striving to be more like Jesus, striving to more of a husband to my wife and a father to my children, striving for more in business, and just striving for more in general.

Some might say that some of these things cannot be achieved through striving at all, but I would differ in opinion. I feel that any goal that is worth attaining deserves vigorous exertion and hard trying. I know that all God requires for salvation is believe and confess (Rom 10:9-10), but he still told us to, press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, Philippians 3:14.

So here I am pressing and striving for more of the things that I believe will please God.  If you are striving for more like me then I hope you will follow this blog. I'll try not to bore or preach you to death or to life, but instead to let you in so we can grow and achieve that much sought after "MORE" together.

God Bless and Much Love
Reuel