Wednesday, October 26, 2016

May I Be Full of Your Love Each Day Lord

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters:  Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. … So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.   (Ephesians 6:10, 14-18,)

(Jesus) replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. (Luke 13:32)

Be beside me O Lord
My advisor and my friend.
Be behind me O Lord
My protector and shield.
Be beneath me O Lord
My helper and strength.
Be ahead of me O Lord
My inspirer and guide.
I am your servant O Lord
May I be full of your love Each day.

St. Patrick’s beautiful “Breastplate” prayer and Pope Leo XIII’s prayer we know as the St. Michael the Archangel prayer are rooted in Paul’s imagery of a Roman soldier’s gear.  Paul was a Roman citizen and clearly knew how oppressive were these legions. But he also knew God’s work for him to be an apostle to the Gentiles and that would have included these fearsome soldiers. 

His imagery, borrowed from state of the art warfare at the time, describes the overwhelming protection God gives.  Paul also clearly throws away violence against other humans.  Paul describes the ultimate war as with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. (verse 12)  His imagery is an incomplete, human perspective trying to describe Jesus’ power in a dark, dangerous world.   We need not put on chain mail or hoist a rifle.  Instead, we say “yes” to salvation which Jesus obtained for us and clothe ourselves in the protection of truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, and the Word of God.

Prayer becomes might. Instead of the historical battlefield, Jesus has become the field of life because spoken by God, the Word accomplishes his purpose.  Jesus does not back down in the face of his detractors or those who want Him dead.  Our answer to all that is evil and fearful is Jesus and our answer is living in prayer.

Called by name, we respond by living Jesus’ words which the Spirit gives us in prayer.  Make today mindful, full of prayer at each action. At each stoplight, when you pour your coffee, when you brush your teeth, kiss family, greet co-workers, avoid annoying people, hear a stress-inducing newscast, bite into a sandwich, turn on your computer, get off the bus at your stop, see a lovely cloud, wait for the metro again….  Say a prayer which can be brief and spontaneous such as:  “Bless me.”  "Bless her.”  “Thank you.”  “Protect and heal me / her / them, Lord.”  “Soften their hearts and mine, O God.”  “Thank You.”  “Oh Jesus, My Jesus.” Or stop and focus on the Lord’s Prayer, St. Patrick’s Breastplate or other familiar words.  Wrap yourself in prayer and Listen, Listen for the Holy Spirit who will show you the way of Love.

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