Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 2/20


Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...


A word to reflect on:   
Have mercy on me, O God,
for you are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness 
to all who call upon you...
- Psalm 86





(Before moving on to the reflection below,
   spend some quiet time with the scripture verse above...)

I know you forgive sinners, Lord,
   and I also know how hard it can be
      for me to admit to my sins, to say that I'm a sinner...

You're a just judge, Lord,
   a merciful judge, a wise and loving judge - but a judge nonetheless.
All I say and do, and all I fail to say and fail to do,
   and all my thoughts and schemes and fantasies:
all these are subject to your just, merciful, wise and loving judgment...

I minimize my sins: I make them smaller than they are
   until they seem to disappear or count as nothing worth the counting...

I blame the folks I've hurt, the ones I've failed to love,
   by pointing to their weaknesses and faults - while ignoring all my own...

I find a way to think and then believe that for some reason, Lord,
   your laws simply don't apply to me  - and I give myself a pass...

I convince myself that why I do the wrong thing
   somehow makes a wrong thing right and justifies my deed...

Have mercy on me, O God,
for you are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness 
to all who call upon you...

I presume upon your mercy, Lord, assuming that it's there for me 
   without my ever having said,
      "I'm sorry..."
   without my taking time to count the times I've failed
      to look into my heart to see and face how I have failed to love,
         to listen to your word, to do what you would have me do,
            to turn away from anything that turns my heart away from you...

I so easily absolve myself of my failings
   by comparing them to the greater sins of others,
forgetting that you judge me not in comparison with my neighbor
   but only by the measure of your command
      that I love you above all things
         and love my neighbor as myself...

In making light of my own faults, in pardoning myself,
   I forget that you're my judge, that in fact my every word and deed
      are subject to your judgment... 

Have mercy on me, O God,
for you are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness 
to all who call upon you...

I know you forgive sinners, Lord,
   but how will your mercy heal my soul
      if I don't name my need for it and pray
   that you look kindly on one like me
      whose pride and sin cry out for your forgiveness?

Let me not presume upon this gift, your pardon, Lord,
   a gift I don't deserve, a gift I cannot merit,
      but a gift I so much need...

Have mercy on me, God, for you have promised
   to be good and kind to all who call upon you...

Hear my prayer and help me face and name my sins
   that I might open up my heart to your forgiveness
      and in finding it, turn away from all the ways
         that I've offended you and those around me...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, give me strength to stand
   beneath the light of truth that shines upon my sins...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, give me courage
   to look honestly and squarely at my failings and my faults...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, help me call upon your name
   to seek your pardon of my sins and the mercy of your grace...

In the stillness, Lord, let me find your goodness,
   your forgiveness, and your abounding kindness
and let me see how the gift of your mercy is the path to peace...

As you forgive me, Lord, make me quick to forgive others
   and grateful when they forgive me...

Have mercy on me, O God,
for you are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness 
to all who call upon you...
 
To ponder and pray over...
Do I find it difficult to name myself a sinner?
Are there ways in which I excuse myself from God's law?
How often do I seek God's mercy in prayer? 
   in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Are there ways in which I take God's mercy for granted?
Do I minimize my own sins and magnify the sins of others?
Do I need some humility in facing my own sinfulness?
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day?

(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)


Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others. 


 
 
   
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