Lord, I am an earthenware vessel
In which you have placed a treasure.
Help me to reveal your extraordinary power.
When I feel I afflicted, free me from constraints.
When I am perplexed, lead me beyond despair.
When I feel persecuted, do not forsake me.
When I am struck down, renew your life in me.
As I carry within myself the death of Jesus,
May the life of Jesus, too, be revealed in me.
Help me to realize that death at work in me,
Means life to those for whom I offer myself.
Do not let me lose heart, but grant me abundant grace,
So that my thanksgiving may overflow to the glory of God.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
Forever and ever.
“Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation;
they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Years ago, as a young priest confronting the realities of celibate living outside the walls of the seminary, I realized I needed to taste two fundamental experiences to survive both humanly and spiritually. (Yes, I know that what is truly human is spiritual and what is authentically spiritual is always grounded in the human.) My soul longed—forgive this melodramatic language—for regular experiences of intimacy and transcendence. Without these two ego-collapsing and soul-lifting “out of time” moments, I tended to wither as a human being and as a Christian. With them, I not only survived, I tended to flourish. And drawing on their energy, I had the ability to be a “beneficial presence”—a healing witness in the Reign of God. That’s our common destiny as Christians: to allow the Christ in us to render us beneficial. –Donald Cozzens “Notes From the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular Priest”
Thoughts to be lifted up, buoyed by the light of St John of the Cross and others darkness.
The maturity of this communal prayer supplied during the St Dominic Holy Hour soothes with the profound. At first, I was turned off, due to the simplification of speculating upon an exchange between God the Father and God the Son. I am convinced Divine Communication must not be lowered down to human understanding. The danger of reducing Jesus’ method of prayer down to a relatable human level, making Jesus just like all other humans, put me in a defensive mind state. I am convinced Jesus’ spirituality must be praised in mystery. Yet hearing the entirety of the prayer verbally read aloud, my heart and mind opened to the message, appeased by the serious humble message.
Reflection. Jesus prays. Jesus spends a whole night in prayer with His Father. No doubt they discussed who should be among the apostles. They went through the options one by one, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the men who would be chosen. Jesus interceded for His future apostles, begging His Father for the graces they would need to carry out the mission they were going to be given. Jesus calls me to follow Him as His apostle. The call is not a half-hearted or hasty decision. Jesus has pondered well my strengths and weaknesses before He calls me. He knows me inside and out and still He invites me to be his apostle and share in His mission.
Called by name. Imagine what it was like for the apostles to be assembled before Christ in the early morning and hear Him as He called out their names one by one. What would it have been like to hear your name called? When Jesus calls out your name the words are more than just an identification tag. He is calling the whole person, the whole you—with all your personal history, your talents, and defects, your sins and virtues, your daydreams and generosity (your selfishness and pride). Relish the beauty of this call. Jesus wants you—the you that reaches from the depths of your soul to your outward appearance. He wants you to be His apostle.
The mission to heal. Christ’s call has a very concrete and distinct purpose: the salvation of humanity. Humanity cries out for healing. People come from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon thirsting for the truth of Christ’s words and the powerful touch of his grace. This mission that Christ invites you to share in. What a privilege! What an honor to be chosen to be part of the team who will help rescue mankind from the misery of pride, sensuality and egoism, who will bring them to the fulfillment of a life of love and generosity.
Lord, thank you for this time of prayer and reflection. Many times I forget what you have called me to. I forget that I am just an individual acting on my own behalf but an apostle acting as your emissary. I know you have called me with all my defects and weaknesses, but I do not want to use this as an excuse not to grow in virtue and overcome the obstacles of my human frailty (let me not wallow in self-loathing, or become attached to prideful shame). I will work to be a better apostle but at the same time I will have the serenity and peace of knowing that you know perfectly well who I am and whom you have called.
St Dominic receiving the Rosary from Our holy Mother
A reposed Eucharist
Lonely Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration