I “found” the Prayer of St. Francis yesterday in my search. I find that ironic. I have “found” this prayer over and over again in my life – in high school, in college, during difficult career times. Why I lose sight of it I don’t know so I thought I’d think about it.
I think I get “stuck” in my prayer life. In some ways, that is what this Lent is all about. I am re-investing so to speak and on Day 3, I returned to a treasure already in the vault. In one of Pope Benedict’s interview books, Seewald asks him what prayers he would recommend to people. The Pope doesn’t recommend but says that there are enough prayers in the Church for people to find theirs. He either calls them treasures or treasury. I know that this picture isn’t mine. But there is a treasury out there. I have only scratched the surface. But, I also have my own treasury. There are prayers that are “mine”. They aren’t really mine but they are the ones that I use because they are the prayers that speak my needs, wants, desires, hopes, praise, thoughts, etc.
Although I want to go into the vault more, I don’t think I should neglect my own treasury. The Prayer of St. Francis was probably the most important prayer I prayed in my early twenties when I did not know what to do, where to go, how to go about life. I found myself during that time. I knew then and now that this prayer was important. In my life I still “find” it in those moments. I don’t know why it did not come to me last night, perhaps because I associate it with only part of my life and not the whole of my life.
That is an interesting thought and insight. Have I compartmentalized my life? Last night’s thoughts really were about the polarization I feel in my life – hiding-giving. This push-pull is exhausting. How does one integrate? Where does the courage come from? Shouldn’t I already have the courage at my age, with my experiences?
Every night I pray the prayers I have already posted. So, I will pray the Prayer to Saint Francis, as I actually have been all day when I thought about what should write but I will search for and hopefully find one about courage. Be back in a little while with something…….
I found two I liked. I am sure there are others. The two are from WEB pages that I’ve not visited before. One is dedicated to the Apparitions of Mary at http://www.marypages.com/PrayerstoOurLord.htm and the other from Prayer and Prayers at http://prayer-and-prayers.info/catholic-prayers/prayer-for-courage.htm. The first speaks to my search for finding the Lord’s will and doing the Lord’s will (am I being faithful). The second speaks of me- it is me.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do Your will.
Prayer for Courage
Dear God, give me courage,
for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.
I need courage before men against their threats
and against their seductions.
I need courage to bear unkindness,
I need courage to fight against the devil,
against terrors and troubles, temptations,
attractions, darkness and false lights,
against tears, depression, and above all fear.
I need Your help, dear God.
Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.
Console me with Your blessed Presence
and grant me the courage to persevere
until I am with You forever in heaven.