St. Peter Canisius wrote beautiful prayers drawn from his spiritual experiences. We share an excerpt of a prayer of his to Jesus below.
“So, after daring to approach your most loving heart and to plunge my thirst in it, I received a promise from you of a garment made of three parts: these were to cover my soul in its nakedness, and to belong especially to my religious profession. They were peace, love and perseverance. Protected by this garment of salvation, I was confident that I would lack nothing but all would succeed and give you glory.”
December 14th is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church. In his work The Ascent of Mount Carmel he suggests that in our times of heavy burden, our Lord offers to take those burdens off from our shoulders. It’s as if He is telling us,
“All you who are tormented and afflicted, laboring beneath the burden of anxiety and desire, cast it aside by coming to Me, and I will refresh you; and your souls shall find that rest of which your desires rob you.”
So ask yourself:
Am I willing to give the Lord the burden of my sin?
Am I willing to release the allure and desire of sin and accept His refreshment and rest?
“O man, you did not dare to raise your face to heaven, you lowered your eyes to earth, and suddenly you have received the grace of Christ: all your sins have been forgiven. From being a wicked servant you have become a good son…. Then raise your eyes to the Father who has begotten you through Baptism, to the Father who has redeemed you through his Son, and say: “Our Father….” But do not claim any privilege. he is the Father in a special way only on Christ, bu he is the common Father of us all, because while he has begotten only Christ, he has created us. Then also say by his grace, “Our Father,” so that you may merit being his son.”
And then ask yourself:
In what way does saying, “Our Father…” reveal you to yourself?
How does the Father reveal himself to you when you pray, “Our Father…”?
“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”
You probably heard that explanation but may not have known or remembered it comes from this great Doctor of the church. As we look forward to the optional memorial of St. John Damascene on December 4, consider the following:
How do you raise your heart and mind to God each day?