Sunday, November 17, 2019

How to pray when you don't know how.

Or simply can't.

Remember, live in the Presence of God.  Recollection is a prayer which helps us to pray always.

A Simple Way to Pray Always
After my liberation many people said to me: “Father, in prison you must have had a lot of time to pray.” It was not as simple as one might think. The Lord permitted me to experience all my weakness, my physical and mental fragility. Time passes slowly in prison, particularly in solitary confinement. Imagine a week, a month, two months of silence…. There were days when I was so worn out by exhaustion and illness that I could not manage to say a single prayer! This reminds me of a story.
There was an older man named Jim who would go to church every day at noon for just a few minutes, and then he would leave. The sacristan was very curious about Jim’s daily routine, and one day he stopped him to ask: “Why do you come here every day?” “I come to pray,” Jim answered.
“That’s impossible! What prayer can you say in two minutes?”
“I am an old, ignorant man. I pray to God in my own way.”
“But what do you say?”
“I say: ‘Jesus, here I am, it’s Jim.’ And then I leave.” After some years, Jim became ill and had to go to the hospital, where he was admitted to the ward for the poor. When it seemed that Jim was dying, a priest and a nurse, a religious sister, stood near his bed. The priest asked, “Jim, tell us how it is that from the day you came to this ward everything changed for the better? How is it that the patients have become happier, more content, and friendlier?”
“I don’t know. When I could walk around, I would try to visit everyone. I greeted them, talked a bit with them. When I couldn’t get out of bed I called everyone over to me to make them laugh, to make them happy. With Jim they are always happy!”
“But why are you happy?”
“Well aren’t you happy when you receive a visitor?” asked Jim.
“Of course, but we have never seen anyone come to visit you.”
“When I came here I asked you for two chairs. One was for you, Father, and one was reserved for my guest.” “But what guest?” the priest asked.
“I used to go to church to visit Jesus every day at noon. But when I couldn’t do that anymore, Jesus came here.”
“Jesus comes to visit you? What does he say?”
“He says: ‘Jim, here I am, it’s Jesus!’” Before dying, Jim smiled and gestured with his hand toward the chair next to his bed, as if inviting someone to sit down. He smiled for the last time and closed his eyes.
When my strength failed and I could not even pray, I repeated: “Jesus, here I am, it’s Francis.” Joy and consolation would come to me and I experienced Jesus ­responding: “Francis, here I am, it’s Jesus.”
Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyên Văn Thuân
Cardinal Nguyên Văn Thuân († 2002) was imprisoned by the Vietnamese government for thirteen years. [From Five Loaves & Two Fish, Tinvui Media, Tr. © 1997, Edizioni San Paolo, Pauline Books & Media/The Daughters of St. Paul, Boston, MA. All rights reserved. Used with permission.]


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  2. There is a children's prayer in Brazil, that is often prayed by the children present after Mass in the (gorgeous) Basilica de São Lourenço Mártir, where I attend Mass regularly.

    Its best part, for me, is the non-sequitur allusion to her dress' colors. Wonderfully naïf and childish.

    The prayer goes like this:

    "Mommy from Heaven
    I don't know how to pray
    I can only say
    I want to love you.
    Blue is your mantle,
    White is your veil;
    Mommy I want
    To see you there in Heaven."

    In the original Portuguese:
    "Mãezinha do Céu,
    Eu não sei rezar;
    Eu só sei dizer
    Que eu quero te amar.
    Azul é teu manto,
    Branco é teu véu;
    Mãezinha, eu quero
    Te ver lá no Céu."

  3. What a beautiful story you have shared with us, Terry.
    Just what I needed this day.

    I am going to copy and share.

  4. 💦💦💦💦Love and thanks, Fr P

  5. Hey Terry - its getting very strange in RAD TRAD CAMP:

    RAD TRADS demand Vigano be made POPE

    Rad Trads now compose a Ode to Our New Don John, Alexander Tschugguel


    1. Haha - Barnhardt has completely lost it.


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