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Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!"

I love this image and it says much to me about the wonder of children and what it means for us to be childlike. I am away for a few days to visit a friend but am scheduling these posts up to the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady so there will be something to reflect upon each day.

Today's Gospel (Luke 18:9-14) has the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Both went up to the temple to pray; but how different the prayer of each was! Jesus tells us the the Pharisee "Took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayer, 'O God be merciful to me a sinner.'"

When I was a young Religious just after my first vows, I had a visit from a very holy Jesuit cousin. His angel must have been in communication with mine for I always knew when he had come to visit me even before someone came to call me; I even sensed when a letter from him was arriving -- this is the only person that I have had this kind of telepathy with but it was extraordinary! Anyway, he told me that day that his prayer had been for a long time only "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner." This same Jesuit was one of the most apostolic persons I have ever known, and he was also a man of prayer.
Sometimes now my prayer, too, is Lord, be merciful to me a sinner."

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