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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner

Today's Gospel has the Pharisee speaking to God and thanking that he is not like others but that he does everything right; the publican does not even dare to raise his eyes but stays at the back of the synagogue and beats his breast and repeats this prayer from his heart""O Lord be merciful to me, a sinner." He is the one who is justified.

I never hear this parable without remembering one of my Jesuit cousins who came to see me as soon as I had made my first vows and was sent to a community near his Jesuit community. We talked about prayer and I am sure I had a great deal to say, but then he told me that his prayer each morning was just repeating, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." I did not realize then that this was a perfect prayer for all of us and now I often find myself repeating the same for it is a short form of the famous "Jesus Prayer" that can be said at any time, any where.

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