JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

Oh God, please assist me in writing this letter so that it may be beneficial to others and prevent me, my Lord I pray, from appearing to say that one method of prayer is superior and acceptable alone by You, our Lord, who accepts any petition offered with devotion, faithfulness, and humility. Keep what I write in conformity with the teachings of the church, and when I speak about the beauty of the Latin language, the language of Your Holy and Catholic Church, the language which I have been inspired by Your Mercy, my God, to approach you each day in my daily prayers allow me, please I beg You, to do so with an attitude of profound humility. Allow those who read this letter to understand that I do not write this for any sort of self aggrandizement or in order to esteem myself to them for praying in the language of Your Church but that I do so only that my devotion to You, my Lord, may grow more and more each time that I pray in the Latin language. It is an act of humility, my Lord, and an acknowledgement of my unlearned nature that I am unable to think of you so naturally and fluently in my daily language with any level of devotion. If only I knew You more perhaps I would be able express my love for You as intimately as I would to another creature, but I, in my wretchedness, am lacking in love for you and so I humbly pray to you in the words and the language used by Your Holy Church. May the devotion with which You have so mercifully blessed me be shared – and by Your grace – perhaps inspire others to consider making the humble devotional act of learning and praying in the Language of Mother Church. It is a great blessing you have graced us with that we are able to come everyday and speak to you in prayer. If only we knew how great a blessing this was, my Lord, perhaps we lowly creatures would be more willing to set aside our petty distractions and turn to you in loving conversation. May you never cease to increase the devotion and prayerfulness of Your flock. Oh my God if only every prayer we offer You would be as devout, as humble, and as sincere as a Pater Noster offered by a truly repentant sinner in the language of the Church how much more would the praises and prayers of Your people bring joy and happiness to your Sacred Heart. If only this would be true that Mass was offered with this devotion daily I do not think my soul, in its wretchedness, could bear to continue in my vile ways nor that of any other sinner as lowly and faithless as I. In my weakness, my God, I am often unable to separate my daily thoughts, my daily emotions, and my worldly cares from that which is Divine and Holy when I speak to you in the common vernacular of my country. These petty concerns and worldly emotions distract my attention from settling solely upon You. That is why, my Lord, I have chosen to follow your inspiration and come to you in my Office, in my daily rosary, and all other prayers whenever possible using the language which many of your great saints, your servants, and those whom we should be inspired to follow, after only you Our Lord Jesus Christ, prayed. I beg you Lord, my God, that you inspire more of your flock to take up this beautiful yoke so that they may learn and pray in a language through which you have inspired so many Saints, Holy Fathers, Priests, and Religious; a language which requires such reflection, such deliberate thought, and such emotion to express truly what it is that we wish to say to you, our Lord in Heaven, that our prayers can not help but sing out to you the depth of love for you with which you have blessed us. I pray to you most earnestly as I sit and compose this letter that you, my God, guide my hand to write only that which will help others come to understand why you have given us, through the teachings of you Holy and catholic church, the choice of not only praying in the languages of our daily tongue but those of your church, it’s fathers, her holy saints, and all your priests and deacons of old; and I pray that you inspire and fortify more of your flock that they may take up this most rewarding devotional exercise. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O My Lord, how much you desire the consolation of those whom you have called to Your Church; however, it seems that it is from those of us You have personally called into your embrace that the most significant pain is caused to your Most Blessed and Sacred Heart. Yet we foul and lowly creatures who You in Your endless Mercy have, through your incarnation, sorrowful passion, and glorious resurrection raised to higher glory than even Your angels – a reward to which, without your profound love, we wretched and faithless sinners could not have even aspired – offend you most of all. Why is it that we forget our profound debt to you and fall away from Your never-ending Love only to seek after worldly gain and carnal pleasures? Forgive us, Lord, for we are but the weakest of your creatures and most incapable of producing any good whatsoever. In our feebleness against the worldly temptations and snares of the Devil we are quite unable to resist. His vile and depraved inclinations, which he gives us against the holy and sanctifying uses for which You have deemed all to be good for us, leads us instead to the ruin of our souls. How much our turning from you to the world must pain your Most Adorable and Blessed Heart. Yet still, these of your servants whose offenses you endure cause yet even less suffering than that which is caused by those of us faithless and most foul sinners who – wishing to appear Holy and removed from the influences of the world, and to whom you have bestowed the greatest Grace of ample occasion for prayer, fasting, and penance – squander this greatest of Blessings chasing after vile, depraved, and foul pleasures. For truly, what is a better reward on earth than the ability to spend our lives in intimate conversation with You, Our Most Blessed and Love-able Jesus? Yet, in our lowliness and despicableness we come to you not begging for Good and Holy priests to shepherd your flock, we come not for an increase in vocations to religious and consecrated life, not for the souls of those murdered by abortion each day or for those suffering in purgatory, nor for an increase in the number of your faithful servants, indeed not even for our own sanctification or begging You to bless us with even more faith and love for you that we may eventually be inspired by the Holy Ghost to seek You for these far more holy intercessions. Not for these holy and pure requests do we come to You in prayer, but instead we come to You whining and sniveling about some discomfort or mild annoyance we must suffer, some vanity we can not afford for ourselves, or with the desire for some equally depraved and offensive request. Yet You, ever Merciful Lord, see our pitifulness and in your Great Kindness towards your creatures You fulfill these shameful petitions of we wretched and miserable sinners. You Love to Love us Lord. If only we knew the true depths of your great affection for us most undeserving creatures – if we but knew how much more the pleasure is to You, our God, when we give ourselves entirely to You in order that You, in Your perfection, may make us pure and holy servants upon whom you may bestow spiritual graces, consolations, and divine suffering, a pleasure far surpassing the profound joy it brings you to see your servants praise and glorify you in our religious and pious use of what material goods You do bestow upon us for our spiritual enrichment – we would not squander so readily the valuable little time we have with you in asking for such disgusting and offensive requests as money, fame, or comfort. Instead, if we but truly loved You as You love us, My God, we would implore You to grant to us more faith, love, and an ever greater devotion to You, My Dearest Lord, so that we may become better and more holy servants of Yours here on earth. We would pray that we may be Blessed with intimacy with You, Our Most Blessed Lord, not to fulfill some fleeting worldly desire, but to bring about your Will upon earth and through this to bring more souls – through your Grace and as your instruments alone – from the vile and evil clutches of Satan into the Holy embrace of Your Holy and Catholic Church. O my God, how much the holy and righteous prayers of your servants console your Precious and Adorable Sacred Heart. May you bless us Lord with such profound Love and devotion for You that we, trusting in You to give us all that we would ever need to fulfill your Will for us on earth, come to you in prayer asking only for these most pious and sincere requests: to pray for your Church and all Her servants, to pray for our priests in particular and to beg you for their sanctification – for them to ever increase in their Love for you, Our Lord – and to pray that you keep us ever growing in our devotion and love for you. Let us no longer petition you for that which is selfish and vain. Purify the hearts of your servants, O my God, until that for which they alone long is that to which you Will them to desire. Let us grow in devotion to you, Our God, until there is no will left in us but Your Holy and most perfect Will. Grant this to us, we beg You our Most Loving and Beautiful Lord, through the intercession of Your Holy and Blessed Mother Mary. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My God, I pray that as I write this, You inspire me. Any good whatsoever that may be found in the following is from You alone. All errors stem from my lack of understanding and wretchedness. May You guide my hand as I write this, and may You bless those who read this with the intelligence to turn away from this writing should it offend You in any way. May I not shine, but Your Glory shows through my writings if it be Your Will. May I, a wretched and faithless sinner, ever decrease except that my vileness may be known so that Your Glory and Honor and Might may increase. May I be merely Your instrument, my Lord. I lay myself at Your feet as a most unworthy servant. Use me as You please, my God. Amen.

I have been reading through “The Way of Perfection” by St. Teresa of Avila once again – I recently purchased the study edition from the Institute of Carmelite Studies, and have been enjoying working through the questions for discussion in my journal as I read. One question struck me following the first chapter: “After Teresa’s example what ‘little that is in our power’ can we do to become good friends of the Lord?” This question came at a very opportune time for me as I am also participating in a small group at our parish called “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” which deals with Divine Mercy and building an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The question seemed well-timed – thanks Holy Spirit! – and so I felt I would share some of the reflections I had while wrestling with ways I – and we all – could become better friends, indeed “good friends,” of our Lord. Perhaps you will find something useful in here as well.

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