Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Wanting to want what we pray for: Suscipe and other adventures in praying

My days are patterned. Meals, correspondence, physical therapy, etc. find their places around the stuff that patterns life:

Morning offering. Examination of conscience and bedtime prayers.

Lauds, Office of Readings, Vespers

"the lists" for the City and for the Archdiocese. Wondering whether I'm doing any good or making any difference, because chaos keeps happening anyway.

Some Lectio, and hoping to have something for the website, before my readers tire of prepackaged entrees from the Tradition and riot for some home cooking.

And Suscipe, the scariest prayer in the hymnal. I sing Suscipe every day, but most of the time I can only want to want what I'm asking for....and is that enough?

I ask myself, why do I keep doing this? Especially on those bad days when I'm hanging onto the first catechism questions for dear life (since they're known to be true and do not change) and when I'm hollering at God. Yes, when the boarder isn't here to get scared I do scream at God, when the pain gets to be too much for me.

Well, it's because of those first catechism questions: Who made me? God made me. Why did God make me? God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever and ever in heaven. And it's about the Act of Contrition, where there's another one of those solid true things: God is all-good and deserving of all my love. And it's because some twenty-five years ago I made a promise, to live simply and singly and submittedly; and part of that "submittedly" is to hold in prayer this city and this archdiocese, even when all I can do is hold a name in my hands and show it to God. And it's because, those very few times I've been able to sing Suscipe without reservation and without doubt, the Lord has granted some quite wild and crazy but very graced times in return.

So I take up the two "lists" up again: the one that begins
+Timothy, Archbishop
Pastor, priests and staff of Gesu Parish.....

and the one that begins
Mayor John Norquist
Alderman Angel Sanchez
all members of the Common Council......

and hold them up before the Lord, in the hope the Lord can use my little frail prayer in His great doings; and I remember that, as the prophet Hosea kept telling his very much less that perfect wife: Faithfulness will be your joy.

Suscipe: the scariest prayer in the hymnal

Take, Lord, receive
all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
my entire will.

Take, Lord, receive
all I have and possess.
You have given all to me;
now I return it.

Give me only Your love and Your grace;
that's enough for me.
Your love and Your grace
are enough for me.

Take, Lord, receive;
all is Yours now.
Dispose of it
wholly according to Your will.

Give me only Your love and Your grace;
that's enough for me.
Your love and Your grace
are enough for me.


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