Two days until my birthday! I think I am now officially old enough to stop counting. I am what I am! Who needs a number?
The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This was printed on a lovely card that was tucked into a book called The Young Man’s Guide: Counsels, Reflections, and Prayers For Catholic Young Men by Rev. F. X. Lasance (Benziger Brothers, Inc). My father gave the little tome to my 13-year-old on the occasion of his Confirmation, for which my dad stood as his sponsor. Dad told us that he received the same book when he was confirmed some 60 years ago. I’m so glad publishers are bringing back these wonderful books to educate our children—and us parents, who need them badly! My boys usually find that dear old Mom digs into books that are given to them before they even get a chance to crack the spine.
But let me get back to The Jesus Prayer. I have heard it before, as I’m sure many of you have, too. And one day, a convert who appeared on The Journey Home on EWTN explained how he used the prayer throughout the day. As he breathes in, he says to himself, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.” And as he breathes out, "Have mercy on me, a sinner.” I think I am going to try to do this more often. Pray without ceasing. I usually simply forget. The day gets so busy, and then I find that instead of the prayers coming out of me there are actions and reactions that I wouldn’t be pleased to mention. Are you like this? Do your reactions pop out of you before you can think? How many times do I tell our children to think before they act, and yet I struggle with the same and I wonder what has happened to my sense of temperance. The Jesus Prayer. Try it and let me know how it helps you. And if you have any other prayers, please share!
I quickly visited the website noted on the little prayer card, www.jesusprayer.us. It explained under “Who?” why we should pray without ceasing and how it has significant effect on our habits and ways. This is a little way we can become closer to Our Lord.