Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Lord Have Mercy

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Catholic, Christian Life, Prayer

I was watching one of my latest guilty pleasures on Hulu tonight, The Sing Off. I was out with some good friends and I knew I needed to catch up before I am able to watch the new episode tomorrow night. It’s a little ironic that I start off the post tonight talking about my “guilty pleasures” since that was one of the song topics for tonight. One of my least favorite groups actually did pretty well tonight with a very unlikely song, Mister Mister’s “Kyrie.” This is their preformance

When I was a kid I used to love this song only because it had the words Kyrie Eleison in it. I was learning the Latin Mass Parts and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. This was especially true because I was also taught the translation, “Lord have Mercy.” Over the years as I became an over exuberant “Catholic Traditionalist,”   I started thinking “How dare they use something so sacred in such a song?” Well needless to say I’ve taken another turn in growing and in my opinion.

Kyrie Eleison is used in every mass that is ever said in the Penitential Rite of mass. We publicly acknowledge all of our sins and our failures in front of everyone. Then we ask for forgiveness; “Lord have Mercy. Christ have Mercy. Lord have Mercy.” Then the priest prays over all of us and our venial sins are forgiven, but that doesn’t mean we get a “Get out of the Confessional free” card. The stain of sin is still there, that’s why we still need to go to Confession. Plus, it doesn’t get rid of those pesky Mortal sins. You know those ones that completely separate you from God and can send you to Hell? Yeah those, they can only be removed in Confession, but that’s another topic.

Through God’s infinite mercy, which in mass we just have asked for, our sins are forgiven. The way we look down on the person digging through the trash for pop cans, when we don’t pick up a crying child’s toy flung out of a shopping cart when mom or dad doesn’t see it, when we don’t do the little acts of charity we find every day, in that moment are forgiven. Sure, we still need to go to Confession, these are examples of the sins we don’t realize we are doing and rarely if ever think about confessing, but they are gone.

So tonight I had a change of heart, I actually decided to look up these lyrics that I really didn’t care about. This is a cheesy 80’s song that people listen too when they are reminiscing about  the good ol’ days, but this is what I found.

Kyrie Eleison
Down the road that I must travel
Kyrie Eleison
Through the darkness of the night
Kyrie Eleison
Where I’m going will you follow
Kyrie Eleison
On a highway in the light

Mister Mister “Kyrie”

This is probably no different than the version you hear repeatedly sung in various karaoke bars or played on 80’s radio, but look a little deeper. Look at how things change when it’s all in English:

Lord have Mercy
Down the road that I must travel
Lord have Mercy
Through the darkness of the night
Lord have Mercy
Where I’m going will you follow
Lord have Mercy
On a highway in the light

How powerful do our prayers become when they are said in the name of the Lord? The easiest way to get someone’s attention is to call them by their name. That translation can easily be said by any of us. Lord have Mercy on me where I am right now. Lord have Mercy when I have no where else to turn. Lord have Mercy when I’ve turned my back on you. Lord have Mercy when I’ve turned back to you.

Lord have Mercy.

Kyrie Eleison.

There is a meditation within the Catholic Church that particularly delves into Christ’s Divine Mercy. It is called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Using a regular Rosary it’s pretty simple, and it only takes about 10 minutes to recite. One of the promises given to those that say this Chaplet is that upon their death, if any person says this prayer even once, God will look at them with more mercy because they have asked for God’s mercy. I think it’s pretty cool. Take a peak. Divine Mercy Chaplet

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Prayer

Posted: August 20, 2010 in Christian Life, Prayer

Many people view prayer as a way to get something for very little effort. But prayer is just so much more than that. Since I’ve moved to Iowa, I’ve left my comfort of being able Monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul IIto go to Eucharistic Adoration on a whim. For those that are not familiar with the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, simply, it is the practice of placing a consecrated Eucharistic Host on display so that it may be venerated since it is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Just as Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist during mass, this is another host that has been consecrated during mass for the purpose of Adoration.

In Northern Minnesota I was able to frequent Adoration whenever I wanted to be in the presence of Christ. Once I moved here, the parish I attend is quite small and it wouldn’t be viable to have Adoration all through the night, but we do have it for an hour a week. The turnout isn’t the greatest but there are many people who come just to have a small bit of time before Jesus in the still of their hearts.

I admit, there are times I do not want to be at church after I’ve worked a long day in the office, on a Friday, but there are many times I don’t want to be there that I need to be there. This brings me back to what I said at the beginning of my post, many people see prayer as a way to get something with very little effort. My response to that is, get over it, God is not a vending machine.

Mathew 7: 7 – 11 says this,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”

This quote is often misquoted frequently as a way to say prayer is a hoax. The attitude I hear most often is that, “If I ask God for something, I should get it.” While it is true that the “wicked” (also read as sinners) know how to give good gifts to their children, why wouldn’t God give us something bigger and better?

We live in a world of instant gratification. When I want something I get it now. Here’s the thing a lot of us forget, we are sinners, we don’t always know what’s best for us. So in our prayer lives when we ask for something that is harmful to ourselves, do you think God is just going to hand it over to us? I think not.

Prayer in essence is the uniting of our Free Will to that of God. Sounds easy? In my experience it’s actually quite hard. There are four categories that all prayer can be placed into. ACTS is an easy way to remember it.

A – Adoration – These are prayers that directly worship God.

C – Contrition – These prayers are those that show sorrow and repentance for sins.

T – Thanksgiving – This one is pretty self explanatory, these prayers thank God.

S – Supplication – These are prayers that ask for the needs of others and ourselves.

Whether our prayers are spontaneous or formal, they fall in one of these four categories.

Personally when I remember the four different forms of prayer, I try to ask myself, have I adored God today? Have I realized when I have sinned and repented of them? Have I thanked God? What can I bring forward to God for my family, friends and then finally for myself. I find it’s a dose of much needed humility. Think about it, pray about it, and stop looking to God as a genie or vending machine.