Daily Devotion for September 26, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of St. Edmund
O Lord, into your hands and into the hands of your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul, my relatives, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all who confess your holy name.
O Lord, by the merits and prayers of your son, Jesus Christ, keep me today from all evil and unruly desires, from all sins and temptations of the devil, from a sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell. Enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments. Let me never be separated from you, O God, who lives and reigns forever, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer of Thanks
Almighty and gracious Father, I give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make me and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort me and help my brothers, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.
Joy to Come
Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.
When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me.
Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."
Notes on the Scripture
Christianity is the ultimate expression of 'delayed gratification'. Many martyrs have given their lives for their faith in Christ. Most of us will not be called to such great sacrifice, but we are called, at times, to make small sacrifices, because of our belief in the joy that will come to our eternal soul.
In today's passage, Christ speaks words of enormous comfort to the apostles, who are disconsolate at the approach of Jesus' cruel death. The example he gives, of a woman in labor, is wonderful; it is something that everyone can understand and appreciate, for birth can indeed be terribly painful (and in that time, dangerous) to the mother; yet the result is one of the happiest moments in the woman's life.
For most of us, Christ's burden is light and the reward is great. Life is not fair, although in this case the unfairness runs in our favor. We are given the same eternal salvation as those who were crucified, those who were thrown to lions, and those who spend their entire adult lives as monks and nuns, living in poverty and discomfort.
In fact, often Christ's "burden" is an earthly blessing, especially for those who feel God's Holy Spirit in their lives. Every person's life is full of cares and woes. When we really can grasp the significance of our salvation, they do not hurt so much. Christ did say, "Come to me, those of you who labor and carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you."
I hope that all of us can take this message to heart. True faith, especially letting the Holy Spirit enter our lives, takes an enormous weight off our shoulders. Whenever we are feeling down, we should take time to meditate and pray for this enormous blessing we can receive during our lives.