Lent 2017 // Day Twenty Eight

Image by justloveprints.com

Image by justloveprints.com

God Shining Through Us

John 10:21-42

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, That my life may only be a radiance of yours.

Shine through me, and be so in me That every soul I come in contact with
May feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, So to shine as to be a light to others...

John Henry Cardinal Newman

This was St. Teresa of Calcutta’s favorite prayer, and she prayed it every single morning before going out to work in the slums. It’s so fitting for her, since there are so many stories of people being overwhelmed with the love and peace of God while in her presence. She truly shined with God’s light.

How can I shine with this light in my daily life? At my job, in my parish, at the local coffee shop?

We must first ask for it. I encourage you to print this prayer out and pray it every morning. I have it taped to my desk at work, to serve as a constant reminder for me. We must then get out of the way, to allow ourselves to be a window of His presence. Even on days when we’re not feeling particularly charitable or peaceful, we can still choose to rely on His light and not our own. We can “look to Him and be radiant.” Psalm 34:5

In this way, we can shine without even saying a word. Our actions can actually speak louder than words. Christ tells the Jews in this Gospel passage how important actions are when he says,

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38

There are many in the world who do not believe the words we profess. They do not believe all of the teachings of the Church or even the words of Scripture. Yet they can’t deny our works. Atheists even recognized Mother Teresa’s goodness and holiness, based upon her radical love of the poor. This is why it’s so harmful when our words are not backed up by our actions. Our actions should always make it obvious that we are Christians, that the Father lives in us. These actions have the ability to cross religious lines, gender lines, culture lines, and socioeconomic lines farther than any spoken word could.

Reflect: So ask Christ to shine through you, when you smile at a stranger in public or hold the door for someone. Ask Christ to shine through you when your co-worker is gossiping or complaining about something at work and you choose not to.

Act: Ask Christ to shine through you, because you never know who is watching and what effect it will have on them.

Prayer for Holiness

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Amen.

Prayer for God’s Blessing of One’s Daily Work

O Lord, my God,
Creator and Ruler of the universe,
it is Your Will that human beings accept the duty of work.  May the work I do bring growth in this life to me and those I love and help to extend the Kingdom of Christ.

Give all persons work that draws them to You and to each other in cheerful service.
I unite all my work with the Sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass that it may be pleasing to You and give You glory. I beg Your Blessing upon all my efforts. With Saint Joseph as my example and guide, help me to do the work You have asked and come to the reward You have prepared.Amen