He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Monday, March 7, 2016

Praying with the Gospels: The Sheep and the Goats

Lord, I am so often a stubborn goat, busy chewing on anything
which might distract me from my sufferings, thereby missing
You when I see many of Your least brethren hungry or thirsty,
failing to recognize Your image in their faces worn and dirty.

Please grant by Your grace that I be transformed by the light
of Christ's love as I repent daily of my most grievous fault,
the fault which is my choice to turn away from You and run
toward my own brief pleasures, leaving Your work undone.

I ask that You strengthen my heart by the fire of compassion
so that I might visit Your beloved who are sick and in prison,
clothe those who have no cloak to sleep in, feed the hungry,
and give your Living Water to those who thirst for thy mercy.

May I who am lost be found by Your Son the Good Shepherd
who rejoices in finding the many sheep who have wandered
far from the green pastures so that He might lay me down in
the green pastures once again, a sheep in the flock of Heaven.

Fra Angelico 009.jpg
By Fra Angelico (circa 1395–1455) - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=147477

Note: This passage is part of a series of teachings Jesus gave to us on the Kingdom of Heaven and the return of the Son of Man immediately following his admonition to do as the Pharisees said, but to avoid doing as the Pharisees do with their hypocrisy.

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