DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Loving Lord Jesus, in Your invitation to follow You, we have been shown the example of true discipleship by the lives of many holy men and women throughout the ages, including the Apostle Saint Thomas whom we honor in a special way today;

– as we reflect upon the words of Thomas in the Gospel, may we recognize a sense of our own doubts and insecurities, our own frail human nature, which reaches out to You for healing, guidance and hope. And may we come to proclaim the faith which ultimately filled Thomas’ heart, ‘My Lord and my God!’ We humbly pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 3 ~ Novena for the Feast of Mercy

Theme:  Prayers and Novenas of Saint Faustina

“November 5, 1934. One morning, when it was my duty to open the gate to let out our people who deliver baked goods, I entered the little chapel to visit Jesus for a minute and to renew the intentions of the day. Today, Jesus I offer You all my sufferings, mortifications and prayers for the intention of the Holy Father, so that He may approve the Feast of Mercy. But Jesus, I have one more word to say to You; I am very surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of Mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?

“And Jesus said to me, ‘And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.

‘Make a novena for the Holy Father’s intention. It should consist of thirty-three acts; that is, repetition that many times of the short prayer – which I have taught you – to The Divine Mercy.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 341)

“O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You!” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 309)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, now that the Feast of Mercy has been officially declared as a Feastday for the whole Church, may it be understood and celebrated by Your children each year. May the Feast of Mercy be an occasion of a flood of mercy poured out upon the whole world, a world which is so desperately in need of Your Divine Mercy! (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 3 ~ The Yearning of My Soul

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“O eternal God, how ardently I desire to glorify this greatest of Your attributes; namely, Your unfathomable mercy.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 835)

“Nothing can still the yearning of my soul. I long for You, O my Creator and eternal God! Neither celebrations nor beautiful hymns soothe my soul; rather, they make me yearn all the more. At the very mention of Your Name, my spirit springs toward You, O Lord.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 850)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Meditation for the Day (Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle)

Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle, July 3

As Members of the Household of God, May We Always Have Faith, Trusting in Jesus’ Life-giving Word, Who Will Always Assist Us and Give Us the Strength We Need in Our Journey Through Life.

“Jesus said to [Thomas], ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’

I think it is a fair statement that all of us, at one time or another, have had doubts about our faith. And having doubts is nothing to be ashamed of, for it is a natural part of our growing process in understanding the truths taught to us.

The Church teaches us that faith is a supernatural virtue, a gift freely given by God. Believing, in itself, is an authentically human act, but it is only possible by grace and the interior assistance given to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

And yet, many have seen the confusion created in the minds of those whose hearts were not fully opened to God’s gift as a result of the Gospel of James, one of the apocryphal gospels never admitted into the Canon of Books which comprise our current Bible, or the movie titled “The DaVinci Code” and anything else that the liberal media or Hollywood attempts to throw against the basic tenets of Christianity, confusing and misleading those who are weak of faith.

Such confusion only serves to fuel the doubts which lie in the hearts and minds of those who are still struggling with the basic truths which our Church teaches.

Today, we celebrate the Feastday of Saint Thomas, who sadly has been branded with the moniker or the nickname – the “doubting Thomas”. I admire Thomas. I truly do! Like Peter, he is so very much human! Like Peter, he represents to us the imperfections that we oftentimes find within ourselves, within our own frail human nature.

Thomas was one of the original Twelve disciples, who later became known as Apostles. Thomas ate with Jesus, walked with Him, listened to His every word. But in the weakness of Thomas’ human nature, not unlike our own, he was still full of questions, unsure of his faith as to whom Jesus was.

The faith we find within Thomas is not unlike our own, a faith which needs to be fed and strengthened, a faith which needs to be nourished and cultivated – all which can only come through God’s grace, all which can only come when we approach our Lord with an authentically opened heart, reaching out for guidance, reaching out for an understanding of His Truth, as we travel through this valley of tears.

When Thomas replied to the statement made by the other disciples with the words, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe”, he was voicing those moments in our lives when we voice our own doubts about “why there is so much evil and suffering in the world”, our own questions about “why God allows bad things to happen to good people”, and so many other “why’s” which we carry within our hearts.

Oh, we can answer most of these questions pastorally or philosophically, maybe even theologically; but we still hunger for more. We hunger for a deeper understanding as to the many “why’s” within our own life’s experiences.

Do we need to reach out and touch the miraculous in order to believe, like Thomas needed for his own reassurances? The Catechism teaches us that God, in creating man in His own image, has imprinted upon man’s heart the desire to see God and to know Him.

Even though this desire to physically see God as we see each other, for most people, may never be fulfilled in our lifetime – on this side of the eternal – God never ceases to draw us to Himself, for it is only in God where we find the fullness of Truth and happiness; it is only in God where we come to know the One who loves each of us beyond all human understanding.

Thomas once asked our Lord Jesus the question, “…how can we know the way?”

Both you and I can find within Thomas’s words a sense of our own doubts and insecurities, a sense of our own emptiness at times, a sense of our own sadness – especially when life takes a turn in a direction which creates feelings of anxiety or apprehension –

– maybe due to the emotional trauma of a separation or divorce, maybe due to the tragic loss of a loved one, or maybe due to some other occurrence which has impacted our lives to the point where we need to sit down and reflect upon what has just happened and how we are to deal with the reality which is affecting us.

In the midst of our own human sufferings and loneliness in which we may find ourselves at times, there stands Jesus next to us, answering a questioning and sometimes bewildered humanity, as we reach out in search of answers and guidance which will fill us with understanding and hope.

And in the process of our yearning for this deeper understanding, our Lord openly welcomes us as His faithful children, for we “are no longer strangers and sojourners” but “fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God”, as Paul teaches us in our First Reading.

As members of His household, may we always have faith, trusting in Jesus’ life-giving word, who will always assist us and give us the strength we need in our journey through life!

And with a renewed spirit of trust and confidence in God’s never-ending Love for you and me, may each of us respond in faith, echoing the words of Saint Thomas himself –

“My Lord and my God!” For it is then that we will hear our Lord’s words comforting our heart mind and soul, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “But [Thomas] said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25b)
  • “Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.’ Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:27-28)
  • “Jesus said to him, ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’(John 20:29)
  • “…you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
  • “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)
  • “Blessed is the man who sets his trust in the LORD…” (Psalm 40:5a)
  • “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)
  • “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen…without faith, it is impossible to please [God], for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1, 6)
  • “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
  • “Jesus said…“I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6a)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love, and Your Strength.

“Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting Love and strengthening Power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us;
for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Saint of the Day ~ July 3

SAINT THOMAS (?-c.72), Apostle and martyr – Patron saint of architects, builders, stone masons, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India

Today, the universal Church celebrates the Feastday of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who is best remembered for his initial unwillingness to believe the other Apostles in their claim that Jesus had risen from the dead. Thomas, through his prayers of intercession for each and every one of us, can teach the faithful what it truly means to believe without seeing.

In the Gospels, Thomas is listed as one of the original Twelve; yet, there is very little written about him. John’s Gospel calls him the “twin (Didymus)”. Except for three occasions, Thomas rarely stands out among his colleagues during Jesus’ lifetime.

On the first occasion, when Jesus was ready to depart for Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas states, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b). The second occasion is at the Last Supper when Jesus was preparing His Apostles for His imminent departure due to His Passion and Death and His return to His Father, and that they know the way in which they may be together again. Thomas replies, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5), to which Jesus responds, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6a).

The third occasion is for what he is most renowned – for which he has been unfortunately labeled over the centuries as the “doubting Thomas”“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25b). And then after seeing the Risen Christ one week later, he exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28b).

In his general audience on September 27, 2006, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke of Saint Thomas, explaining that we can learn from his doubts which show us “…that Jesus can now be recognized by His wounds rather than by His face.” In other words, we all bear the scars of the crosses we carry in life, and we should recognize the suffering Jesus in one another.

The pope continues by saying, “The Apostle Thomas’ case is important to us for at least three reasons: first, because it comforts us in our insecurity; second, because it shows us that every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty; and, lastly, because the words that Jesus addressed to him remind us of the true meaning of mature faith and encourage us to persevere, despite the difficulty, along our journey of adhesion to Him.”

In other words, in Thomas’ humanity, we find our own. And, in Thomas’ developing faith, our faith also grows, even in the midst of our own doubts and uncertainties in life, as long as we maintain our focus on the One who always stands before us, who continually invites us to be united with Him – both in this life and the next – for this becomes the hope which strengthens and sustains us in our continuing pilgrimage on this side of eternity.

According to tradition, it is believed that Saint Thomas preached the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Persians and Medes, until he reached his destination in India, where he evangelized and, as tradition further states, he was martyred about the year 72 A.D.

We commemorate his Feastday on July 3.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saint Thomas, Apostle)

“Almighty Father, as we honor Thomas the Apostle, let us always experience the help of his prayers. May we have eternal life by believing in Jesus, whom Thomas acknowledged as Lord, for He lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)

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“Most Merciful and Loving Father, You tirelessly love Your children, even when they choose to walk away from all that You offer from the depths of Your Divine Love;

– please give us Your Spirit to guide and lead us to always follow the way of Your Divine Son, in order that we may always please You by the faith which we embrace and truly profess, so that we may one day live forever in the joy of Your Eternal Presence, all in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 1 ~ Prayer for Our Native Country

Theme:  Prayers and Novenas of Saint Faustina

“Once, after an adoration for our country, a pain pierced my soul, and I began to pray in this way: ‘Most merciful Jesus, I beseech You through the intercession of Your Saints, and especially the intercession of Your dearest Mother who nurtured You from childhood, bless my native land. I beg You Jesus, look not on our sins, but on the tears of little children, on the hunger and cold they suffer. Jesus for the sake of these innocent ones, grant me the grace that I am asking of You for my country.’

“At that moment, I saw the Lord Jesus, His eyes filled with tears, and He said to me, ‘You see, My daughter, what great compassion I have for them. Know that it is they who uphold the world.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 286)

[Please note that the above prayer by Saint Faustina can be used by anyone for their home country, so that our Lord’s compassionate Heart may be moved for all of His innocent and faithful children anywhere in the world.]

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, give us a great concern for our native country. Please hear our prayer for those who attempt to live without You, or those afflicted with poverty and injustice. Especially protect the children – the innocent ones – in our secularized nation.  (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

July 1 ~ I Desire Nothing but Your Glory

Theme:  Desire for the Lord

“Despite the fears and qualms of my nature, I am fulfilling Your holy will and desire to fulfill it as faithfully as possible throughout my life and in my death. Jesus, with You I can do all things. Do with me as You please: only give me Your merciful Heart and that is enough for me.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 650a)

“O God, You who pervade my soul, You know that I desire nothing but Your glory.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 650b)

“I desire to glorify Your infinite mercy during my life, at the hour of death, in the resurrection and throughout eternity.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 697)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 1

May Our Most Merciful and Loving Savior Guide and Lead Us to Wholly Love Him and to Walk in the Freedom of His Way in Our Daily Pilgrimage Through Life.

From the Book of the Prophet Amos, we find in today’s Reading, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live…Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail…”

As we reflect upon today’s Scripture Readings, we find God reaching out to each one of us and asking the questions, “Have you forsaken all that is of this world out of love for Me? Have you abandoned evil for the sake of true justice, learning to live and love others selflessly as I love you?” And it is these questions which will guide us through today’s meditation.

I remember some time ago when a certain politician, who shall remain anonymous, was attempting to gain the vote of the “religious right”. He attempted to do so by quoting Sacred Scripture; but, more times than not, his attempts at appearing open to and embracing God’s Holy Word came out as an empty attempt to appear spiritually enlightened. Many recognized this false sense of religiosity within his character. Yet, there were still many who believed otherwise and followed him all the way to the voting booth.

In an entirely different vein of thought, when one stays attuned to the current events in the Church on a world-wide scale, we find certain members of clergy and religious making some very poor and selfish decisions in these secular and atheistic times in which we live today, separating themselves from the teaching Magisterium of the Church and sadly leading others astray who follow their charismatic personalities.

And I find myself utterly amazed and quite thankful that we have not experienced in modern times what our earlier Jewish brothers and sisters experienced in their time, when many left the traditions of their fathers to follow new gods, and ended up practicing a religion which was an abomination to the One True God!

Yet, in spite of the darkness which prevailed in man’s heart, God, through His Merciful Love, would still claim His chosen people as His own. And even though He would chastise them for their unfaithfulness, He would always forgive and guide them into a closer relationship with Himself.

And it is this Merciful Love which we find in our Gospel Reading for today. Gadarenes (GAD-uh-reens) was a territory inhabited by Gentiles, as is evident by the herd of swine, an animal and meat considered unclean by Mosaic Law. We are told that two demoniacs were possessed by demons.

In Mark’s Gospel, it tells us that the number of demonic spirits were legion in number. And to give us some perspective on the number of demons about which we are referring, a Roman legion during the time of Christ consisted of about 3,000 men. So we are talking here about a rather dramatic and extensive possession of these poor men!

It is in the very act of God’s Merciful Love for these two Gentiles, who were besieged and tormented for an unknown period of time, that Jesus drove this legion of demons into the herd of swine, which according to Mark’s account, were about 2,000 in number.

We are told that the villagers, after being told of all that had happened, were seized with fear and asked Jesus to leave. As a Gentile people, many had no real understanding of God’s Love and were known to even practice idol worship, an empty form of worship to gods other than the God of the Israelites.

No one had demonstrated such power and authority against the forces of Satan as Jesus did! Unfortunately, as a result, they feared Jesus and begged Him to leave their district.

We might ask ourselves, “Why would they not want Jesus to stay?” Perhaps the price for such liberation from the power of evil and sin, and from the way of life which they had known and lived, was more than they wanted to pay.

As we sincerely and honestly reflect upon the way we live our lives and the way we practice our faith, how many times do we mouth the words of prayer, but have no heart? How many times do we look upon the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned and the less fortunate – and turn a blind eye or a deaf ear?

How many times do we fail to exhibit true justice in our Christian lives – understanding justice to mean our willingness to give to both God and our neighbor that which is rightfully theirs – to God, our love, worship and obedience; to our neighbor, selfless love, dignity and respect?

Even our psalmist today is reciting God’s words, when he sings a prayer of lament, “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?”

Today’s Readings are reminding us of the necessity of opening our hearts and our very souls to all that God is asking and expects of us. And Jesus gave us the perfect example of what it means to be obedient to the will of God and to love others, without counting the cost.

In His Divinity, the Eternal Word freely left His Divine Throne, freely left the solace and comfort of His Father’s Love, so that He could take upon Himself our human nature. He freely chose to walk amongst us as the God-Man, to teach us what it truly means to be a faithful worshiper of the One True God –

– the kind of worship which the earlier Israelites in our First Reading had rejected, something of which the Gentiles in our Gospel for today had no real knowledge or understanding.

As we continue to reflect upon the ways in which we practice our faith, do we find ourselves holding back, displeasing God with our failure to be all that He calls us to be? Jesus IS eternally with us, in both Sacrament and Word. And, in His Divine Mercy, He is ready and willing to free us from anything that binds and keeps us from the Love of God.

After all things are considered, are you and I willing to part with anything and everything that might keep us from His Merciful Love and His saving grace?

Let us pray that our Most Merciful and Loving Savior may guide and lead us to wholly love HIM and to walk in the freedom of His way in our daily pilgrimage through life. May we live true justice in our daily lives so that there may be nothing which will keep us from the joy of living in His Eternal Presence.

And, as our Lord tells us through His prophet Amos at the end of our First Reading, “…let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.”

In this way, our way of life shall truly be pleasing to our Most Loving and Merciful God!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Seek good and not evil, that you may live…Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail…” (Amos 5:14a, 15a)
  • “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. The LORD is good to all, compassionate toward all your works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)
  • “Who can measure his majestic power, or fully recount his mercies? …That is why the LORD is patient with man and pours out his mercy on him.” (Sirach 18:5, 11)
  • “When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?’” (Matthew 8:28-29)
  • “The demons pleaded with him, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.’ And he said to them, ‘Go then!’(Matthew 8:31-32a)
  • “Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.” (Psalm 51:3-4)
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
  • “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
  • “…let justice surge like waters, and righteousness like an unfailing stream.” (Amos 5:24)
  • “Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me; I will let him whose way is steadfast look upon the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your Love.
May I see each circumstance in my life
as an opportunity to grow in Your Mercy.
May I see my environment
as a place to grow in Your Peace.

“When I am tempted to become impatient,
help me to be patient.

“When I am tempted to become unkind,
help me to be kind.

“When I am tempted to become jealous,
help me to be tolerant.

“When I am tempted to become boastful or proud,
help me give You the glory.

“When I am tempted to be rude or selfish,
give me the gift of gentleness.

“When I am tempted to take offense,
help me to let go.

“When I am tempted to become angry with someone,
give me the gift of forgiveness.

“When I am tempted to become resentful,
give me Your power to love.

“All gifts and all charisms come from You.
All will one day come to an end,
with one important exception, the gift of love!
Help me to always love others as You love me. Amen.”

Anonymous