Prayer Only for Today

I came across this beautiful prayer several days ago in the Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion book.  I’ve been praying it and would like to offer it for your reflection.

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

Only for today, I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

Only for today, I will devote ten minutes to some good reading, for good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

Only for today, I will make a plan for myself; I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

Only for today, I will have no fears.  In particular, i will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness.

(Pope John XXIII)



How are we looking at Advent?

The Advent reflection I read today is terrific!! It is written by Janet Schaeffler and I offer it to you for your reflection.  Let God use it to open your eyes as He has done mine.

...and their eyes were opened.  Matthew 9:30

One morning, after a young couple had moved into a new neighborhood, the wife looked out the      window and noticed her neighbor hanging the wash outside.  “That laundry isn’t very clean.” she said. 
Her husband didn’t reply, and every time the neighbor hung her wash, his wife made the same comment.  About a month later, the woman was surprised to see clean wash on her neighbor’s line.  “Well she finally  learned how to wash! she said.

Her husband replied, “I got up early and cleaned our windows.”

In today’s gospel, two men are cured of physical blindness. But other types of blindness can afflict us too.  We can train our eyes to see only what we want to see.  We can let our eyes get clouded over because of past perceptions and prejudices, hurts and slights that we are still harboring, or an attitude that our way is the only way.  

There are many legends about St. Nicholas, whose feast we celebrate today, stories of his generous giving to everyone.  Perhaps he was able to give to all because he had a wide and clear vision; he could see the goodness of everyone, despite their circumstances.  

Practice today:  Wash your windows today in preparation for the celebration of  Christmas.  As you wash them, ask yourself; what smudges and streaks might I need to eliminate so that I can see the fullness, the beauty and the goodness of everyone?

If you wear glasses….give them a good clearing!!

How do I love Thee, My God? Let me count the ways.

I recently attended a Theresian Day of Prayer where Father Mark Thibodeaux, a Jesuit priest talked about loving God.  He explained that some people are “guilted into loving God”.  Upon looking at the crucified Christ and realizing that it is our sin that brought about his Passion enduring for our sake, we are filled with remorse and guilt.  We love him because we should, because we caused his suffering.  Thereby, we are “guilted into loving”.

However, the true and authentic love we are called to comes from a “compunction of heart”, as Father Mark put it.  At first, I was puzzled by this.  Don’t we feel a sort of compunction of heart when we look at the cross and feel remorse for our sin.  I brought this matter to prayer, and to my Spiritual Director this week.  I wanted to examine how I love God and to be sure of its origin and motive.

I do realize my sin and how I cause Jesus’ suffering.  I am a repentant sinner, for sure.  But I want to love my Father in heaven because it is my free well’s desire to be in union with him and to grow in relationship with him.   My first question for my Director was about “compunction of heart” and what it meant.  Compunction describes puncturing something, which in turn makes it vulnerable.  For me, this compunction of heart means I am presenting myself before God, my  Father in heaven, a repentant sinner, who is allowing myself to be vulnerable  and give myself to his will over my life and every detail of it.   I am trusting him with my life and most of all my heart and will take care of it.  I have had issues with trust in my life, so this is a big step, even though it means trusting God.

My journal prayer this week is:   “Jesus, teach me, touch me, reach into you dwelling place deep in  my heart and rise up with all your might and create in me a brand new heart that is so real no doubt dare come near; so full of love that no pride, no laziness can interfere with  my service to your kingdom.  Lord, help me  to feel this love, let it move me in such a way that I cannot resist it.  Let my tears come when I feel it as evidence of my love-filled heart. “

The response my heart received from God was:   “Joannie, if you want to love me with compunction of heart, love others – then you will be loving me.  The way to love me is to love my children.  You are already doing this my beloved daughter.”

How are you loving God?   Is it “guilted love” or is it a love that comes from a “compunction of heart”?


Father Mark Thibodeaux is a Jesuit priest and has written 3 wonderful books that I high recommend, Armchair Mystic, God-I have Issues, and God’s Voice Within.

%d bloggers like this: