I’m jumping on a bandwagon, people! But it’s such a lovely wagon that I just couldn’t resist. The Not Alone Series is for all us single women. As Jen from Jumping in Puddles says,
I want there to be a bigger, badder, awesomer community of strong, independent, beautiful, God-fearing women who desire to grow in holiness until the day they walk down the aisle or make vows into a religious community. We are in this together. Let’s tell each other that. The stories. The hurt. The heartache. The joy. The adventures. Everything.
Isn’t that just the best!?
This week is on prayer, so I’m just going to jump on board (without a ticket no less) and pretend like I’ve been here all along. Good times!
I find prayer hard, but then who doesn’t? It’s perfectly design to pop those most cherished of beliefs: I know what I’m doing. I know what’s going to happen. And I’ve got it all under control.
Prayer is deliberately laying down our fears and troubles and admitting, God, I have no idea what’s going on here but you do. You know what you’re doing. You know what’s going to happened. And you’re got it all under control. So, here it is!
Prayer, I think, is the opposite of the Fall. Adam and Eve sinned because they wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil. They wanted to know – all of it, right now. In their pride, they couldn’t trust. How often I am like that! I want all the answers, and the last thing I want to do is to trust my heavenly Father.
I mean, what if He screws it up? What if it doesn’t work out?
To help me let go, I often imagine bundling all my worries up, putting them in a wooden box or a wicker basket (a la Little Red Riding Hood) and handing them to God.
I walk toward His throne of grace and I say, God, this is all the crappity stuff of today. Then I hand it over, and tell Him that it’s His problem now.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
It’s a pretty presumptuous thing to do, to assume that God wants my basket of crazy.
Even more is the idea that in return, He wants to give me grace, and help, and that peace which surpasses all understanding.
And yet He does. Again and again. Night after night.
My favourite night prayer is by St Alphonsus Ligouri,
Jesus Christ my God, I adore you and I thank you for all the graces you have given me this day. I offer you my sleep and all the moments of this night, and I implore you to keep me safe from sin. To this end I place myself in your sacred side and under the mantle of our Lady, my Mother. Let your holy angels surround me and keep me in peace; and let your blessing be upon me. Amen.
As I snuggle under the blankets, and rub my feet together to try and keep them warm, it’s so good to think of crawling into the sacred side of Christ, that wound made on the Cross through which I have access to His Sacred Heart. There, it is all warmth, and peace, and the steady beating of a loving Heart.
Mary keeps me too, under her mantle. As if to say, yes, it’s cold and scary outside but I am keeping you safe for my Son.
That’s what I love about prayer. It is an entrustment. When we entrust all our fears and worries – our small baskets of crappity crap – to God, He takes them off our hands and we can snuggle up in peace. Only, unlike poor Red Riding Hood, there’s no wolf in Grandma’s nightgown.
Only our Abba who loves us.