21.1.23: Understanding ourselves

Last Thursday, whilst praying for those who wage war on other people, I saw that whenever we harm or hurt someone else in any way, our behaviour reveals that we are unconsciously at war with some aspect of ourselves. Then today’s prayer started to flow:

We don’t understand (John 16:18; NLT). 

Lord, please help us to understand ourselves, because:

When we judge others,
We are are unconsciously judging ourselves.

When we don’t forgive others,
We are unconsciously unable to forgive ourselves.

When we hate others,
We unconsciously hate ourselves,

And when we wage war on others,
We are unconsciously at war with ourselves.

Lord, please help us to choose your perfect way, because:

When we learn to accept ourselves,
We will spontaneously accept others.

When we learn to care for ourselves,
We will spontaneously care for others.

When we learn to forgive ourselves,
We will spontaneously forgive others,

And when we learn to love ourselves,
We will spontaneously love others.

Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).


References 

God’s way is perfect (2 Samuel 22:31; NLT). 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT). 

Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).

“You know the way to where I am going.”  “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:4-6; NLT). 

He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:19-21; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Yesterday I enjoyed fulfilling a request for a smooth, comfortable Fiat Rosary. It is destined to be worn around the neck, always ready for use, and always ready to bring comfort:

28.12.22: Come, Jesus

Context: This prayer arrived on Christmas Day, and took two more days to write. Maybe I’m slowing down in my old age…

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20; NLT). 

Come, Jesus, come –
Be born again in me,
And I in you.

I’ll do my best
To share your cross,
Your love for others, too.

The way is long,
The path is hard –
My efforts seem in vain,

But, Lord, despite
My fruitlessness, I long
To serve your name.

For you’re my Saviour
And my King,
My genesis and goal,

So come, Lord, come –
I offer you my heart, mind, strength
And soul.

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:30; NLT).


References

I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3; NLT).

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).

The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:14; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

To my great pleasure, the rosaries posted before Christmas are gradually reaching their destinations, despite the postal strikes and challenging weather conditions.

Meanwhile, I remade my Fiat rosary with the inadequate knot. It came out much better the third time, so I have no regrets about starting again – it’s all good practice.

One exciting development (from a purely personal point of view), is that over the last few days I’ve become more confident about the strength of my joining knots, so I’ve stopped reinforcing them with superglue. It’s taken quite a while to reach this stage, but I’m pleased to be getting there. Purists don’t use glue when making rosaries – perhaps mine could be held together with faith!

If you would like more rosary news, or if you have any broken rosaries to donate, you are very welcome to contact me at “The Rosary Hospital”, on Facebook.

Lastly, here is the Fiat rosary I made today:

27.12.22: Pierced

Context: Today’s prayer came to me on the morning of Christmas Eve. It was very difficult to put into words. These verses are based on Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, when Simeon prophesied about his life, and about what was to come for Mary, his mother:

The deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul (Luke 2:35; NLT). 

Lord,
Pierce my mind
To cleanse each thought,
And pierce my heart,
For I am naught.

Then pierce my soul
Till we are one,
And pierce my flesh,
Like yours, God’s Son.

Lord,
Pierce my hands
To help me pray,
And pierce my feet
To share your way.

Then pierce my side
Till my love flows
Like yours, to all
Both friends and foes.

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NLT).


 References

I am nothing (Job 40:4; NLT).

They will look on me, the one they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10; NIV). 

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:5; NLT).

They have pierced my hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; NLT).

One of the soldiers …pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out (John 19:34; NLT). 

Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NLT). 

Love the stranger (Leviticus 19:34; NKJV). 

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital 

Just before Christmas, I made myself a fiat rosary, only to discover I’d missed out one crucial bead. So on Christmas Day I took it apart and re-made it, but ran out of cord just before the final knot! Fiat rosaries are quite complicated, so yesterday I gave myself a break by making a standard five-decade rosary. This went smoothly, which helped to restore my confidence:

23.12.22: Confidence (with thanks to M.I.)

Context: The moderator of a Facebook messenger group I follow used the phrase, “I will act  confidently and not be afraid”, in her daily message yesterday. These words from St. Francis’ Office of the Passion had a huge impact on me. Soon afterwards, as I was praying and reflecting on what she had written, the first line of today’s prayer arrived, then the rest quickly followed:

We have placed our confidence in him (2 Corinthians 1:10; NLT).

I’ve placed my confidence
In you:

I walk, Lord Jesus,
In your way,

And live forever
In your hand

To praise and serve:
With you, I stand.

Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the LORD (Psalm 26:12; NLT).


References 

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; NLT). 

He loves his people; all his holy ones are in his hands. They follow in his steps and accept his teaching (Deuteronomy 33:3; NLT). 

It is God who makes …you stand firm in Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 21; NLT).

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength (Isaiah 30:15; NLT). 

Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence (Jeremiah 17:7; NLT). 

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1; NLT). 

We can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6; NLT). 

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (1 John 4:17; NLT).


Rosary Hospital news: 

I’m so grateful for my new work-station:

And here is the first rosary made using it:


It’s for someone who practices the Russian Orthodox faith. The “Jesus prayer” is said fifty times whilst using this rosary.

18.12.22: Always a way

Mount Sinai

Context: I was saying goodnight to God very late last Thursday evening when today’s prayer arrived, straight out of the blue:

Jesus told him, “I am the way” (John 14:6; NLT). 

There’s always a way through life with you,
No matter, Lord, what you send;

Always a way to walk with you,
Right to the darkest end.

There’s always a way to be redeemed,
Whatever we’ve said, or done;

Always a way to thank you, Lord,
No matter what trials may come.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT).


References 

Everything comes from God (1 Corinthians 11:12; NLT). 

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NLT).

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NIV).

He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7; NLT).


The Rosary Hospital

Yesterday evening I made a new Facebook page for The Rosary Hospital. However, I then discovered that I couldn’t access my two normal Facebook pages. It took me two hours to restore my previous sites. Today it was confirmed that there is no straightforward way to toggle between all three sites on my iPad.

So instead I have added a Rosary Hospital stream to my Facebook page, “Daily prayers for Christian living”, and am content with that.

Meanwhile, you might enjoy the picture below, which I took a few days ago. It shows the pattern made on a chapel wall by the sun shining through a stained glass window. As the original was very blurred, I’ve enhanced it digitally:

Angel on the Nunnery chapel wall

16.12.22: Your love

Context: Yesterday morning I received this prayer. I was facing a very demanding day, during which I had appointments with two different consultants.

The verses I was given reminded me of Saint Mother Theresa, who served God faithfully, even though for many years she had no sense at all of God’s loving presence. Despite this, she was always cheerful, continuing to carry out her ministry with great devotion.

Mother Theresa had to walk by faith, not sight, and I can do the same. I find this realisation very helpful, comforting and reassuring.

We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7; CSB). 

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29; CSB). 

Lord God, 

May I experience
Your warm and tender love for me,
But when I don’t, may I have faith
That you hear every plea.

May I believe as Mary did –
So young, so pure, so long ago,
Prepared, Lord, to embrace each test:
The trials you bestow.

Then I’ll say, “Yes”, and offer thanks,
No matter what you ask each day,
Take up my cross, and follow Christ –
My life, my truth, my way.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).


References 

He loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2; NLT). 

We know he hears us when we make our requests (1 John 5:15; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33; NLT). 

The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV). 

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38; KJV). 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV). 

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23; NLT). 

Take life as it comes (for J.C.)

Context: When I woke up today, this prayer was already arriving. I began writing it down immediately, without even a moment to pray. As I have a migraine, which started yesterday, eye ulcers and a corneal abrasion, I was deeply grateful for the way this poem came together over the following hours.

I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT). 

1. I want to take life as it comes,
To praise, as it unfolds;
Accept your will,
And love you still,
Be faithful, brave and bold.

2. I’d like to take life as it comes,
For you send bad and good;
To hear your voice,
And learn, by choice,
Until I’ve understood.

3. I need to take life as it comes,
For you both wound and heal;
To do my best,
And face each test,
Until you are revealed.

4. I’ll try to take life as it comes,
For you bring good from bad;
To value both,
Delight in growth,
And let my heart be glad.

5. I choose to take life as it comes,
Right here; right now; today;
Face everything
With you, my King:
My life, my truth, my way.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6; NLT).


References

2. I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the Lord, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:7; NLT).

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? (Job 2:10; NLT).

3. I am the one who wounds and heals (Deuteronomy 32:39; NLT).

4. In all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28; NIV).

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV).

5. Choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19; NLT).

Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:34; NLT). 

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NLT). 

You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall (Psalm 18:28-9; NLT).

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God (Psalm 84:3; NLT). 

You alone suffice

Context: After having the most astonishing, wonderful, joyful and liberating day yesterday, today’s blog just poured out as soon as I woke and started to pray this morning.

My grace suffices thee: for my power is perfected in weakness.
(2 Corinthians 12:9; LET). 

Yahweh,
You alone suffice:
My hiding-place,
My paradise;
My book, my priest,
My light, my peace –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are God:
My resting-place,
My staff, my rod;
My night, my day,
My truth, my way –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are good:
My dwelling-place,
My flesh, my blood;
My jubilee,
My liberty –
I love you.

Yahweh,
You alone are bliss:
My life, my death,
My longed-for kiss;
My welcome home,
My great shalom
I love you.

I love you, Lord; you are my strength.
(Psalm 18:1; NLT).


Reference

Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. It can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between a person and God, or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals (Wikipedia).