Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prayer on Suffering

 (Painting by Joseph DeCamp)

From Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, we read in Katherine's journal entry for January 15, 1832:

"January 15. I have come to another birthday. I am seventeen. Mother has celebrated it just as usual, though I know all these anniversaries which used to be so pleasant must be sad days to her now that my dear father has gone. She has been cheerful and loving, and entered into all my pleasures exactly as if nothing had happened." 

I was reading Elisabeth Eliott's comments on this entry. She made these comments on her "Gateway to Joy" radio broadcast some years ago, but they're ever profound:

"Entered into all my pleasures as if nothing had happened." That's unselfishness. That is the new self. That's not natural for the old self. What can we learn from that mother's example of joy in sorrow? Joy is not incompatible with sorrow. We can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. What was the secret of her strength? I believe it was a pure heart. A heart given to God, resting in Him and therefore a heart able to give herself in love to her daughter, rather than giving way selfishly to her own sorrows

She also read a prayer that was written by someone else, as follows:

"Dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I hold up all my weakness to Your strength, my failure to Your faithfulness, my sinfulness to Your perfection, my loneliness to Your compassion, my little pains to Your great agony on the cross. I pray that You will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as You would have it lived, without cowardice and for You alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition and true love. Amen."

Something for us all to consider no matter what we're going through.

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