Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Prayer Of The Narrow Gate
I have prayed this prayer many times for I know well the gate through which You would have me come to You. How am I to pass through this gate of such narrow dimensions? Along the way the world and its trappings seem to attach themselves. It is when this happens that I feel the needed sting of Your discipline. You desire my salvation and know that I cannot pass through this gate with all of these worldly attachments. Without Your grace I am weak and am unable to walk the straight path You have set.
I continue to hear Your words: "Strive to enter through the narrow gate..."
The road just beyond the gate is also narrow and in the shape of a cross. You have walked this road yourself and it is marked with Your precious blood. You are there on the road for my strength and You await at its end in judgement. It will not be enough to say to You that I have worshiped in Your Church and received You in Your Sacraments. If those worldly attachments are still part of me, You will not recognize Your lowly creature.
My Lord, I do not want to be among those You call evildoers. I would rather be among the last and the least in this life so as to be among those in whom Your image, in which You have created us all, can be seen, and be among the first in life eternal with You.
So please, my God, in Your great love and mercy, continue to discipline this stubborn creature as she strives to accept Your invitation and command to enter through the narrow gate that will one day lead to Your Holy Mountain.
*Reflection based on readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.