By TIM LILLEY
JOURNEY OF FAITH
This is a follow-up to my column published in the June 12 issue of The Message.
In it, I asked, “Where is the cure? How and where do we find relief … a better way? How can we heal all of the injury, fade all of the scars? By acknowledging, embracing and living the “new commandment” Jesus gave us during the Last Supper:
“’I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another’ (John 13:34).”
I concluded that column with:
“Is there a chance we all could sincerely make the effort to live Jesus’ new commandment? Daily, I pray to God there is.”
Since then, I learned of a great way that we all, through a seven-word prayer, can make a sincere effort to live Christ’s new commandment. Writer Kathleen N. Hattrup shared it in a piece for the Alateia website (www.alateia.org), which published it earlier this month. Here is an excerpt of what she shared in that piece:
“Pope Francis is encouraging us to make our hearts like the Sacred Heart, especially through the graces of Eucharistic adoration in this month of June.
‘He also advises a simple prayer he learned from his grandmother.
‘Often translated in English with the more archaic, ‘Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine,’ the Holy Father led those in St. Peter’s Square in praying it after the midday Angelus on June 7: ‘Jesus, make my heart more like yours.’
“June is the month traditionally focused on devotion to the Sacred Heart, which the pope said is a ‘devotion that unites the great spiritual teachers and the simple among the people of God.
‘Indeed, the human and divine Heart of Jesus is the wellspring where we can always draw upon God’s mercy, forgiveness and tenderness,’ he said.”
Jesus, make my heart more like yours.
My sense is that the more we pray those seven words, the more effectively they will work. And I believe the more they impact each of us, the more sincere our ongoing effort to live Jesus’ new commandment will become.
This is the third short prayer I have begun saying daily, and it’s actually the shortest of the three. I have written about one of the other two multiple times in this space: “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.” The other is “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have Mercy on me, a sinner.”
As I type these words, it occurs to me that there is a way to combine them into one prayer:
“Lord Jesus, Son of God, have Mercy on me, a sinner; I surrender myself to You, take care of everything and make my heart more like Yours.”
To make our hearts more like His, Jesus and His Father must have Mercy on us. And the best thing we can do to help Jesus make our hearts more like His is to surrender to Him; let Him take care of everything.
How about we all try?