Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Truly Praying in the Name of Christ

"I can do all things in him who strengthens me."  
~Philippians 4:13

I can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ, and I can do everything with Jesus Christ and in his name.  This is why we always hear the prayers of the Church conclude with these words that are as humble as they are consoling:  "through Christ our Lord."  Confessing our powerlessness, these words humble us; revealing the source of our strength, they console.  They are the necessary conclusion even when we pray for the intercession of our Lady and the saints, who have no merit, no dignity, no glory except through Jesus Christ and his name.

We must take care lest we imagine that it suffices merely to repeat the words "through Christ our Lord."  We must say them from the depths of our hearts, by remaining in Christ and by Christ's remaining in us.  That is to say, by attaching ourselves to him with our whole hearts, with a lively and firm faith, and by his remaining in us by his word being impressed in our heart, and by his Spirit impelling and animating our prayer.  For he does not dwell in us without acting, as St. Paul said:  "He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you" (2 Corinthians 13:3).

This, then, is how we truly pray in the name of Christ:  when we remain in him and he in us, allowing ourselves to be led to him, to be silent, to listen to what he says in us, so that we may practice truly and intimately what he says:  "If you remain in me, and my word" -- not only the word spoken eternally, but the one that I hear in the depths of my heart -- "remains in you."  Then we shall obtain what we desire.

~Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet in Meditations for Lent

Dear Jesus,
help me to remain in You
so that You may be powerful in me.

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