Father Paul Eberle

Father Paul Eberle

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I was on a group retreat a few years ago and someone on the retreat gave me an inspiring bookmark which I have always kept. The front of the bookmark read, “My God I Love Thee”, followed by, “The best and shortest prayer.” This struck me as so true. My God I love you! Our prayers do not need to be wordy and long but can be short and sweet. God knows our heart and what we need. All that is left for us is to speak to God with a humble and confident heart. Sometimes my prayer is simply repeating the words, “I love you, Lord, or “Lord, have mercy” or “help me, Lord” or “thank you, Lord”. What counts is that we pray from our heart with a deep sense of trust in God’s providence.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” (Jn. 16:23) God always gives us that which will make us a better person and help us toward the goal of eternal life. God does not give us anything that is not good for our souls. When faced with challenges and temptations, we can call on the power of Jesus’ name to drive away that which is not of God. As we call upon the Lord, we can go on with our daily life of giving glory to God in whatever it is we are doing, whether eating dinner, washing clothes, mowing grass or driving somewhere. Try it and you will be amazed at the change in your life. The key is to remember to back up your words of prayer with actions of love and trust in God’s goodness. If it helps, imagine Jesus watching you do what you are doing or thinking right now and ask Jesus, “what do you think, Lord?” The back of the bookmark I was telling you about contains a beautiful prayer written by St. Augustine. It will help us to keep a mindset of living a holy life with God.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit

That my thoughts

May all be holy;

Act in me, O Holy Spirit,

That my work, too,

May be holy;

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,

That I love but what is holy;

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,

To defend all that is holy;

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,

That I always may be holy. Amen.

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