SUNDAY FACT CHECKING

Just one little prayer this morning exploded into my mind and held my attention all day….I hope you heard it too.  I hope you didn’t miss it!     It’s been heard and prayed by many, many people for centuries:

prayer card

It’s the Collect for this 11th Sunday after we celebrated Pentecost.  Pentecost being, of course,  that first time the Third Person of the Trinity entered deep into the souls of believers….   This Collect sent me back to some basic and wondrous “facts.”

“O Almighty and eternal God….”   It is a fact that the world began in the will of God and by His word, whereby we can conclude that God exists eternally before the world (the universe) began and that He had the ability – the “almighty power” –  to bring things into existence.

“…Who in the abundance of they loving kindness….”    By this phrase we are presented with the fact that God is Good, benevolent,  and treats us with more love than we can understand,  which we can only call “an abundance.”

“…and are known to give us good things beyond what we deserve and what we can desire….”    It is His habit to give us good things above what we even know we should be asking for….and certainly above what we deserve.  Yet it’s a fact that He is “wont to give,”  or “known to habitually give”  us unimaginably, superlatively good things.

“…beyond the desires of those who humbly pray…”    It is a fact that prayer is humbling.   It is pride which takes the reins and says “I know what I want!   I know what’s good for me!”  Not exactly the kind of prayer God would recognize.

“…Pour down upon us thy mercy….”    It is a fact that we need to start with His mercy.   Yet we dare to ask, humbly,  humbly, because it’s also a fact that we can trust in His goodness.

“…forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid…”    Is your conscience afraid?    That’s a good thing.   Fact is,  the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.   We need to be reminded of that from time to time.

“…and granting to us those blessings which we dare not presume to ask.”    It is a fact that we need those blessings that can come only from our Maker.   He knows us best,  He knows what’s best for us,  He’s so willing….but  our knowledge of how we have failed Him makes it seem like a presumption to ask…and yet it pleases Him that we do ask.

Listen to this:  “He is not terrible to those who love him.”  That’s what the saints have discovered, and now teach us.   St. Francis de Sales tells us:  “God is content with very little because he knows well we don’t have much.”

It is a fact that we “don’t have much,”  but we are still the “apple of His eye.”   You and I might not start with “much,” but we can put this whole prayer together and repeat it confidently.

prayer book

Putting it all together:    “O Almighty and eternal God,  who in the abundance of Thy loving-kindness are wont to give beyond the deserts and desires of those who humbly pray,  pour down Thy mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and granting us those blessings which we dare not preseume to ask……..”

Whew!     That’s enough to meditate upon for the rest of the week!    And that’s a fact.

 

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