Because at His Name, every knee shall bend (Philippians 2:10)
Because I am not worthy even to untie His sandal strap (John 1:27)
Because He said, “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” (Mark 14:22, 24)
Because the Alpha and Omega wants to make His dwelling with the human race (Revelation 21:3, 6)
Because I wish to give thanks to Jesus, the Great High Priest, for healing my life (Luke 17:15-16)
Because I want to beg Him to have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13)
Because this day, this moment, He promises that I will be with Him, Who is our Paradise (Luke 23:43)
Because, like Mother Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, my soul would proclaim the greatness of the Lord and rejoice in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47)

Just tried taking an online course about stress management
But the instructor’s presentation was only adding to my stress
So I had to stop and take a breather
Why can’t life be much simpler… why can’t I just turn to You?

Seems like there are gurus and PhD’s for everything these days
And people falsifying their résumés in order to get ahead
The whole Bitcoin / digital currency trend exemplifies what I think
Is the emperor’s new clothes—how hype tends to trump substance

I worry too much, Lord, and that’s why I can’t ask the mountains to move
I’m also too greedy, falling into the trap of Black Friday
A distortion of Your Good Friday when You freely offered us freedom
From sin and death, from pride and hell, from the addictions I keep coming back to

The journey can be an epic adventure like in The Lord of the Rings
You’ll be my companion because without Your grace, I’d be totally defenseless,
Without a true friend in the world, without any guidance to see through the dark and wind and rain
You alone calm the storms, so teach me, Lord, that I may wholly follow You

Feels like I’ve done nothing, Lord
Never saved any babies from getting aborted
Never brought any atheists to the faith
I’ve never married nor raised children for Your Kingdom
Never given the shirt off my back to someone who needed it more

I consume and enjoy
I play and I laugh
I make friends with those with make me feel good
And say no when the going gets tough

When I die, Lord, I’m afraid I’ll be coming to You with mostly empty hands
I was too fearful to embrace the cross as You asked
How can I rightfully call You my God
When I have so often worshipped
Everything lesser than You?

Turn this life around, Lord
The time is getting shorter
Give me a faithful heart of flesh (not stone), Lord
I believe that You can bring my life to order

Sometimes this life’s like a puzzle, a maze I can’t figure out
Lord, what’s happening to my mind?
I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this way
My faith isn’t even the size of a mustard seed

Spiritual scrupulosity makes me agonize over every step
I fear to take action, as my life becomes a heavy cross
And the judgments I’ve pronounced on others in my heart
Are really reflections of the faults I see within myself

I have to turn to You solely at this time
And remember that I’m a beloved temple of the Holy Spirit
The evil one can assail my thoughts with innumerable distractions
Yet my prayer can remain unbroken, even if I struggle to hear Your voice

I’ve been the recipient of so any graces in the past
I must count those blessings, and praise and thank You in the midst of suffering
While I mourn my losses, I acknowledge that You are an infinite Giver
Who wills that we try our best, because You are ready to meet us with Your best, the fulfillment of all desire

Heavenly Father, You desire that I should knock at Your door
And You desire that I should trust with expectant faith
But like Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower, what I love most is when You lift me in Your arms
And I can whisper in Your ear the prayer that Jesus taught…

Abba, Father, since You are the everlasting God,
I guess that makes us Your everlasting children?
I’m not going to complain that it’s unfair
That I want my inheritance now, and squander it on things it was never intended for

Rather, help me appreciate all that I’ve been given
A family, a home, a name, an identity, a community
The fulfillment of belonging is to dwell in Your house
Because You are a good Father, and I will honor You all the days of my life

You wake me so gently, Lord
My eyes open to praise You for this new day
Touched by Your awesome presence, I don’t fear what lies ahead
Instead, I’m on fire for Your Word, Your mission

I love the way You paint the sky, the leaves in every season
The way You orchestrate every wave in the ocean, every wind, every new child who is born
How You tell me You love me with plants, animals, angels, and saints
In Your astonishing glory, You still take the time to meet me, personally

I’ve neglected You so often
When You are really everywhere
How could I have ignored Your tremendous graces?
Forgive me, Lord, my ingratitude, and inspire my heart to seek You always

In many cases, our best intentions and actions are shrugged off
Unappreciated, we begin to lose heart
Perhaps we are angry or hurt, disappointed or even despairing

That time that you confessed your love in a beautiful note
Or when you donated an arm and a leg to the poor children in Africa
Or when you let your drunken friend crash at your place whenever he needed to

Were these gestures so quickly forgotten?
Did you give a part of yourself that you can never get back?
Why has the loneliness increased and you feel like a nobody?

I’m finding myself quite selfish sometimes…
They say that it’s a love tank gone empty
But I remember someone who passed away to cancer
How the littlest things meant so much to her
And how precious that time was
How I wish I could have done more

Being human can leave us so tragically broken
But Jesus became man so that we can transcend this state of original sin
Through the Heart of Jesus, we can see that everyone’s worth saving, healing, loving

Only God knows if it makes a difference in the end, and He gave us His only begotten Son
Surely, we mustn’t think it was a lost cause
Despite the sufferings of the Cross, we know the victory was, and is, His
And we firmly believe that that makes all the difference

We mustn’t pay much heed to Satan
Like any bully, he’ll just drain the life from you
It’s a far better thing to pray
That the good Lord may always defend and guide you

In dealing with the wolves, we’ve been instructed
To be shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16)
And yet, without His most Holy Spirit,
We cannot know of wisdom, much less His gift of perfect love

Discerning in God’s Spirit is the key
To unlocking what’s right and wrong,
When to act and when to wait,
And like Jesus, how peacefully to stand up to those who hate

The admission price for this discernment
Is simply humility
Coming to our Father in full surrender and submission
Trusting that His Will be done can make us someone holy

I know that You are at the end of this darkness
Not that You are a being of darkness,
But that You want for me to exercise my trust muscles—
To be faithful not only in word, but also in deed

If my heart is planted in fertile soil,
It will eagerly wait for the Son to come
It will depend on You, surrender to You, exist for You
The only life worth living is the one where You are

So in the darkness, there is hope…

I’m thinking of those thousands of newly homeless people in the Bahamas
While my friend carelessly throws away a quarter of a plate of perfectly good food
Simply because he ordered too much

I don’t know what I’m doing here enjoying such a good meal
I’m certainly grateful and savoring the various flavors
But it seems wrong to be in sunny California instead of that place I saw on the news
Where family members are missing, and the storm floods have ruined everything

One of my favorite promises in Scripture is how God will wipe away all our tears (cf. Revelation 21:4)
Right now, so many of our brothers and sisters are hurting in a valley of tears