When you pray
Here comes Ash Wednesday! Let us rejoice and be glad!
“…But when you pray,
go to your inner room,
close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
~ Jesus (MT 6:1-6)
The preceding passage comes from the Gospel for Ash Wednesday. No matter where we are, whether we are in prison, school, work or war, we are being called to our inner room. Where is our inner room?
I believe beyond a doubt that our inner room is closer than we could ever imagine, but something keeps us from opening the door. Often times, when my everyday life becomes busy and full, I forget to go into that room beyond my heart and soul to find the source of my being. Do we avoid going to unfamiliar places because we are afraid?
When we do find our inner room, we experience heaven on earth. It is that simple, yet we make it so complicated. Next Sunday on the First Week of Lent, the Gospel passage is taken from the first chapter of Mark.
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.
Jesus, when in the wild desert, found his inner room. His Father repaid him with a special Cross. The Cross is the door to the Sacred Heart of God the Father. If we discover our own inner room, God will repay each of us with an intimate and loving relationship with the Beloved. This is priceless.
Ash Wednesday is the door we must enter in order to find this intimacy with God, Our Beloved. I will conclude with a time while I was out in Iraq, when I found my inner room. God, my Beloved, repaid me for my efforts beyond my wildest dreams. God was giving me a share in His Cross, which of course is priceless.
Lent is an opportunity to seek and find Our Beloved God who heals us, shares in our meals, feeds us, washes our feet, encourages us, protects us from the evil one, and invites us to stand at the foot of His Cross. God lavishes us with grace upon grace, gift upon gift. Our Beloved even entrusts His Beloved Mother to us. O Beloved, let us truly enter lent with the Ashes on our foreheads and enter the true inner room in the inner chambers of Jesus’ Sacred Heart. The pay and benefits are great!
A Talk with God in my inner room 10-4-2004
You knew, O Beloved Lord, better than I what was to unfold
yesterday. You had me in your arms as I wrestled, whimpered,
cried and sadly…complained.
Transportation was a mess as I attempted to provide Catholic
services to the forward operating bases outside Camp Fallujah. I
am sorry, Lord; I may have been irritated and slightly ugly. But
all along you had me in your love, even though you may have been
disappointed with me. My homily was about faith, and I exhibited
little faith, if any. And that is the problem. It wasn’t my homily; it
was yours: your stories, your parables, your suffering and your
death. I did nothing for I am a servant, unprofitable at that, of your
Word, your Love, your hopes, your dreams, and your commands.
Yesterday was for me. My inconveniences and frustrations were
all gifts. I see this now; the purpose was to bring me and draw me
closer to your heart.
Forgive me, Lord, for doubting. Forgive me for my harsh words
and my insane stubbornness. I knew it was a graced moment when
Captain Brian Heatherman invited me to the infamous Abu Ghraib
prison. It was you, more than me, who desired and wanted your
Body to be sacrificed there. I didn’t trust you. I feel so goofy, almost
ashamed. And yet I know within my soul and heart, that you desire
not that I be ashamed or embarrassed. I will profit immensely if I
simply follow you and fill my being with you – Love itself.
O Beloved, you are mightier than the storms of hatred and insanity.
It is You, and You alone, who will bring peace and stability to this
region of the world. It is You who is already at work in every darkened heart, fulfilling Your promise given here almost 4,000 years ago.
Awesome! Lord Jesus, my spirit, life, and breath; I beg of You to
show me Your plan so I can better follow You into Eternity.
What a story last night. You placed me in the center of those men,
Baptists and Protestants, to lead them in the Word of God. I felt their
mistrust, but I knew You placed me there. About 25 men gathered for
the non-denominational prayer service. Chaplain Ron Kennedy was
very sick, and You urged me to be uncomfortable and cover for him.
When I proclaimed Your Word, the authority was there. I felt it. When
You spoke to them through me, I was in awe. I’m not sure You wanted me to
lay hands on them, though, because some of them got up and scattered at that!
Suspicious I presume of the Anti-Christ and us ‘Catholics.’
What must You have endured when Your very own people got up and abandoned
You as you gave them Your body, Your blood, and Your heart? Come to think of it,
I still do this. You say to me, “And you, Ron Moses, are you going to leave me,
too?” I fumble with words, “O not me, for You Jesus have the words of Eternal Life.”
And yet, You know me so well. I will choose death over and over until I surrender
not just my will, but my very life and breath.
O Jesus, what have You done? There are so many holier priests than me. How
could you pick me when these men and women will be ex-periencing life-changing
amputations, wounds or even dying? I want to trust You totally, Jesus.
Increase my faith! Increase my love!
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
You ask, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
I say, “Increase my love for You and my neighbor and my enemy.
Increase my love. Increase my love.”
And you answer me in my inner room…in secret.
Then I ask for more…
Teach me patience, Lord, Beloved, Holy One.
Teach me wisdom…
Teach me Love.
I love you, Ron Moses +
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.