Sometimes in my daily prayer, I like to listen to a hymn or two to help me come into the presence of the Lord. Over the past few days, I have been listening to the hymn Take Lord, Receive, which is based on a prayer by St. Ignatius. Right now, let’s slowly pray the words of St. Ignatius together:
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To you, O Lord, I return it. All is yours, dispose of it wholly according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is sufficient for me.
Throughout the months of July and August, we will be learning how to grow in prayer by reading about St. Ignatius of Loyola. Fr. Nathan O’Halloran, a Jesuit priest who is a theological advisor to The Word Among Us and a spiritual director, wrote our front section articles about Ignatius. As we read them, let’s have the same attitude that Ignatius’ prayer expresses. Everything in our lives—our thoughts and actions, our relationships, our time and possessions, even our joys and our sorrows—belongs to the Lord, and he is inviting us to offer them back to him. The greatest treasure—the only real, lasting treasure—that we possess is the love and grace of the Lord. And that love and grace contain a storehouse of blessings: forgiveness, the presence of God, the promise of heaven, and so much more.
I know that many of you can point to people who live this prayer every day. For myself, I can point to a dear brother in Christ and former member of this magazine’s board of directors, Maurice Blumberg. Day after day, for decades, Maurice strove to dedicate to the Lord everything that he had and did. Just this morning, I learned that Maurice went to be with the Lord after a struggle with cancer. Maurice loved to share his faith with everyone he met. His son Chris told me that even during his last few weeks in the hospital, Maurice gave copies of The Word Among Us to more than a hundred people!
Maurice always sought to put the Lord Jesus on the throne of his life. Many times, and by the help of God’s grace, he succeeded. Sometimes he struggled, as we all do. Through it all, Maurice loved his wife, Kathleen, and his family deeply. He sought to serve the Lord in his parish and in various roles here at The Word Among Us. He spent time with the Lord in daily prayer and Scripture. So much of what he did flowed out of a life dedicated to Jesus. May St. Ignatius greet Maurice at the door and escort him into the heavenly banquet hall! And may the Lord bless you this summer as you strive to give your whole life to him!
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