Spiritual Reflections of Fr John Brian

A web place for epistles, sermons, homilies, and other spiritual and pastoral reflections of Fr John Brian Paprock, including Sunday sermons from Holy Transfiguration Chapel in Madison Wisconsin and links to articles published on-line. All images are from the archives of Fr John Brian. Most of them are photographs taken by him. Permission to use any of the content of this blog needs to be requested - frjohnbrian@gmail.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Prose Reflective Prayer on Forgiveness

     It was an honor for my wife, Teresa, and I to act as host to the OPF Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a very good conference that almost doubled as a retreat. The topics, speakers and movies were not just though provoking, but emotional experiences and inspirational opportunities. I doubt anyone who attended conference, left the conference with the same ideas of forgiveness they came with. If not radical change, then an evolution of the very notion of forgiveness.
     Working as a night chaplain the Sunday night after the intense and full conference on forgiveness, I sat to write down a few thoughts and ended up writing a prayer.
    Pray for me.
   Fr John Brian




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A Prose Reflective Prayer on Forgiveness 09-18-2011


Lord, release the heavy burdens of the past. They are nearly too much for me to bear.

Lord, unlatch the belted, unlock the chained and loosen the double-tied knots.

At one time, or one moment, long ago, it seemed important for me hang on to an event or two - but now there are too many, taking energy from the present, taking joy from good times ahead of me, robbing me of strength to persevere.

Before, I thought I could bear the world upon my shoulders, endure every hardship, and overcome any obstacle

Now, I am crying with fear and exhaustion: my heart, my back, my legs, even my neck is strained with the weight of wounded moments and haunting intimidations.

Now, I am crying with despair and anxiety that Your forgiveness and Your healing of my body mind and soul may only be temporary and I will always bear this heaviness - and that even Your Holy Angels cannot protect me from further injury, injustice, infirmity; that the enemies of my soul will prevail and I will be lost.

Lord, release the pain of my childhood, the heartache of my youth, the despair of middle-age. Lord, so often I have failed in relations, failed in projects, failed in ministry to others, failed in the practice that could bring me closer to perfection. I have let the injury and wounds of others bind me. I have allowed their callous disregard to justify my shortcomings; their intentional back-biting and gossip to encourage my fear and anxiety, exacerbating the pain of sensitive scarring from deep wounds of the past.

Lord, release me from the trivial and the intense bound to me by heavy chains and by light fiber strings. Help me to feel Your healing breath upon my soul, Your single and simple breath can bring my whole being to refreshment and the aches of my bones and of my heart shall melt away.

The burdens I have taken and the burdens that have been given shall be released with the subtle whisper of Your loving-kindness. My fears and anxieties will be crushed under the wings of Your mercy.

And in my mind and in my heart, I know I am wholly Yours - everything is from You and nothing could exist without your allowance. You have given me the free exercise of mind and body and will. I have felt Your tears as You have waited for me to ask for Your divine assistance; as You waited for my surrender to the eternal springs where I will never thirst; to reach for that which You have graciously and freely given for me to truly partake of the eternal bread so that I will be sustained - forever.

You have waited, O Lord, but You do not need to wait any longer. Please, Lord, come to my aid and help me. Send Your angels to have charge over my life so that everything I may do may be for the glory of Your Holy Name. Heal me O Lord so that I may have strength to continue the course of the journey You have set before me. Fill my mind and my heart with Your love, so that Your ministry may be received by Your servant and that Your will may be fulfilled.

Lord, give me a forgiving heart and help me to be forward looking, letting the past bury the past. Help me to keep my eyes on the gates of Your kingdom so that every step I take moves me in the proper direction.
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Books by Fr John Brian available through Holy Transfiguration Publications

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