Prayer before the Crucifix – A Year Recap
Ever since I was first exposed to the Prayer before the Crucifix in orientation retreat, it really resonated with me then and it has continued to help me throughout the year in every aspect of my FrancisCorps experience from prayer, service, and community. I thought I would use the prayer to help me recap and process my year.
Most High, glorious God
First things first, I would like to thank God for providing me with this experience and allowing me to grow closer to Him alongside Lucy, Alli, Paige, and RaeAnn. By God’s grace we were all brought together; out of all the possible routes we could have chosen to follow, we all chose FrancisCorps. I attribute my willingness to join FrancisCorps when I prioritized my faith through my involvement at my Newman Center. It has been my experience that when I put God first that my life is filled with blessings and this past year has been a testament to that.
enlighten the darkness of my heart
Just as reconciliation with God is of utmost importance, it followed that allowing opportunities for forgiveness within our community was crucial. Having intentional time to bring forward our shortcomings on a regular basis helped encourage me to not keep things in the dark. And this enlightening of our hearts not only applied to reconciliation but to anything that weighed us down in our personal or spiritual lives so that we could be the light for each other in those tough moments.
and give me true faith
Living in a community required a level of trust that went beyond the expectations of being mere roommates. It challenged us to be vulnerable with each other when we faced difficult situations where we needed to voice our needs when it perhaps wasn’t always easy to do so before FC. We put our faith in A.J., Jenny Rose, Friar Nader, in each other, and in the Holy Spirit that things would work out for the benefit of all involved even if it wasn’t according to our initial expectations.
What gave me hope this year was seeing the care my coworkers showed towards our neighbors experiencing homelessness. It was heartening to see the dignity of others being respected regardless of who walked through the shelter doors. In addition to my coworkers’ service, the witnesses of my FC community give me hope in our generation’s capacity and willingness to follow God’s calling and to serve and love Him and others.
One of the ways that charity has shown through in our community was through “incident” situations. Whether it was going all together to the urgent care/ER or playing skribbl when someone was in COVID isolation, we had each other’s backs and I know that as we move forward into our lives that we will continue to “will the good” of each other.
sense and knowledge
I have been blessed to enter into Franciscan charism and learn about the lives of Sts. Francis and Clare. It is inspiring to know their faith journeys and to relate to them knowing that they were people like me and you who were trying their best to respond to God’s call. Even though I have spent the past year cultivating Franciscan values, I feel excited that there is so much more to learn and to put into practice especially as I go into my own communities such as my family back home.
Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command
One of the lessons that God has taught me through the Prayer before the Crucifix, one that I need constant reminder, is to seek first the Kingdom of God before asking the question of “what am I to do with my life?”. As I alluded to earlier, when I prioritize God’s authority, my life falls into proper order. It is acknowledging that God, while being the Lord of the universe, is also the loving Father who embraces us when we squander our inheritance and the Good Shepherd who seeks us to the ends of the earth to bring us back into relationship with Him and His church who wants us to help build up His Kingdom. It is out of this context of a loving parent wanting to cooperate with their children that I can more freely give my “yes” to God. And as far as where I think God is calling me next, I am not entirely sure. But I know that if I take to heart the words of this prayer that I will find what is mine to do.
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