10 Ways of Living as a Son of God

Mass on Ramapo Mountain

  1. God literally died for you. You are a son of God and you get your worth from His love for you. God willed your existence out of love. You are not just a product of chance. God willed YOUR existence, He created you exactly as you are, and He loves you as you are. He sees you as His son, and wants to see you prosper and live with the fullness of life that He wants for you. Jesus said, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” in John 10:10. That’s pretty cool, huh?! And I haven’t even hit on the part about Jesus dying for us. He thought that we were worth dying for even though we had already messed up. So remember that even when things aren’t going well, Jesus believes in you and wants to give you another chance.
  1. Men are called to serve and protect. In the story of Adam and Eve, after Adam is created, “God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15). God gave Adam and all men this duty, to “cultivate and care” for all of the Earth. This includes all of the plants and animals, but most importantly all of humanity. The Hebrew translation of “cultivate and care” is the word “Shamar,” which means to protect and keep.  So God wasn’t just giving us a job of being gardeners, but being protectors of all of God’s creation.  Our job is to honor God in all that we do and to selflessly serve and protect all others in our care, our wives, our families, our communities, those in need, and to even care for nature too, as  Pope Francis has put out so beautifully in his latest encyclical, Laudato Si.  A man is called to sacrifice of himself for others. Our ultimate model of manhood is Jesus Himself, and He gave us a very clear message that we need to put ourselves last in serving others. Sometimes this is in very heroic ways, like soldiers, police officers, and firemen. But we can also give of ourselves for others in everyday matters, like going out of our way to help a friend or someone in need, letting people go before us in lines, and making time to spend with your family instead doing what you want.
  1. Your masculinity doesn’t depend on what you look like. In our culture, there are these lies that in order to be a true man, we need to be super big and ripped. We see this all over: on sports, in commercials, in the locker room. This is a lie. Some men are naturally skinny or overweight, this has no bearing on their manhood. Sure, it is healthy to be in shape and to be able to do some heavy physical labor, but don’t be tempted to think any less of yourself if you don’t have big muscles. God judges us for what we do, not what we look like. In addition, remember that you can act like a man even when you are relatively young. Don’t let your elders convince you that just because you’re young, you’re destined to make mistakes and fail until you’re older. There are plenty of 10 year old boys who live much more manly lives than 40 year olds, by pursuing virtue and excellence in everything that they do.
  1. Pursuing virtue. Once I was privileged enough to attend a talk specifically on manliness at a Catholic conference (another shout-out to FOCUS!), and I was surprised to learn within the first few minutes that the essence of manliness is simply cultivating and living the virtues. Ultimately, this post could simply be about the 7 virtues, but I guess I wanted to flesh them out a little bit more for the sake of making them a bit more practical. The Catholic Gentleman has a wonderful post that highlights the importance of virtue that I would highly recommend, but the 7 virtues are prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, faith, hope, and charity. The first 4 are called cardinal virtues that we can train ourselves in, and the final 3 are called theological virtues which are gifts from God. In your own life, your best bet is to pick out one of the cardinal virtues at a time, research them so that you can understand them, and then continuously work at attaining them. As for the theological virtues, your best bet is to take those into prayer each day, asking God for those gifts. He will provide.
  1. Treating women right. One of the easiest ways to distinguish a man from a boy is how he treats women. A man always treats women with respect, seeing them as a human being with their own life, needs, relationships, and feelings. Boys are sometimes tempted to use women, for their bodies, for a sense of emotional comfort, for power, etc. One of those general rules of thumb to apply here is to see every woman as your mother, sister, daughter, etc. This includes women that you see on screens and images. Would you treat one of them the way that you are treating this stranger? And beware, pornography may seem harmless at first, but it has a crippling effect on you and your relationships with the more beautiful sex. A huge way that we can honor women is by having chaste relationships with them. Save sex for marriage, and make sure to draw the line clearly with how physical you BOTH feel comfortable being with each other if you’re in a committed relationship. Save the “test drive” for cars, because women are so much better than that. It’s an insult to even compare them to cars. If you aren’t willing to lay down your life for them for the rest of your life, you have no right to a “test drive,” this is a go big or go home issue. On a lighter note, some things that I love to see men do for women is to open doors for them, let them eat first, paying for a date, listening attentively, and not talking down to them- especially with regards to subjects like sports and cars where the stereotype is that women don’t know anything about that. Oh yea, and if you’re Catholic, letting your wife / girlfriend / children go before you to receive Holy Communion. What a better way of sacrifice then letting them receive Jesus first?!
  1. True to our promises. A man is as good as his word, goes the common saying. “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation,” warns St. James in James 5:12. How often have you been affected by this in others? One of the most common issues where we see this in the 21st century is Facebook events. I’m guilty of putting “maybe” down for about 5 events in a row, only to never change to yes or no and never showing up. Doing that hurts my friends who went out of their way to invite me and don’t have any idea if I’m coming or not! And this can be applied to greater things, too.. How many times have we encountered people who are always promising to do things and never follow through? We stop taking that person seriously, don’t we? Perhaps the most important promises that affect each one of us are wedding vows. Each one of us has a mom and a dad. And most of our parents, at least at one point in time, were married. They promised to be love and serve each other, through good times and bad. They promised to be faithful to each other for their entire lives. They promised to marry each other for life. Yet, unfortunately, about half of marriages end in divorce. Dang. Talk about a broken promise. Think… they promised that they would love and serve each other in both good times and in bad. So as much as I feel for couples going through difficult marriages, divorce never really was an option according to their vows. Unfortunately these affects have wounded countless numbers of young people in my generation, who are now the likely generation in recent memory to ever get married. There is hurt everywhere because of broken promises. Long story short, a man keeps his word, even if it is very difficult. Even if just each of us as individuals try to get a little better on this, I think it would go a long way in changing the world.
  1. Taking the initiative to pursue a woman. For young men, assuming that you aren’t called to the priesthood or religious life, one of the most exhilarating times of our lives is attempting to win a woman’s heart. Notice how I used the words “pursue” and “win”, verbs that imply that you actually try. You don’t usually find the woman of your dreams by just sitting around waiting for her to walk through your door, but by going out and living life, and meeting her doing the same sort of things that you like to do. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and ask out a woman that you’re interested in! Rejection stings, but you’ll never have a shot if you don’t ask! Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of young women out there looking for relationships and potential husbands, but not many men going out and asking them. Instead, our culture has made hooking up seem like a normal thing to do. This is no way to treat a woman, to use her for her body with no thoughts for who she actually is as a person… to just try and get messed up enough that you don’t even know what you’re doing. That’s not being a man, that’s being an animal. A man goes out of his way to protect women and treat them with respect. The end goal of a relationship isn’t sex or physical pleasure. The end goal of a relationship is life-long friendship, love, and helping each other become closer to Christ. Kids are nice too, when we’re talking about marriage 😉
  1. Be sharpened by other men. Man was not created to be alone. We were actually created for community. I’ve already mentioned some cool things about relationships with women, but in general fraternal friendships are just as important! Jesus recognized this when He gave us the Church. It wasn’t just Peter alone who continued Jesus’ mission on bringing God’s Kingdom to earth in the Church, but the 12 Apostles, and the 72 Disciples, and countless others! Jesus founded the Church as a community, and it grew as a community. We are all the Body of Christ, and we are stronger together as a “body” as opposed to “a lone ear” or “a finger and two toes.” A pretty cool bible verse that highlights this is Proverbs 27:17, which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.” Of course this applies to women too, but I love the imagery of iron here and I think it speaks very clearly to men. When I am alone, I am more vulnerable to temptations and not always the person that I ought to be. When I am surrounded by my good friends, they encourage me to be the best that I can be in all things. One simple way that I’ve noticed this is in prayer accountability. As a missionary, I challenged men to commit to praying daily, as I do, so that they could grow closer to Jesus. Beforehand, most of them had never had a very regular prayer life, but after I challenged them to start one and continued to check up on them, they started making impressive improvements and I could see their lives change as they grew closer to Christ through prayer. Accountability and encouragement is one of the best ways that we can help build each other up as men.
  1. Only satisfied by God. This world is great. God has given us so many people to become friends with and countless other joys. But as tempting as it can be to strictly chase the things of this world, we have to remember that in the end only God will satisfy us. We were made for God, and nothing less will give us peace. We will always be wanting more… until we are finally with God, and we will have never-ending peace and joy, ecstasy really! So with that in mind, make daily prayer a part of your schedule, and make sure to be faithful to Sunday Mass and regular confession. Our relationship with God starts right here on earth.
  1. God’s son. Did you know that God desires a personal relationship with you? Kind of like any other friend, except He’s Jesus and He created, unconditionally loves, and died for you! Now, if you’re anything like me, you get a bit turned off by that mushy “God loves us” stuff. The girls eat that up, but for us as guys, it doesn’t really work. I think we need to take a different approach. God gave us two basic ways of seeing Him: as our Father in God the Father, and as our brother in Jesus. Some of us aren’t blessed in having a father or brother in our lives that gives us a glimpse of the true love and care of God/Jesus. As a Father, God cares for us at all times. He watches out for us, is ready to give us advice, and gives us everything that we need to live joyfully as His sons. As a brother, Jesus modeled for us a firm commitment to putting God first in all that we do, a strong work ethic in our day to day labors, compassion and care for those around us who need mercy and help, and is a friend whose shoulder we can lean on whenever we need some support. God is much closer to us than we think and remembering that He is by our side at all times will help us through the good and the bad times ahead.

I hope and pray that these tips inspire and encourage you! God bless!

Note: A couple of months ago I published a post about being a Daughter of God, which inspired me to write this one as well for the guys!

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Cases for the Catholic Church: Sacraments

Mass before the March for Life

About a month ago, I was talking with someone who remarked, “You know, the hardest part about living a relationship with God is that I can’t talk with or touch Him.” Obviously she’s got a ways to go in terms of developing a prayer life, the best way to communicate with our Lord (and the way that Jesus Himself talked with the Father!), but she makes a great point. Would God really just leave us all alone after Jesus ascended into Heaven?

Jesus promised that He would never leave us, saying “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Yet despite that, He ascended into Heaven, so how does this make any sense? First off, God is still with us always. Even the Father personally guided the Israelites personally in the Old Testament times, He is always loving us and desiring the best for us. In addition, the Father and Son gave the Holy Spirit to the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2).

But it makes sense that God would want to give us a tangible way of encountering Jesus through the Church. Jesus gave us the sacraments as signs of God’s love, ways to physically encounter God’s grace. Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to administer the sacraments themselves, and they have continued to carry on this ministry throughout the ages in the Church.

For those who aren’t familiar with the sacraments at all, I sometimes think of them as “power ups” in real life because of the grace that they give. Baptism is like an “extra” life that you get where it initiates you into the Church and is necessary for salvation*. Confirmation is a power up to grow in your faith which gives you more gifts from the Holy Spirit. Confession is how you get “full health again” and God forgives you of your sins. Eucharist is pretty much where you win the game and get to have a meal ZIP with the creator of the game. Marriage… um I guess that one’s pretty self explanatory, I hope, haha. Holy Orders gives men special powers to act in Jesus’ place in administering the sacraments, helping everyone else get their power ups. Finally, Anointing of the Sick is a way to instantly win the game despite being about ready to die.

Ok those comparisons were pretty hilarious for me… but they show the importance of taking advantage of all of the help that we can get in our lives! In video games we try to get the most power ups that we can so that we can do the best. In real life, we should do the same! God has given us help.. the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Bible, so that we wouldn’t have to live our faith all alone.

Instead of doing an in-depth scriptural and general apologetics study at the end to defend each of the 7 sacraments, feel free to check out this more thorough web site: Catholic Apologetics

Dr. Peter Kreeft also defends sacraments as a whole here.

Previous posts on the sacraments:
Baptism: Why Wait?
Confession
Mass: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
Why do Catholics have to go to Mass on Sundays?
Too Wise to Get Married?
Why Can Only Men be Catholic Priests?

Other Cases for the Catholic Church:
Authority
Universality

Saints Mary and Joseph, Examples of Femininity and Masculinity

Holy Family Nativity

Last week in bible study we joined up with a girls study for some bowling and a quick study on femininity and masculinity. My friend Rachel led the girls study and provided the reflection on our Blessed Mother, and I provided the reflection on St. Joseph.

Mary, Mother of God

  1. Who is Mary?

Mary is a guiding light for us. She is the only example that we have of a perfect and sinless woman. Mary demonstrates a beautiful character through her roles as both wife to Joseph and mother to Jesus. And through these roles, she portrays perfectly the vocation women are called to. But she is not simply an example to women – she is mother of all. Both men and women can look to her as an example of prayer, humility and selfless love.

The Character of Mary:

  1. Receptivity
  2. Capacity for the Other
  3. Resonance of Mind and Heart

Luke 1: 26-38 “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ But Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?’ And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.’ Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

  1. How does Mary demonstrate receptivity in this passage?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as a wife or mother?

“The existence of Mary is an invitation to the Church to root her very being in listening and receiving the Word of God, because faith is not so much the search for God on the part of human being, as the recognition by men and women that God comes to us” – JPII

John 2 1-6: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana, in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ [And] Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

  1. How does Mary demonstrate her “Capacity for the other”?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as mother?

Luke 2: 41-51 “Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”

  1. How does Mary demonstrate her “Resonance of Mind and Heart”?
  2. What does this reveal about Mary’s role as wife and mother?

John 19: 26-27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

–          We have looked at how Mary has played a motherly role in the life of Jesus from the moment of his conception up to the point of his painful, yet, redeeming death. At this moment, Mary became mother of not just the beloved disciple, John, but to all of Jesus’ beloved disciples…us. At the foot of the cross, at a time when she is feeling so much pain and sorrow in her heart, she still gave a “yes” to the Lord and accepted us as her children.

–          Mary is a true model to all Christians because she is a model of being open to the will of God. She bore Jesus Christ in her womb and bore him into the world. Her mission has always been to bring Jesus Christ to the world and to bring the world to Jesus Christ. Let us go to her with all of our needs, our sorrows, and our joys. She will rejoice with us in our triumphs and will console us in our suffering. Mary is truly a gift from God to us, so let us entrust ourselves to her, knowing that she will bring us to her Son.

St. Joseph

St. Joseph is a fantastic model for what true manhood is especially in his virtue, faith, and charity. His family was the most unique family ever: his wife was the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and their son Jesus was God. Imagine that craziness. And though spiritually St. Joseph is the “least important,” he was still absolutely vital. Even though not a single word by St. Joseph is recorded in scripture, he still teaches men so much by his actions.

When he found out that Mary was pregnant while they were “engaged,” instead of shaming her, St. Joseph did not plan to make a scene of it but to quietly divorce her. Think of how tough that situation was! The penalty for cheating on a man in those days potentially could have been death, by stoning! And yet St. Joseph was going to spare her as much contempt as possible.

Next, St. Joseph had a strong enough faith to trust the angel that announced to him that Mary’s child was God’s child. Again, what a ridiculous situation that we completely take for granted. God’s child! And again, St. Joseph did not abandon Jesus and Mary but trusted God.

Also, St. Joseph honored our Blessed Mother and her special role in history by protecting her virginity even though they were married. We think that priests and sisters have a sacrifice to make in celibacy: how about a properly married couple being celibate? And Mary wasn’t bad looking.

He took his entire family and fled when the emperor was having all of the children killed for fear of Jesus, thanks to a warning from an angel. He has faith in the angel again, and doesn’t abandon Jesus and Mary but takes them to Egypt, a completely foreign country, in order to escape.

St. Joseph worked to provide for Jesus and Mary. Again, we can’t take this stuff for granted: his wife was sinless and his son was God, and he had to work a day job to support them?

At all times, St. Joseph honored God and put God’s plans before his own convenience, even when it was ridiculously hard. St. Joseph is a model of virtue and sacrifice for all men.

15 Tips to Pray Better

Pope Francis praying

I still consider myself a beginner at prayer, but I’ve actually had some great revelations in learning to pray over the past few months. It’s been awesome! So I’d like to share them with you, hopefully they can inspire and help you in your own prayer life!

1. Make prayer a habit. You won’t learn to do anything well unless you do it consistently, and this is especially true in prayer. Designate a special time for prayer every day, and stick to it. It must be a quiet place where you will not get easily distracted.

2. Be absolutely still. It is so easy for me to begin praying, and then find myself thinking about how I am uncomfortable, or staring at my hands, or doing something else other than praying. When I am still, I can focus without distractions. If I start playing with my thumbs, there is no way that I am also praying, I’m just not good at multitasking like that.

3. Focus on God and God alone. You should also speak with God about things going on in your life, but those things are things that you are bringing to God. If you begin thinking about these other things without God, it is very easy to transition from prayer to daydreaming.

4. Ask God to teach you to pray. Ask God to come and be with you. Pray something like, “Father  please teach me to pray. Come Holy Spirit, please teach me to pray. Jesus, please be close to me and help me to know you more.”

5. You must have faith. Just as there would be no Church without Jesus, there is no prayer  without faith. As awkward as it is, I often find myself “pretending” to pray. I think that it is a lack of faith on my part, a lack of trust that God actually hears me. And as soon as I realized that (praise God!), I’ve been much better about asking God to help me have greater faith lately, and I have recognized how He has been much nearer to me. I notice this because I become so joyful at recognizing His presence and it’s as if I’m speaking with with Jesus right there next to me, “heart speaking unto heart,” as Bl. Cardinal Newman would say.

6. Be real with God. God knows what you really think anyways, so there is no need to hide what you think. Just as you’d talk with your best friend about everything that is going on in your life, it is even more important to speak with God about these things too. And it’s totally cool to complain to God, it’s biblical ;-)! And be real about your relationship with God. Ask His forgiveness for your sins. Ask for His grace to overcome them. Ask for His clarity when you are not sure what to do. Just as you can’t grow in a friendship with a friend when you aren’t yourself, you can’t grow closer to God when you aren’t yourself. And I’m sure that as you come to know Him better, you’ll have much less to complain about :-).

7. Adore God. Prayer is more than just speaking to Him. Just being with Him is enough, whether that is physically in mass or adoration, or spiritually in prayer. Prayer is also the desire of union with God, and that desire doesn’t have to be spoken to be real. 

8. Use A.C.T.S. Prayer consists of Adoration- as I just spoke of, Contrition- asking for forgiveness for our sins, Thanksgiving- thanking God for His blessings, and Supplication- asking God for what we need.

9. If you are struggling, don’t give up. Praying isn’t something that always comes automatically. Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is hard. It’s a battle! I’m reading a book on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Rule for the Discernment of Spirits, and it’s helping me recognize certain these things in prayer. Basically, prayer is more complicated than we make it out to be. There are good spirits that want to inspire and help us. There are evil spirits that seek to confront and disappoint us. We receive consolation and we should continue to grow in those times. We also undergo trial and dryness, and we should continue in those times just as in times of consolation, even though it is much harder. Spiritual advisers are great at helping you navigate through these difficulties.

10. Give yourself a significant amount of time to pray. You can only begin to to go deeper in prayer when you pray for a significant amount of time. Plus, if you set aside plenty of time, you will not have to be checking the time every other minute to make sure that you don’t miss your next event.

11. Pray throughout your day. It is essential to set aside a special time for deep prayer every day, but I also need to pray during the day so that I can remember to live for (and with!) Jesus in all that I do, especially when it is difficult. God often speaks to us through the situations that we encounter in our days.

12. Do not skip contemplative prayer in favor of meditative prayer. If all of your prayer happens when you are at mass or while praying a rosary, you haven’t given yourself as much freedom to pray as you need. Both of those prayers are beautiful, but we need time alone with God to speak and to listen.

13. We must also listen in prayer. This is something that I still struggle with a lot. I know that Lectio Divina is a great way to combat this, because through the Scriptures, Jesus’ words are living and active, and they speak to our heart. So open up your bible and let Jesus’ words not only be to the other people in the bible, but to YOU. Another way to hear God is to see where He guides your thoughts and emotions during prayer. Sometimes our thoughts wander because we are being distracted, but if we pray well, the Spirit will move us to notice something that we never thought of before in our lives, and show us how we can better serve God. I think that I do my best listening in prayer by “listening” to how much that God loves me. This is very moving for me, because God reveals this to me in a relatively overwhelming way. It usually begins by me recognizing all that God has done for me, giving me life, faith, family and friends, opportunities to serve Him, and ultimately He died for me.

14. Pray when making decisions. When we have decisions to make, big or small, leaving God out of them is not going to help you in the long run. Ultimately, our life is about God, so why don’t we let Him into all corners of our life? When I pray and ask God what to do when making decisions, I ask Him to reveal to me what I should do clearly. Often this takes time, but I feel pretty confident that He speaks straight to my heart about what I should do. With some choices, there is one option that glorifies God more than another and I recognize that. I pray that I choose that option more. God speaks to me through my desires. I didn’t always think that I could be a FOCUS missionary, but I definitely always wanted to be one. Before it was too late, I recognized this fact, and recognized that it glorified God the most of all of my options for after college. God also gives us peace in our decisions when they is good. Sometimes a lack of peace is simply our conscience, and other times some decision just don’t seem to “fit” well with us. If you feel peace in a decision that you’ve been praying about, it is a good sign that God wants you to proceed in that direction.

15. Just do it. Every moment is an opportunity for prayer. There’s no time like the present. What are you waiting for? God’s waiting.

Here’s a cool prayer that I just ran into (translated and some old English, sorry):

I love thee, God, I love thee—
Not out of hope for heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake, not to be
Out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and will love thee.
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.

-St. Francis Xavier

More on prayer:
Your faith isn’t going to go anywhere..
A Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ and Evangelization
The Battle of Prayer