Back in the mid 1980’s, shortly after getting married, there was a week long “retreat” at my local church. (At the time, this was St. Michael Parish in Belle Plaine, Iowa). This particular retreat involved coming to the church each evening, for the better part of the week, to hear preaching from two visiting Capuchin monks.
Prior to this retreat, my Catholic faith was at one of its weakest points. I had not gone to confession in 7 years. Additionally, my wife (who is non-Catholic) and I, were considering the possibility of joining a Protestant denomination. We felt it important that we eventually both worshiped together as a family.
But my attendance at this retreat neutralized any idea of my leaving the Church. The preaching of those Capuchin friars had quite an effect on me. By the end of that week I had gone to confession and, since then, I have never doubted my membership in the Catholic Church.
I don’t remember any details of the sermons heard that week save for one short little prayer that has become the center of my prayer life. Originally written to be said whenever one heard the name of the Lord taken in vain, I’ve adopted this prayer as my frequent “silent exhortation”. That is, it is a prayer that I exclaim in my heart whenever I feel the joy of the Lord, or come across a challenging moment during the course of my day. The prayer is simply:
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
There's an even shorter prayer I use from time to time. It comes from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians. From chapter 2 verse 11:
Jesus Christ is Lord!
Do you have a special prayer that you say frequently throughout each day? If not, I urge you to develop or adopt one. Such a prayer can become a very powerful tool for putting your faith into focus and/or calling upon the Lord in time of need.
If you're not used to doing frequent exhortations to God, it can be difficult to get started. This is especially true during working hours when your mind is focused on the immediate task to be done. Still, I've found an excellent way to frequently remind myself of God throughout my own work day. As a computer systems administrator, I often log into and out of several different computer systems all day long. On some days, it may not be unusual for me to have to use my password credentials a dozen times or more. Additionally, I have to change my passwords at least once every 60 days. In order to be more easily reminded of God during my work day, I now create my passwords based on scripture passages and short little prayers like those listed above.
For example, let's say I'm required to create a 12 character password with letters, numbers, and at least one special character. Using "Jesus Christ is Lord!" I might create a password like: JesusCiL!123 Note that the password length is exactly 12 positions long, contains both lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers and a special character. Such a password is easy to remember, meets the complexity requirements specified, and best of all, will be sure to remind you of Jesus Christ every time you use it!
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(This article was last updated August 28, 2017)