Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Prayer of Simeon 

A nice article about the Pope, reflecting on a Canticle from the book of Revelations. JP II ended like this:
In this connection, the Holy Father concluded his meditation by quoting a moving prayer attributed to Simeon, bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, in Persia, as he faced martyrdom in 341.

"I want to persevere heroically in my vocation, fulfill with fortitude the task that was assigned to me, and be an example to all your people," the Pope quoted the martyr as saying.

The quote continued: "I shall receive life that knows not pain, or concern, or anguish, or persecutor, or persecuted, or oppressor, or oppressed, or tyrant, or victim; there I shall no longer see the king's menace, nor the terror of prefects; no one who takes me to court and continues to terrify me, no one who drags me or frightens me.

"The wounds of my feet will heal in you, O way of all pilgrims; the exhaustion of my members will find rest in you, Christ, chrism of our unction. In you, chalice of salvation, sadness will vanish from my heart; in you, our consolation and joy, the tears of my eyes will be wiped away."

The prayer of Simeon is all the more passionate when delivered by someone who is suffering so in his own life... as John Paul II is. My prayers are with him.

I think it was in the National Catholic Register this last week where I read about the faith journey of another Methodist, like myself, who found his way to the Catholic Faith. When asked why he became Catholic, this man said something like, "I began to take my faith seriously. Anyone who takes Christianity seriously will find themselves drawn to Catholic reading." I don't want to leave the impression that Methodists or Presbyterians or Lutherans are not serious in their faith, but I certainly found that statement to be true. When I began taking my faith seriously, I found myself drawn to the history of my faith... and finally into RCIA.

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