13. The melody of prayer
In the forest
Angela is very joyful and happy today. She has gone for a walk in the beautiful forest which is near their home with her mum and little Joseph.
The sunbeams which are shining through the dense foliage of the trees, the small river which is passing by merrily close to them, the cheerful chirping of the birds which are flying happily from tree to tree and the many flowers that adorn the surrounding plains, make a beautiful natural painting.
Mum Sofia is sitting under the shade of a very tall tree and reading a book.
Sometimes, she stops reading and raises her eyes to the chatty birds which are stirring up the whole forest with their melodious voices.
From her lips words of gratitude go to her beloved God who adorned His creation with such beauty. Like the little birds she is also singing, from the depths of her heart, loving hymns of praise, devotion, faith and worship to Him who is for her the sweet and affectionate heavenly God the Father.
Sometimes she cannot bear her great love for her beloved king God and hot tears of worship like pearls are flowing down her cheeks. She is imagining that she is lost in His Fatherly embrace, with her hands around the divine neck of her King and there, like a carefree child is enjoying His affectionate heavenly love.
Her heart would like to say many loving prayers, but when she is feeling like a little girl hidden in the motherly embrace of God the Father, she cannot express any words and tells Him silently only "I love You".
If someone could see the angels of heaven, they would be wondering what was happening at that time; he would see the angels stop their own angelic melody in order to admire the wonderful human melody of love that some souls, divinely in love with their God the Father, pour out like perfume throughout heaven.
Angela with her brother picks many flowers; anemones, yellow and white daisies and makes them into a big bouquet.
When she finished the nice bouquet of flowers she comes joyfully to offer it to her mum.
Sophia cannot hide her joy with the children’s nice present and, after she first thanked them in such a sweet way that only mummies know how to, then she took both her children into her arms to cover them with motherly kisses.
She embraces them so tenderly and affectionately so that both her children happily enjoy such motherly warmth of love. Her love for them and the gratitude she is feeling to her heavenly God the Father for all He has granted her till now, make her unable to hold back two tears of joy and happiness.
The melody of the heart
Mum Sophia’s tears are flowing down her cheeks on to little Angela’s head, who is raising her eyes up with uncertainty to see from where these two dew drops came. With great surprise she discovers that tears were flowing from her mum’s eyes and that’s why she is asking her in amazement:
-Why are you crying mum, are you sad?
-I am not crying, my little girl, from sorrow but from great joy and happiness! I am so happy that I am holding my treasures, you and your brother, in my arms! I am also happy that I can enjoy this wonderful creation of our good God.
But my greatest joy and happiness, my Angela, is what my soul feels, knowing that we are children of the most sweet and affectionate Father, who is our good God.
This happiness makes me weep and tell Him through the depths of my heart many times, "I love You" and "I thank You."
-I also want, mum, to say to our good God, "I love You" and "I thank You" for all He has given us!
-Always say these two words to our God, my Angela. These two words express the soul’s love and gratitude to our heavenly Father, therefore this is the sweetest melody that a soul can give to the creator God. It is the only prayer that pleases Him completely and makes Him fill the soul with many blessings.
-Don’t we thank Him with the other prayers that we say?
-All prayers, my child, when they are said with childish simplicity, love and respect for our heavenly Father, give Him joy and happiness. Our God the Father is like us your parents. He rejoices every time we enter into His arms as little children and tell Him with simplicity whatever we have in our hearts.
-Can we tell Him in our prayers the good and the bad things we commit?
-Of course, my baby. Whatever a child can tell his mum and dad, he can say exactly the same to his God the Father. If we, your parents, my Angela, love you a thousand times, our good God loves you infinitely. There is no earthly measuring device with which someone can measure the magnitude of love that He has for all His creatures. His love is like the endless sky and His affection like the hot sun. Therefore He rejoices every time we speak to Him through our prayers, our thoughts, our desires and all our dreams. He likes it when we tell Him whatever we have in our hearts and when we ask His blessing and help. So we give Him the right to intervene in our lives and lead our souls according to His will. However, when we pray we must have absolute faith and trust in God our Father, so that He hears us and He will give our soul whatever it needs at the right time that He as God knows.
The path of holiness
-Once you told me, mum, that prayer is a very great gift of God to man. Why?
-Because through it man can speak with the Creator of the whole world as a child speaks to his mum and dad. My child it is a wonderful and unique gift that our good God gave to man so that we, as humans, are able to speak and express with our words the various feelings and desires of our soul. In all of creation no other creature, except man, has this possibility of communication by speech. So with this wonderful gift our Creator wants us to speak to Him, to express our love and to tell Him our joys, our anxieties, our worries, our dreams, our spiritual struggles, our various weaknesses but also the mistakes which we commit and pollute our souls. So, this possibility that we have to speak to God, we call prayer. With the gift of prayer, sometimes we ask His blessing to achieve something good, and other times when we make Him sad with the mistakes we commit, we apologize to Him so that He forgives us and cleanses our soul from the filth of sin.
-Then, the gift of prayer is really wonderful!
-It is wonderful, my Angela, not only because through it we can speak to our Creator but also because it helps us to unite with Him through our words of love and adoration for Him.
-How is this, mum?
-In prayer, my little girl, all of us can tell and ask Him whatever we want. Don’t you do the same with your parents? Doesn’t it give you pleasure to tell us what's on your mind and in your heart?
-However, there is also something else when you speak to us, not only do you feel happy, but you also make us very happy.
-What is it that I say that makes you so happy?
-Well, when you enter into our embrace and tell us that you love us so much, from the earth till to the sky! Then, my little girl, you cannot understand how much happiness floods the heart of your mummy and your daddy with those words of your love! You can make us happy every time you come close to us to tell us what makes you happy and what displeases you, but when you are enclosed in our arms and tell us how much you love us and adore us, then our heart flutters from unspeakable joy and happiness. Then we hold you tighter in our arms and hide you even deeper in our hearts. It is then that I and your dad feel that we are one with you in the mystery of infinite love and adoration.
-Mum, does our good God have the same feeling, whenever I tell Him that I love Him?
-Yes, my Angela! Whenever you tell Him that you love and worship Him, He takes you into His fatherly arms, not only to cover you with divine kisses but with something more precious and unique.
-With what, mum?
-With the grace of the Holy Spirit, which floods your soul and turns it slowly, slowly into a furnace of divine love? If you continue to love Him, to trust Him and to obey His divine Will, then He will flood you more and more with the Holy Spirit and will lead you through the paths of virtue into the high mountain peaks of holiness. That’s why the Church, my child, uses prayer as the path of holiness, since through it all who love God are sanctified.
A Prayer from God
-Μum, which prayer does our God most prefer us to say?
-God rejoices and listens attentively to all the prayers people say. But there is a prayer which has been taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and therefore it is called the Lord's Prayer; “Our Father…”. He taught it for the first time to the holy disciples, when they begged Him to tell them how to pray. This prayer should be said daily by all Christians but preferably many times in a day. Although it is a short prayer, it includes everything we should ask from God and also what we need to do to please our Lord. I have already spoken to you about this prayer in the past. However, as long as we will follow the path of God's love, so the Holy Spirit will help us to understand the deeper meanings which it contains.
-Mum, can you explain it to me once more so that I understand it even better?
-Of course, my little girl. In addition, whenever I say it and I understand the divine secrets which are hidden in it I feel more and more joy in my heart. That’s why I want you to know the deep meanings so that you also say it attentively and devoutly. This prayer has so much power that it can transform you into an eagle of God who will fly high up to the mountaintops of holiness. But I want, before I start explaining it, to say it together first.
-"Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. "
-What are, my Angela, the first words of the prayer?
-Our Father, mum.
-These words “our Father" are the key to the understanding of this prayer. God, to whom we are now going to speak through prayer, is not only the Creator of the whole world but also the natural Father of our souls. We are His own beloved children and He rejoices every time we speak to Him through our prayer. But most of all He is pleased when we sanctify our souls with our good and virtuous life and so we show everyone that we are His royal children. Then His holy Name is glorified among people by watching us live as polite royal children, worthy of the great King God our Father. Each time we call Him "our Father" His divine heart will beat joyfully and happily.
-From now on, mum, every time I pray, I will start like this: "My sweet Father"!
-And then, my Angela, He will answer you: "My sweet little girl, my little princess, I am preparing the greatest gift for you "!
-What kind of gift does He want to give me?
-What you ask Him for next in your prayer saying, "Thy kingdom come."
It's the most precious thing our good God can give to those who love Him with all their heart and make Him King of their lives. It is the Holy Spirit of absolute joy, peace and happiness that transforms a simple soul into a royal throne of Almighty God. When the Holy Spirit floods a soul, it is turning into a volcano of love.
Then the divine love which is pouring out from it like lava, is like a fire inside this sanctified being and the soul lives a happiness and pleasure that it is difficult to be described by man’s mind. That is what the martyrs of our Christ were living and therefore could suffer with patience all the terrible tortures which the pagans imposed on them.
The spirit of love
-What should we do in order to bring the Holy Spirit into our soul? How should we live?
-We should live, my Angela, according to His Will which is the spirit of love, as it is taught by our Lord in His holy Gospel. That’s why in the next phrase of the prayer, we beg our Lord to help us to carry out His holy Will in our lives: "Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven". As the angels in heaven apply it, so we His earthly angels who live here on earth, should also apply it.
-Mum, what does it mean to live with the spirit of love?
-It means, my child, to love each other and to behave in such a way so that we don’t cause sadness and sorrow to our fellowman. With love, you treat everyone with respect and spiritual kindness. You shouldn’t provoke anyone with jealousy, anger, envy, slander, hate and other malice which the evil Satan puts deviously into our mind and heart. For each person the spirit of love should be the necessary spiritual food with which he will feed his soul on a daily basis. As our body is not able to live without its necessary food, so also the soul cannot survive without the necessary spiritual food of love. The spirit of love is the spiritual bread that we should beg our Lord to give us with our daily food.
-Is that why mum we pray next "Give us this day our daily bread"?
-Yes, my Angela. Our Lord wants us to ask in our prayer not only for the food of the body but also for the soul. Besides, what would be the point of struggling to feed only our mortal body which after death will become soil and will be lost, while we have condemned our intangible and indestructible soul with spiritual starvation? Isn’t it foolish to take care of whatever has not so much value and to neglect what has eternal value? The spiritual food of love is necessary because without it the spiritual death of the soul occurs. So you can understand why our well-beloved Lord asks us not to hold grudges and hate in our hearts for any man and to forgive anyone who hurts us. Indeed, it is so important for Him, that He emphasizes to us that if we want to be forgiven by Him for all our mistakes we commit, we must first forgive those who hurt us. Did you understand why after the phrase of the prayer "Give us this day our daily bread ", He immediately adds "and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"?
-Yes, mum. I understand that if we want Christ to live in our heart we must not allow evil thoughts in our heart against any man.
-What you say, my Angela, is the basis of love that our Christ taught us and what Satan hates the most. That’s why the greatest war he makes against people is to tempt them with the terrible passions of hate, jealousy, envy, resentment, slander and others, with which he can easily destroy the spirit of love and send the Holy Spirit and our good God away from our hearts.
-Wow, mummy, what cunning ways Satan uses to bring misery to our soul! I will say the "Lord’s prayer" many times a day and I will beg our good God not to allow the evil Satan to tempt my soul but to send him way.
A wonderful prayer
-Except for this wonderful prayer "Our Father ..." I will also teach you, my Angela, another one equally nice which I was taught by my spiritual father. It is a prayer that includes everything a soul could wish for, who wants to love our well-beloved Lord very much and to live in absolute love, trust and obedience to His holy Will.
-Can you tell me it now mum?
-I will tell you it and then I will analyze some of the great meanings which are hidden in it:
God of my heart and of endless love,
My Heavenly Father,
make my heart worthy to become one
with Your Merciful heart,
so that I can truly love You, worship You,
and have mercy towards all people throughout the world.
Flood my soul with Your divine love and help me to become worthy
of reciprocate this great love to You in the best way I can.
It’s You that I recognize as my heart’s only King
and I dedicate my soul to Your only begotten Son Jesus,
our beloved holy Infant and wounded King.
Accept me in Your fatherly arms
and hide me there deep in Your motherly heart.
Send me your holy angels to guard
my body, my soul and my heart
and secretly teach me the absolute adoration,
trust and obedience to Your holy Will,
in order to never hurt You again.
I’m also begging Your beloved daughter
and Queen of heaven and earth,
our holy Mother Mariam, to keep me under her tender protection
and teach me how I can ceaselessly love You like a child.
I believe in You, I worship You and I love You,
I am Your humble child who struggles on earth
and has a strong longing to be found again
in Υour embrace for the whole of eternity. Amen.
-It is very nice mum! The most beautiful of all that I have heard so far. I will also learn it to say it together with the "Lord’s Prayer." But please explain it to me so that I understand its great meanings.
-This prayer, my child, is not just a prayer but a prayerful confession. My spiritual father was telling me that this prayer is frightening Satan very much because it shows us the shortest path, but also the way how to easily reach holiness. Every phrase is a step on the heavenly ladder which brings us ever closer to God’s embrace. In the words of this prayer all those things are hidden that our good God would like us to do so that we live like His own royal children, like children of His divine heart. Therefore, whenever I say this prayer it is like hearing our well-beloved God Himself saying it to me:
"My child, I am your heavenly Father, who loves and adores you as a mother loves her baby. I want to be the God of your heart and for you to let Me flood you with My infinite love, so that your heart becomes compassionate towards all your fellow humans, as My divine one is. I want you to ask Me every day to flood you with the grace of My Holy Spirit, in order to make your heart a volcano of My love, so that the lava of My divine love pours out from it. Then you will also experience in your heart, what the holy martyrs lived and had the strength to acknowledge Me with courage before the pagans and suffered many tortures for this admission. They were recognizing Me as the only king of their hearts and every day were dedicating their soul to My only begotten Son Jesus, whom they loved and worshipped as their own beloved Infant and wounded King. "
-What would you reply to these sweet words of God our Father?
-I would beg Him, my child, to hold me tightly in His fatherly embrace, because only there I feel safety and certainty. You should also continually beg Him for it, so that He never lets you go from His motherly love and embrace. He really likes all His children to be like babies in His arms, because He loves and adores us. The only thing He asks from us is to trust Him absolutely and to obey His Will like His angels in heaven.
-What else could I ask Him for to help me and to guide me, except for you mum, who help and advise me how to live properly, according to our Lord’s Will?
-You should beg our good God, my daughter, to send you angels of heaven to guard your body and soul from every temptation of Satan and also to teach you how to love Him with absolute adoration, trust and obedience, as is done in heaven. Above all, you should also beg our heavenly Mummy, our glorious Virgin, to teach you how to love Him as she did.
-However, it would be a great omission, my Angela, not to mention to you another very short prayer. It consists of just seven words but its power is immeasurable. The holy Fathers of the Church call it the gold of prayers because of the secret theology which is hidden in it but mainly for the great fear and terror that is caused to the demons during this prayer when we say it. They even advise us to say it as often as possible until it becomes one with our breath. They say that, as when we breathe we get the oxygen we need and we are able to live, so with this short prayer our soul is flooded by the power of the presence of our Christ Himself and it gives it spiritual oxygen and life.
-Mum, what is this prayer which is so powerful?
-It is "Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me."There are just seven words but they have the power to cleanse and sanctify the soul as well as the five human senses. The value of this prayer lies exactly in the power of the name of our Lord Himself and at the confession we make when we say it.
-What is our confession?
-Well, with the word "Lord" we confess willingly that only our good God is the King of our hearts and the sovereign of our soul. We allow Him to guide, teach and protect our whole being from all evils. We don’t have, we don’t believe and we don’t confess to another God except Him. The word "Lord" is the first nail against Satan, who wants to interfere with devious ways as the boss of our soul and lead us according to his devilish will. By saying the word “Lord” with faith, we are making an invisible protective shield around our soul that can repel any demonic temptation.
-Now I understand, mum, why we say "Lord have mercy!" many times in the Church.
-And just this word, my child, frightens Satan very much because it is a confession of faith to the one and only God. However, the next word, which is the name of our sweet Savior, frightens him equally. The name "Jesus" is what Lucifer and his demons cannot bear hearing, because it is the human name of the Son of God. For this reason, many saints of our Church, who lived this power that the holy name of our Lord Jesus sends by experience, say that for Christians there is no greater weapon against Satan than the name of our Lord. When it is pronounced with faith and love to our Redeemer, it becomes the fire that burns demons.
-Mum, what does the word "Christ," mean?
-The word "Christ" is also my Angela a word of confession. With this we declare that our Lord Jesus is the promised Messiah and Redeemer of the world. He is the Son of God and also God, who became man like us to save all the people of the world from their sins. And finally with the words "have mercy on me" we beg Him for three things:
First, to forgive us for the mistakes and sins we commit.
Secondly, to cleanse us from the filth of sin and to release us from every evil influence on our soul and body.
Thirdly, to flood our hearts with the grace and the light of the Holy Spirit with which our soul becomes one with our good God. Therefore, my sweet daughter, from today on, I want you to start saying many times with your lips and your heart this short but very powerful pray.