Monday of Lent V – Prayer of the Week

Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

When I was sixteen years old, my younger brother and I found ourselves walking through one of the seedier parts of Chicago at 1 AM with our luggage, making a trek between the Greyhound and Trailways bus stations. We were oblivious to the danger we were in. We lived in a town of 260 people in rural Missouri. We saw more drug dealers and prostitutes in that two-block walk than there were people in our little town.

But we were not really in danger. A man had gotten on the bus in Milwaukee, a very large black man, who befriended us on the ride down. He had some silly reason for being on the bus. He did not trust the mail to deliver a check for his insurance. When he heard that we needed to walk to the next station, he asked us to wait for a moment. We grabbed our luggage and he walked with us, talking to everyone we passed, laughing and joking.

We pray that God would preserve us evermore in body and soul in this prayer. When we got home and told this story to my father, he blanched at what we had done and told us that the man was likely an angel. He might have just been a man, but I do not think it was an accident that we met him. God put him on that bus with us.

From what beasts and afflictions has God preserved your soul today? What ring has he thrown you to grab hold of so that you do not sink beneath the waves of despair, affliction, or grief? What temptation has he prevented which would have destroyed you when you succumbed to its blandishments? It is hard to thank God for what you avoid. After all, you avoided it. You might not have even known that it could have happened. But take a moment and thank your God today that he hears and answers this prayer. He mercifully looks upon you. In that mercy he governs and preserves you in body and soul through Jesus.

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