Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Prayer to St. James

He’s St. James, the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John, the beloved apostle, later nicknamed one of the “sons of thunder”.  And I’m sure is a distant relative by marriage of mine.  After having been blessed with a fiery husband and zealous little five-year-old daughter, I feel a real kinship to him.  Imagining him as a kind of great-uncle I never had, with God’s grace I’ve grown closer to him over the years and have frequently invoked the prayers of Salome in handling little people of thunder.

On today his feast day, I’d like to share a prayer from Pope John Paul II, who prayed this in 1989 at Santiago de Compostela, the traditional Spanish site of St. James’s remains and destination of the famous Camino. 

St. James!  We come to you in eager pilgrimage.
We come as part of a great throng of pilgrims
who through the centuries have come to this place,
where you are pilgrim and host, apostle and patron.
We come to you today
because we are on a common journey.
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims,
at the head of our pilgrimage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of the Lord,
the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the Gospel,
to the TRUTH you learned from your Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the faith,
the strength always to love the LIFE Christ gives.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Teach me, beloved St. James, the path that leads to Jesus, the path that will prepare my heart for an ever-lasting encounter with Love, the path that will deposit me safely into His arms and not those of the enemy.

Open me, powerful St. James, to the truth that Jesus Himself spoke: that He is Love Incarnate, that He came and lived and died for me.  Open wide my heart to expose it to the Great Love, so that I may understand with clarity and love others with this same burning love.  

Ever-devoted St. James, who willingly forfeited earthly pleasures for the rewards of eternal life, please pray for me that I embrace the cross of daily life that my Lord has lovingly prepared for me from all eternity with great joy and peace, knowing that I am His beloved, called to share in His passion and resurrection. Pray for me that I love my vocation as wife and mother and patiently endure the myriad sufferings this vocation requires.  Pray for me that I relish the countless moments of joy born of family life.  Pray for me that I love the sacramental life Jesus has given me in His ultimate goodness, that I delight in being washed clean in confession and rejoice at the abundant feast of the Eucharist.  Pray for me, glorious St. James, that I may love the LIFE Christ gives me!

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