St. Paul of the Cross and Praying Dangerously

Passionists throughout the world are preparing for the great Feast of St. Paul of the Cross. Our Holy Founder was a saint, not because he did extraordinary things (which he did indeed do!), but because he was radically in love with God and because he surrendered his life to God with great faith and generosity.  He was a man of action BECAUSE he was a man of prayer.  I write all this to introduce you to a blog post that would have pleased St. Paul very much.

Elizabeth Scalia over at Aleteia recently wrote a fantastic article on “dangerous prayers” – the kind of prayers that God can use to totally change our lives by drawing us near to Christ in both the suffering of the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection. She writes:

There is the old, true chestnut, of course, “Be careful what you pray for; you might get it.” How often do we hedge our prayers — we say the first “dangerous” prayer (“Thy will be done”), but we hope we can get the glory we seek without having to encounter the Cross. I know I do it all the time: “Dear God, please teach me how to be a better person. Thy will be done, but don’t do it some crazy way, that involves something tragic, okay? I can’t handle it.”

So often, my prayers take a line through Flannery O’ Connor: “Lord, I’ll never be a saint but I might be a martyr if they can kill me quickly!”

Access the full article here

It is well worth a read, and you might notice some familiar names and faces while you take in Elizabeth’s challenge to pray boldly…

3 thoughts on “St. Paul of the Cross and Praying Dangerously

  1. “Dangerous” prayer reminds me of Fr. Mark Gurtner’s “scary prayer” – “Lord, make me a saint, no matter what it takes!” It’s a good prayer of trust in God and prioritizing our salvation over everything else.

  2. I sometimes wonder if saying ‘Thy will be done’ could give the impression of a lack of faith or belief that God will help. For that reason I never say it but rather prefer to say ‘please God do something about this problem.’ God gave us all free will and He wont interfere for this reason but in praying for people who have turned away from Him I ask Him to please put thoughts in their minds that they need to change. All we can do is ask. I believe.

  3. When you’ve been destroyed by far too much suffering, all you pray for is to be remade so you will be accepted at Mass, within the Church, etc. again. Too much suffering is also not good, especially when you lose access to daily Mass. I try to see it as being united with Jesus Crucified & think of how alone He was on the Cross. Sometimes that helps. Some people are asked to carry very heavy crosses for the salvation of souls. That’s fine, but we are in even greater need of daily Mass & Holy Communion when that happens. Doesn’t work that way where we live.

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