Since my mother passed away a little over a year ago, one of my tasks whenever I visit my dad is to sort through another stack of papers. My mother was a collector. She never failed to pick up and never threw away a single religious tract, pamphlet, or prayer card. You know the ones you get from fundraising letters? She saved them all. And I can't just throw away whole piles, because tucked inside the papers are often photos or other sentimental treasures. So I sort.
The upside is I have found some wonderful tracts, pamphlets, and prayer cards to add to my own collection. What can I say? I am my mother's daughter. Though I have made the intention to cull my collection and keep it a bit more organized in consideration of any offspring who may someday find themselves sorting.
One of my finds now in my purse is a card that carries The Universal Prayer of Thanksgiving After Mass. It is attributed to Pope Clement XI. It is now my prayer as I kneel after Mass. Many of you may be familiar with it, but it is new to me. It is fairly long, but every verse holds words worthy of deep reflection. After Mass this morning, the words that stood out to me were:
I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.
Think about those words. I want to do what you ask of me. Not because I agree with it. Not because I understand it. Not because I know it is good for me. But simply because you ask it. Of course this prayer also implies I know what God is asking. That is a tall order. But renewed in the Eucharist, that is what I pray.
I am sure that when my mom tucked this prayer card into one of her piles of religious stuff she had no idea what a treasure it would be for me. I like to think she knows now. Thanks, Mom.