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Keith John Paul Horcasitas

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A Modest Proposal Prayer & Bowing to the Almighty Throne from my little one
by Keith John Paul Horcasitas   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, July 08, 2012
Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2012

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Humility, Prayer & Spiritual Exercises

Pic: Public Domain

This morning, as I was taking my usual Sunday jog before Mass, I got inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen something about my faith walk (run) – like I usually do get moved to write about spiritual things during that work-out mode. Before heading out on that “Spiritual Exercise” regimen, I had posted the following inspired note on Facebook to highlight how God's Presence is Very Eucharistic: “You never know Who may join you when you may be out on your own "Roads to Emmaus."

Another influence upon me during that outing was from prayer time earlier - notably St. Paul's “Strength in Weakness & Humility” passage in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, wherein the Apostle particularly noted how the “thorn in his flesh” that God had given him had helped to keep his pride in check, as well as to foster in him more dependence upon the Lord.

So as I was taking my third lap around the neighborhood, it dawned upon me – or more likely, Jesus, in an unrecognized form, was actually taking a “Closer Walk (Run) with Thee” (me) – how delusional my self-reliance abilities are and how much aversion I have demonstrated at times to those necessary thorns in my own life which actually are needed to keep me running on the right path to humility.

What are some simple ways that God has blessed me to approach His Holy Throne in prayer and supplication? While it may seem crude and out of place, I decided to share a simple prayer technique that helps me every morning to not only deal with the “here and now” physical needs that we all have but also the emotional and spiritual ones.

The first thing I try to do every morning after I wake up is to pray. So when I go into the bathroom, I take my prayer cards, my “One Bread, One Body” booklet and the current “Magnificat” issue that includes the daily Catholic Readings for the day with commentaries and other spiritual references. After this, I get a pillow and sit on the floor nearby for 5 – 10 minutes using the “Jesus Prayer” to help draw me into meditation and contemplation.

Later, in going through the routines that I have that get me ready for work or whatever (usually a cup of CDM coffee is always subsequently brewed up to keep me focused!), things just always seem to flow at His Pace and in His Light when I have given the first fruits of the day to Him. Even if crisis or turmoil may occur, His Presence is a great guidance in whatever promenade for the day that He has planned for me, my family, my work group, my patients, etc. If I can make it to Mass next, that is best part of waking up (No - not Folgers in my cup!)! Sometime during lunch, I try to make the time to re-read the Scriptures of the day and see how I've tried to apply them to my everyday life and work.

In the evenings and at all meals, it helps to use varying prayer forms like the Rosary to continue my faith walk and that of my family. Also, I have some simple evening prayers that I like to use and pray with my spouse at the end of the day – before sleeping - including a daily “examination of conscience” and an “Act of Contrition.” While this may seem a little too routine and structured for some, it certainly helps me. Still, there are times when spontaneous prayers or gatherings will occur that may interfere with my norms, and they usually help to stretch me to ways that God is calling me to.

Everybody has their own prayer techniques that work for them, so this is just one example of what works for me. Going back to the original theme “God's Presence being Very Eucharistic,” music always helps me to better apply faith and prayer principles. Besides writing and playing tunes, I love to sing songs (as St. Augustine said “You pray twice when you sing!) like “God and Man at Table are Sat Down:”

O, welcome, all ye noble saints of old
As now before your very eyes unfold
The wonders all so long ago foretold.
God and man at table are sat down.

Worship in the presence of the Lord
With joyful songs and hearts in one accord.
And let our Host at table be adored.
God and man at table are sat down.

Elders, martyrs, all are falling down;
Prophets, patriarchs are gath'ring round.
What angels longed to see now man has found:
God and man at table are sat down.

Beggars, lame, and harlots also here;
Repentant publicans are drawing near.
Wayward sons come home without a fear.
God and man at table are sat down.

Who is this who spreads the vic'try feast?
Who is this who makes our warring cease?
Jesus, Risen Savior, Prince of Peace.
God and man at table are sat down.

When at last this earth shall pass away,
When Jesus and his Bride are one to stay,
The feast of love is just begun that day.
God and man at table are sat down.

So let me end this little modest proposal on “Prayer and Bowing to the Almighty Throne from my little one” with another related story that also bespeaks of humility, prayer and spiritual exercises – even with dogs to boot! Godspeed!

Humility a lesson learned in this very important virtue per my dog! "To Scoop or Not To Scoop"

To scoop, or not to scoop; that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them. (Hamlet, Prince of Hamlet [revised], William Shakespeare, 1601)

We can learn all kinds of facets to spirituality even through the experiences we have with our pets. Even the Canaanite woman in the Gospels made a notable point about faith that brought about the expulsion of a demon from her daughter after she stated, Please, Lord, even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters tables. (Mt. 15:27)

Taking a dog for a daily promenade is such a joy - to be out in the neighborhood, visiting with neighbors, and even providing a type of neighborhood watch. After a hard day's work with all the stresses that may come, it is helpful and healthy to take such walks with our canines that can even be seen as a form of prayer.

Raphael, our Toy Poodle, loves to venture out into the surrounding home area and secure his territory. With a dog to almost every house in the neighborhood, he certainly has his paws full every day with designating his domain. And Sidney, a free spirit and unleashed friend, certainly has fun playing with Raphael and bragging his independence. Sophie, from next door, also has had some great romps with Raphie and will almost always get away with one of John Paul's toys.

Being a remnant of the Sensitive 90's type guy, concern for my neighbors always seemed paramount in my mind and heart. Didn't someone famous once say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" How many times have we all lamented to our kids about the Golden Rule? And we have all heard His answer to that ultimate question, "And who is my neighbor?" - that showed us the loving example of the Good Samaritan.

Well, on one of these fond walks, after having carefully let Raphie strategically deposit his 'hood boundary demarcations so as to be incognito, Joy came over for a chat. Anxiously anticipating a nice conversation with her about currents events and in the company of Kelly, another neighbor, and Hershey, her Cocker Spaniel, Joy said to me, "You need to get a Pooper Scooper!"

How does one respond to the truth? If we're going to talk the talk, then we'd better walk the walk," someone once also said. If I had had a WWJD bracelet on my wrist, this certainly would have given rise to a serious examination of conscience moment!

So the very next day, you can be sure you know who high-tailed it to Pet Smart to get the necessary accessories - I never knew there was so much of a selection in such wares. I need to apply the same responsiveness in my faith walk. Am I smart and dedicated about the spirituality commitments I make?

Now, I'm well equipped for the journeys through the neighborhood with Raphie and have learned an invaluable lesson in life that Hamlet noted in response to Ophelia's reply: "I humbly thank you, Joy, well, well, well!" (Hamlet, Prince of Hamlet [revised], William Shakespeare, 1601) May I strive to be the Great Teachers Pet and humbly listen to Him!    

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