August 26, 2022

Reflection / John Shaughnessy

A morning prayer—thanking God for the gift of another day

John ShaughnessyDear God,

I come to you again today, asking for your help.

No, this time it’s not about a sports team that I root for, even though we both know I’ll be dialing you up and making unrealistic promises again when another Notre Dame football season begins. Forgive me for the things I can’t change.

Still, there are other parts of my life I continue to need to get better at, ways in which I’ve failed more times than I’d like to admit. And since you’ve given me the gift of another day, I’m asking for your help to be more of the person you want me to be. And so I pray this morning:

Someone will need to be lifted up today. Help me to give someone the lift they need.

Someone will need a laugh today. Help me to share the humor in life with them, even if it good-naturedly comes at my expense.

Someone will lose their spouse today. Be with them. And help me to be a more loving spouse today, taking the time to focus on the qualities that drew us together, the ways we have grown together, and the life, the joy and the love that we share.

Someone will need another person to listen to them today. Help me to listen and, more importantly, help me to hear them.

Someone will have their dream crushed today. Help me to comfort them and, if possible, help me make someone’s dream come true.

Someone will lose a sibling today. Be with them. And help me to remind my siblings how lucky they are to have me as their brother—a reminder that will lead them to give me a hard time as they recall all the dumb things I’ve done as a brother, which will lead to everyone roaring in laughter, which will remind me of how blessed I am to be in the same family as them.

Someone may be hurt or slighted by something I do today. Help me to ask for forgiveness.

Someone may hurt or slight me today. Help me to forgive.

Someone will lose a child today. Be with them. And help me to be a better parent. Even though my children are all adults now, help me to still be there for them, to listen to them, to comfort them, to rejoice with them, to pray for them, and especially to forgive them when they get together and laugh hysterically as they recall outlandish stories about my faults as a father as they were growing up, even if the stories are true.

Someone will need a prayer today. Help me to make time to ask you to be there for them, to be there with them.

Someone will need my help today. Help me to see that need and take the time to answer that need.

Someone will lose a friend today. Be with them. And help me to reach out to my friends more often, to celebrate the people they are and the bonds we share.

Someone today will forget all the blessings you have given them in life. Help me to remember to thank you for all the blessings you have given me—including the hope of eternal life with you someday.

Thank you also for the gift of this day, and another opportunity to draw closer to you, to draw closer to others.

Help me to make the most of this day, my friend. Amen.

(John Shaughnessy is the assistant editor of The Criterion.)

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