The Great Command: Loving Your Neighbor

Fr. Bryan takes a final look at The Great Commandment. What does it mean when Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves? Ultimately, it comes down to the same kind of love we’ve been discussing: willing the good of the other. I recognize my own tendency to choose good things for myself, so then I do the same for the people around me.

Prayer Workshop: The Pirate Prayer

Here’s a great assistant to your prayer. It’s called the Pirate Prayer. Okay, it’s not actually called that. But if you know how pirates speak, then you’ll never forget this prayer. “ARRR!” Here’s what those letters mean:





Acknowledge your feelings. What emotions are you feeling right now? Admit to yourself that you are feeling them (or maybe it’s just one, or maybe it’s a million at once). These feelings/emotions might be the result of reading a particular passage from Scripture, they might be the result of some interaction with a family member, friend, or stranger, they might be the result of a particular personal achievement or failure, or they might be the result of something else.

Relate them to the Lord. “Jesus, I’m feeling ________ right now. Help me understand why.” “Father, this is how I feel:  __________. Help me understand why.” Offer your feelings to the Lord. They can be positive or negative.

Receive from him. Sit in silence and see if he gives you any insights, such as why you’re feeling those things, or what it’s such a big deal to you that you’re feeling those things. (For example, maybe you’re feeling annoyed because you think that you should be perfect right now. You think you need to be perfect right now because of something that happened during your upbringing. What does Jesus say about what happened during your upbringing? What does he say about your expectations of being perfect right now? What does he say about you feeling annoyed? Does he have anything else to offer you?)

Respond to his grace. You’ve just had a conversation with the Lord about things that are going on in your soul and heart. He (hopefully) told you about what he thinks. How do you respond to the truths he told you and the potential lies you believed? Where do you go from here?

A person could repeat this entire prayer a million times a day. And I think it could be very helpful for anyone who gets caught in emotions frequently. It’s good to slow down and recognize that sometimes I am ruled by my emotions. By slowing down and dissecting them, I am actually taking control of the very things that are trying to control me.

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