Dear Jesus,

I remember first really learning about You in detail at Sacred Heart School in Leavenworth, Kansas. I saw You pictured in a mustard-colored Bible History book with steel engravings vividly portraying The Creation, Moses Parting the Red Sea, The Nativity throuh The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
and The Final Judgment Day.

I remember, too, the smaller, thinner, green Catechism, which laid out the specific form and framework for my relationship
and communication with You.

There were also caring explanations
by the loving Leavenworth Sisters of Charity
of Saint Vincent de Paul
, and there were frightening Seven Last Words Good Friday Sermons by solemn Benedictine preacher
Father Florian Daemer, OSB.

We were given opportunities to serve
at early-morning Mass for the slightly intimidating Father Joseph Selting
at Sacred Heart Church in Leavenworth.

My faith was sustained and deepened
through the guidance and example of my devout parents, a nightly Family Rosary, Sunday sermons, and through Catholic education
from Sacred Heart Elementary
school through graduate study at The Catholic University
of America.

But as You know, God, the busyness of "real" life ensued, my devotions were regrettably attenuated, and my spiritual life was often not what it should have been.

Now, with the leisure of retirement,
I feel a whole new and substantially deeper relationship with You, a fresh, strong,
close and very personal devotion.
A new start.

Yes, retirement gives one time and reason
to ponder final things. What has come
of this for me is a whole new feeling
of a real, close and affection bond
with You.

I have never lost my faith, but it seems much stronger, more personal, more tangible
and real to me now than ever before.

I feel that I can communicate with You
not just through formal and formulaic prayers, but through an intensely personal, loving, supportive and every-day real relationship and conversation.

I can sit in quiet and commune with You
using no words at all.

I know that the distance between humanity
and Creator is infinitely vast, but I know also that You have given Your Only-Begotten Son to the world through our own humanity,
and to me as my personal Lord and Savior.

Presently, I feel that I can tell You openly and directly all the hopes and fears
and desires that are deepest in my heart.

I am not proud of all my years past,
but I rely on Your mercy and Your promise
to forgive and wipe away the stains
of all sins of commission and omission,
all moral failures of intent and neglect
- even be they only thoughts - and to let me begin anew, my soul cleansed and shining
bright as the sun.

I have lived through the youthful sexual passions and envies, and through
the tensions and distractions of life
at work. Now let me devote to You every move, every loyalty, every hour, every breath, every thought, and every love, uncompromised.

My appreciation is profound and boundless,
my hope is high and rapturous and my intent is clear, determined and unswerving.

You are my God. You are my Be-All
and my End-All. Please take my love,
my every sorrow, my every uncertainty,
my every happiness and my every deed,
my body, my soul, my life itself, all I have, as pledges and tenders of my love.

Free me, please, from all undue attachment and concern for material things.

Make me entirely Yours, and let me hope
not in vain for consummate union with You
and all Your Saints in paradise!

I know that my feeble words are inadequate, but I will try to add to them acts, works
and gestures as evidence of my longing,
my understanding, my appreciation,
and my total devotion.

All this I pray in trusting confidence, fervid hope, and glorious burning love,

Amen, my God, Amen!



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