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  • Writer's pictureMonica Walton

I Remember...

Today we celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Tomorrow, we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Two hearts burning with love for us.



I REMEMBER an image similar to this one hanging in nearly every Catholic home when I was a young girl. It always brought peace and comfort to me. We were taught to pray for our needs before these beautiful hearts that are burning with love for us.

I REMEMBER presenting my petitions, asking God for specific blessings over the years. It's what we most often do when we pray, right?


Please, Lord, help me do well on my test. Holy Spirit, I'm not sure what to do, what choice to make. Loving God, I'm lonely. Please help me find a friend (or husband, or wife). All Powerful One, I need a job, please show me the way to success. Merciful Father, we desire to be parents. Please grant us the blessing of a child. Blessed Mary, pray that I may be more gentle, patient, and loving like you. Good Shepherd, my son (or daughter) has gone astray. Please watch over them. Mighty Savior, grant me (or my loved one) healing from this illness.


Perhaps that is why it's easy to relate to many encounters with Jesus in the Bible. We heard a few good ones in the Readings last week.

Monday ~ "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Wednesday ~ "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you. Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Thursday ~ “Master, I want to see.”


Even the prayer Jesus, Himself, taught us includes petitions.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses.

Lead us not into temptation.

Deliver us from evil.


Jesus' closest disciples traveled with Him, ate with Him, chatted with Him, and witnessed His miracles. Still, they asked for more. Sometimes I wonder how they could have kept questioning, second-guessing, and not understanding who Jesus is. It seems to me (from my privileged view 2,000 years later) that witnessing one miracle first-hand would be enough. I can't imagine wanting anything more.


As I was reflecting on that conundrum, I realized how easily I forget the many prayers of my own that have been answered; the healings I've witnessed, the blessings He has granted, and the Graces that have been extended to me. When God shows His great love and mercy taking care of my needs, I am elated and filled with joy, praise, and thanksgiving! But, how quickly I wind up back on my knees asking for more.


I don't think there is a limit to how many of our prayer wishes God will grant. He hears us always, but we often expect the answer to our prayers to be exactly as we envision it. When the answer doesn't look like what we expected or seems to be a long time coming, it is easy to fall into despair. We can't help but ask God, Why?

Why did my loved one not get a healing? Why didn't I get the job promotion?

Why do children get cancer? Why is there so much violence in the world? Why can't we ensure everyone has healthy food and safe shelter?

The list of "whys" is very long. Dwelling on the times when life didn't go the way we hoped can make us feel sad and discouraged. I find the light in that darkness as I REMEMBER a time from my past when my younger self prayed and asked, even begged for God's help. Then, I trace the memories to the outcome of those situations. As the stories from my past unfold, I begin to understand that God always answers in His way. In the moment, I may have thought my prayer request was denied, looked over, forgotten, or simply not heard. But, in retrospect, I can see how God did answer my prayer, in His time and in His way. It's easier to cling to a simplified view telling ourselves, "I asked God for ABC, but it never came through." With committed time in silent, listening prayer and an open spirit to see beyond our limited vision, we can begin to understand that God provided XYZ instead, which was actually His gracious answer to my prayer. We tend to focus on what we want, but the Lord knows what we need.


He doesn't want us to suffer illness, tragedy, violence, hardship, or any bad thing. But, some of those will come, and God is with us through it all -- the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, in health, and in sickness. It's challenging to live in that Truth. But, if we stop and REMEMBER, we can have a more positive approach to dealing with what feels like an unanswered prayer.


I REMEMBER

The times Jesus helped me do well on my tests. The times the Holy Spirit guided me to the best choice. The ways God showed He is with me through the love of friends and family.

The powerful ways He helped me see the true definition of success. His mercy in fulfilling my desire to be a mother. Mary's mantle of Grace helping me to be more gentle, patient, and loving.

The Good Shepherd leading and guiding us when we goes astray.

Our Mighty Savior granting healing in times of illness and distress.

The daily bread He has provided every day.

His forgiveness when I trespass causing hurt and pain.

Him leading on right paths in times of temptation.

Him delivering me from evil that I am often not even aware of.


Recently, I had some car trouble (which seems to be occurring more frequently now that my car is getting older). I began to worry about the cost of the repair and whether or not it was time to think about getting a newer car. Those are stressful conversations I have with myself. I know that I am very blessed, but knowing and believing that doesn't prevent me from feeling a little more stressed and a little less blessed at times, especially when I see smoke pouring out from under the hood of my car.

So when that tired old worry-talk started bouncing around in my head, I looked at the Miraculous Medal hanging from my rearview mirror along with other trinkets and treasures I have gathered over time. It took me back to the beginning when I first bought that car, and nothing was hanging from the mirror. I REMEMBER the dark and rainy night when a deer struck my van on Lakeland Drive. I didn't see it coming and the impact was quite a shock. Luckily no one was hurt, but my trusty minivan was totaled. I had no choice but to purchase another vehicle. I REMEMBER praying to the Lord that He would lead me to a reliable, affordable vehicle to replace my broken one. I REMEMBER the blessing of having four children to fill the minivan and the bittersweet realization that the older ones were grown, so I no longer needed such large transportation. I REMEMBER finding my current vehicle and being so grateful for the blessing. I could afford it, and I loved the color and features. It was a good find and an answered prayer. This car has served me well for so many years, getting me where I need to go. It's still blessing me with safe transport today! Sitting in this space filled my heart with joy and took away the frustration and worry I was feeling. REMEMBER THE ANSWERED PRAYERS When someone says something irritating, REMEMBER the blessing of the relationship when it was at its best. When your job becomes mundane or stagnant, and your efforts feel pointless or unappreciated, REMEMBER when the position was new and it was an answer to your prayer. When you are stuck in the murky muck of self-pity, regret, loneliness, worry, or annoyance, REMEMBER previously answered prayers to get to a brighter space.

WHEN I REMEMBER, it helps me rethink what I am asking for in prayer.

What is God's will for me? What does He say I need?


One of my very dear friends is in her final days of life. It is a holy space to sit and pray with her. I am completely confident and trusting that the Lord will carry my friend into His Eternal Kingdom. I am also currently experiencing my own serious health issue. Being the patient is new territory for me. But, I have been granted the Grace to accept this portion of my journey calmly. I am not stressed or worried or afraid, mainly because of my daily practice of silent prayer and praise and listening. It is well established in my being and I am most grateful. I know He is leading me through excellent healthcare providers and incredible support from family and friends. I can feel the prayers being offered on my behalf. Rather than wishing I had not received the diagnosis, I REMEMBER the good health and the many, many blessings I have been given all these decades of my life. This is just a Time Stamp that will be filled with answered prayers to one day REMEMBER.


God is our Helper, Counselor, Guide, Teacher, Shepherd, Savior, Provider, Redeemer.

So let's REMEMBER that all good things are Jesus' answers to one of our many prayers, either from this day or the days that came before. We may not see the answer to our current prayer yet, but we can REMEMBER so many other ways He has provided for us. There is no better counsel to offer ourselves when anything makes us feel a little shaky. He is always with us in the boat calming our storms and answering our prayers.

Thank You, Jesus

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Guest
Jun 08
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Loved this. It really hit home for me. Thank you for your inspiring words. I pray that God will pour His precious blood over you.

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jun 10
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Thank you! God bless you!

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Guest
Jun 08

Thank you for always lifting me up! I will certainly be praying for you ❤️❤️❤️

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jun 10
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Thank you so very much. Prayers are most appreciated!

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bdell11
Jun 08
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

as always great job. Still a fan

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Monica Walton
Monica Walton
Jun 10
Replying to

Thanks so much, Bill!

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