By Charlie Johnston
I was saddened to hear today that it is likely that Rob Sherman, former national spokesman for the American Association of Atheists, was probably killed in a small-plane crash over the weekend. We were an odd couple of friends. I frequently had him on my radio show back in the day – and once he launched a small internet-based radio show, I appeared with him several times.
He was very much a showman, but not nearly as hostile to Christians as his rhetoric often sounded. I actually regarded him as more an agnostic than an atheist. He was profoundly pro-life, confounding the expectations of many. We once did a whole show debating the existence of God. At the end, he conceded there was a rational basis for such a belief, while not conceding any belief, himself. Privately, we often talked of God and faith and what all people – and Christians in particular – are called to be. Rob was a lapsed Jew, his wife a Catholic.
He was my friend and will be missed. On this Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – or Our Lady of Tepeyac as I call her, I pray that Rob felt the mercy of God and the effects of conversion as his plane went down. Our Lady of Tepeyac is the Mother of Conversion.
I highlight today the Prayer of Miraculous Trust, which always acknowledges Our Lady of Tepeyac. Lisa Fixler at Full of Grace has added some tri-fold prayer cards for the Surrender Novena at her online shop. She has also added “Squirrel Shirts” to the collection related to The Next Right Step. I am thankful for Lisa, as she has been a primary support for my work since shortly after I first met her and her family. I am to be confirmation sponsor for her son – so I need to get back home so I can do my duty.
In these fearful times, turn to the saints and the holy angels to help you keep your eyes on Jesus. Today, ask Our Lady of Tepeyac to keep busy throughout the next year, converting the world as she once converted all the Aztecs. Ask her to intercede for the vulnerable unborn. And never neglect to add your intercession to that you seek from the holy saints and angels in bringing a great new light to our often terribly dark world.
Prayer of Miraculous Trust
We all need prayer. In Catholicism, we speak of the communion of the saints, which means that all the faithful – both here and departed – are fully alive to God, and we have access to the faithful departeds’ prayers if we only ask. (for those who have any theological doubts on this point, please see Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38). But the prayers of the Church Militant, that is the faithful still on earth, for each other are crucial – and even more crucial in these times.
Right around the turn of the millennium, the archangel, Gabriel, gave me a prayer and told me the time would come when we would need miracles – and many miracles would be wrought through the faithful use of the prayer.
Right now, many things are collapsing before our very eyes.
When the normal means of healing are easily available, you should always take advantage of them. When God has provided abundant means of normal medicine, it is a presumption to demand only His supernatural medicine. Ideally, it is best to take advantage of both. But soon (and it is happening far more rapidly than I expected) availability of normal services will be spotty – and if you have something chronic or are elderly, much will not be available at all as surviving doctors start working under an implicit triage mentality because of the shortages of supplies and equipment. God will not leave you bereft.
Along with this posting I have linked to a religious supply house that has printed up thousands of prayer cards containing this prayer and instructions on how to use it. It is the Full of Grace Supply House which is also linked at the right hand of this page. The woman who owns it gave me most of them to give away. I always carry a supply with me. I asked her to carry them in her inventory, so that as many as possible might have access to them.
Now, if you treat these as some magic object, I have utterly failed my duty to you. There is no magic in the card, nor magic in the prayer. Rather, the instructions for the prayer teach you how to align your will with that of God. Having said that, there have been many startling results from the proper use of this prayer. Let me explain.
First, the Lord often acts to confirm His intentions. I tell you to acknowledge Our Lady of Tepeyac, which is Our Lady’s proper title in this image, though she is commonly called Our Lady of Guadalupe. I know this because she told me long ago. She is sent as the Mother of Conversion in these terrible times. It pleases Our Lord that you acknowledge, then spread devotion to His servant and mother in this role He has given her for these times.
Second, prayer must begin with faith, the knowledge that God is in control of all things. But it must not end there. The demons in hell know that Christ is Lord, they know Scripture better than you and all the greatest theologians combined and, as James said, they tremble because of that knowledge. If all you have is faith, you have nothing more than the demons in hell.
Faith must lead to trust, the trust that once you acknowledge and follow Him, whatever the Lord allows to befall you is for your benefit or instruction or that of another that you may give witness to, perhaps never knowing until judgment the witness you have given by your trust. Many Christians treat prayer as the cloth with which they rub the magic lamp to bind God to their will. Prayer is to bind you to God’s will – and to begin to understand it. That cannot happen unless you trust, knowing that His ways are not your ways. Some purported faith healers teach that God will always heal those who trust Him. They are right, but not in the way they think. Their imaginations are so impoverished that, whatever they say, the only good they can envision is of this world. God always heals for eternity – that you may have abundant life with Him in heaven. If that means you must suffer some here to quell your rebellious yearnings, than suffer you will – if you trust God. If you are a particularly useful soul, God may allow you to suffer in penance for others who do not know they need penance, that more might be saved. Trust.
Trust will lead to abandonment. That is giving yourself entirely and willingly to whatever God wants of you. Gabriel came to Our Lady, Holy Mary, and told her she would get a great honor if she accepted – become the mother of Our Lord in His human incarnation. But there was a catch, This would happen in a way that would subject her to shame and, perhaps even a brutal execution. What incredible faith, trust and abandonment she lived to be able to say almost immediately, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.” Of course, as Gabriel noted when he first spoke to her, she is “full of grace.” It is hard to get outside yourself. Some years ago, I was undergoing some serious suffering – and it would not go away. I begged and begged to know what I was doing wrong so I could correct it and escape my sorrows. Finally, the Lord, Himself came and said, “This is not about you.” Then He told me who it was about – someone I dearly loved who, unbeknownst to me, was in great spiritual danger. The Lord asked was I willing to accept this penance on the person’s behalf, for he desperately needed it. Foolish and self-centered as I was, I am proud I said yes – and soon was rewarded by seeing how much it was needed. Abandon yourself to His will – and don’t feel bad when He shows you what a silly, little fool you are. He only does that to those in whom He sees great promise. Be glad of your rebukes.
Finally, it is good to have prayer partners. It is even better to have one who already beholds the Face of God, for the saints’ faith is assured and will not fail. Take full advantage of the communion of the faithful. We are really going to need all hands on deck.
Know that with God, the intention is the action. Keep your prayers of petition short. It is not the length of them that aligns you with God, but the trust behind it. If you had perfect trust, all your intentions would merely be stated and then you would accept perfectly what God sends you. If you pray long in petition, you risk deluding yourself it is the Herculean nature of your efforts rather than the effortless grace of God that brings light, and thus become vainglorious. And yet, do not begrudge those who must make long, moaning prayers of petition. A struggle between lack of faith warring with hope can make long prayer necessary. Brevity is not for all prayer. Prayers of worship, praise and thanksgiving – and those that involve the will of another, may be said at great length, either privately or in community. Remember that St. Augustine was bathed in a lifetime of his mother, St. Monica’s, prayers. Also, when a demon is involved, prayers of intercession may go for weeks, but that is best left to priests under most circumstances.
Do not say this particular prayer more than once for any specific intention. To do so is to fail in trust – and defeat the purpose of this prayer, which is abandonment to God’s will. Certainly, God knows how needy we are, so you may say other prayers for the same intention if the need arises, but not this one. In fact, following the lead of St. Monica, you should pray frequently on matters involving the will of another – but only once for this prayer, which is for abandonment to God. If you can, it is best to say it and then let it go, trusting that whatever comes of the matter now is for your eternal good regardless of what happens
Here are instruction and the text for the prayer:
A prayer to abandon yourself to trust in God; to bind yourself to His will with trust rather than trying to bind Him to yours. Pope Francis called Our Lady of Guadalupe the “Virgin of Tepeyac” at her last feast day. Tepeyac Hill is where she appeared, not Guadalupe, hence the title Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Conversion. At its deepest level, this is a prayer that we all convert ourselves to God’s Holy Will.
Back of card: PRAYER OF MIRACULOUS TRUST: (This prayer is to help you turn things over to God, trusting that once you have done so, whatever He then allows is for your eternal good and that of those you love. It lets you ask what you want of God, then closes by abandoning yourself to what God wants of you. Do not say it more than once for any particular intention, as this is an abandonment to trust)
Begin by asking for the help of Our Lady of Tepeyac, then cross yourself and say:
By the power of Our Lord, Jesus Christ; to the honor of Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception; in service to her Immaculate Heart; I ask you Lord (state intention here and ask for the intercession of the saint of your choice). I thank you for hearing my prayer. Thy will be done. Amen.
Cross yourself again, and give it over to God entirely with trust.”
I saw a pithy saying last week I will end with: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. God is already there.”
You can purchase English or Spanish versions of the Prayer of Miraculous Trust in prayer card form at Full of Grace Supply House, which sells them with my permission. I do not receive any portion of any payment you may make in buying copies of these prayer cards.