Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What do you think of this Roman Catholic prayer from 1959?

My son A.J. uses his grandfather's old wallet.  There are a few of my father's things still in the wallet.

One of the items is a small prayer card from a funeral Mass my father attended for a couple who died in 1959.  The front of the card is pictured above, complete with an anglo-Swiss/Irish Jesus, looking heavenward, remarkably pristine (save a drop of blood on his brow), and with rays coming forth from his head.

Here's the prayer on the card-

Gentlest Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in purgatory, have mercy on the soul of Thy departed servant. 

Be not severe in Thy judgment but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames, an do Thou O merciful Savior send Thy angels to conduct a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Amen. 

Other than the picture being inaccurate (an inherent problem with pictures of Christ), the erroneous proposition about Jesus' presence in the "Blessed Sacrament", what is meant by "Blessed Sacrament", the invention of purgatory, the notion that Jesus seems powerless to pluck the "poor captive souls" from "purgatory"(can the Lord of the universe not do more than love the souls in purgatory? If he loves them, why not pluck them out?), the idea that Jesus' blood is still liquified and able to douse flames in purgatory or hell (OK, even if this is a metaphor, Jesus death was perfectly effective to save the elect, it is finished. NONE of Jesus' blood was wasted, nor was any stored to redeem sinners already in hell), and asking angels to presumably take the departed to paradise city- it's a great prayer.

What do you think?


Woody Woodward said...

This picture takes me back. It reminds me of when I was a youngster, visiting relatives in many of the small towns in Oklahoma and Texas. Entering for Sunday worship in these small Methodist churches the first thing you would see as you entered was a large picture that portrayed a pathetic, almost helpless depiction of a powerless Jesus, looking towards heaven as if to say, “Can someone up there help me and show me what to do next?” That’s far from an accurate portrayal of my Savior, the great IAM who spoke the world into being and holds all things in His sovereign control.

Lloyd said...

Thanks a lot, now that is one more responsive confession of sin we have to remove from our bulletins. You're so hard to please. Not sure what will match up with our Serenity Prayer now. Anything wrong with: "Now I lay me down to sleep, with a sack of peanuts at my feet..."?