“We beg you, Lord Jesus,
bind us with the love of you and our neighbor
so that we can love you deeply with our whole heart,
and not be separated from you.”
–Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony’s words from eight centuries ago hit close to home in these days when so many of us are physically distanced from one another. He prays that the Lord will empower us to love deeply—“and not be separated” from him.
Perhaps you—like me—have come to appreciate the phone calls with loved ones which have overcome our social distancing. Prayer involves a similar kind of communication, rooted in love. All prayer—no matter whether it is contemplative, ritual or devotional, or a novena such as the one we’ve shared—is a way for God to unite with us in love. But, like our means of communication in this time of pandemic, prayer may not always be easy. We may be challenged by distractions or feel inadequate. The good news is that none of that matters. The simple wish to communicate with God is what’s important.
Take Saint Anthony’s words today and let them begin your time of prayer: “We beg you, Lord Jesus, bind us with the love of you and our neighbor so that we can love you deeply with our whole heart, and not be separated from you.