I came across something a while back as I was paging through a great book called “Saintly Advice” (who couldn’t use some of that?) and it occurred to me that there are probably a lot of people out there now who might find some comfort in these words. So, I decided to share it with you, along with my thoughts. It is an intercessory prayer to the Infant Jesus of Prague.
The story that accompanies this particular intercession is this: A statue of the Infant Jesus wearing a long gown and holding a bird in his hand was carved sometime in the fourteenth century It found its way to Prague where, in 1628, a young priest found the statue in the ruins after the Saxons and Swedes invaded. He cleaned the sculpture and noticed that the Divine Infant’s hand needed repair, but he had neither the money nor the skill to do it. He asked the Blessed Mother to help provide funds. A man then passed by the church and fixed the statue’s hand, and great miracles were reported after the repair. Because of its history, the Infant Jesus of Prague can be called upon when emergency funds are needed. The prayer is as follows:
Sweet and merciful Jesus,
I call unto you for financial help.
Money is so desperately needed at this time.
The situation is dire and can only be saved
Through your will and heavenly miracles.
Humbly, I call upon your grace to provide what is needed
And to see us through this with compassion and love.
In reading this, I was struck by how every line is profoundly meaningful, and I ask your indulgence as I attempt to convey my interpretation of this beautiful prayer to you.
Sweet and merciful Jesus – I don’t know about you, but I know that I do not usually think to pray, especially for financial relief, to the Infant Jesus. But then, I’m reminded, of course, that He is just as much God as Christ who died on the cross. And the idea of such innocence being a source of infinite mercy is truly humbling.
I call unto you for financial help – It always seems wrong to me to pray for money or help when we get ourselves into a financial mess, especially due to our own stupidity, but even Jesus recognized the need for money (not the love of) for daily sustenance – Give us this day, our daily bread. The simple fact is that we need money to live, to provide shelter, food, clothing, and education to our children and that is very expensive. God knows we’re imperfect – He made us that way. We’re human, not divine, and as such, we do stupid things (maybe over and over again) and are in constant need of His help. I often say to God, “Help me, Lord. I’m not smart enough to figure this out.”
Money is so desperately needed at this time. The situation is dire and can only be saved through your will and heavenly miracles – We need to have the courage to come right out and honestly say, without fear that, “Money is so desperately needed at this time” and understand that the only reason anything happens is because God allows it and believe that miracles can and do happen.
Humbly, I call unto your grace to provide what is needed and to see us through this with compassion and love – We must always be humble in our requests, knowing that without God, we are nothing. But, we call upon the grace of God to provide what is needed, not asking money for a fur coat, a luxury car, or an exotic trip, but to provide for our needs. What parent would not provide for his child’s needs? “And to see us through this with compassion and love” – because there seems to be a lack of sympathy or compassion for people who find themselves in financial trouble, especially those who are not obviously poverty-stricken. The common opinion is that people who suffer from debt due so because they must live beyond their means. However, in order for, even educated, professional people to provide for the daily needs of their families, life can be very expensive. And these are often the same people who, even in their circumstances, still give to others in need.
I have met many good people over the years who suffer financially. Often times, the reason they find themselves in trouble is precisely because they are trying to do the right thing. One woman, with a quivering voice, asked me if it was a sin to sell a gold crucifix because she was considering going to one of the Cash For Gold places in order to scrape some money together to pay expenses. This is a woman that anyone would think was living comfortably, but she and her husband found themselves in serious debt, through no fault of their own, and she was desperate. I think there are a lot of people like that around, which is why I was inspired to share this prayer.
I recently spoke to another woman in my office about the power of faith. I told her that I don’t need God just on a daily basis, but on an hourly basis, and often I think He must get tired of me bugging Him all the time. “It’s her again…” My most recent prayer that day had been to help my daughter in her two class presentations she was to give and was very nervous about. I told this woman that sometimes I’m ashamed when I think of all the tragedy and suffering in the world and here I am asking Him to help with a class talk. But, then she said something so simple and yet so profound (at least to me) that it gave me great comfort. She said, “You know, you’re right. But, remember that it’s just as easy for God to heal illness as it is for Him to help Mary Kate in her class presentation.” How true.
It all comes down to believing that nothing is impossible for God – even helping us get out of debt that seems so overwhelming, that, to our limited human brains, rescue does not seem possible. And, that it’s okay to ask for that rescue. And, that, when those impossible things happen, they are called miracles. And I believe in miracles.