Early Years and Daily Prayer

Original Post July 22, 2011

Each day is special. Each day brings opportunities to us to love, to grow and to be thankful. With today being July 22nd, I am reminded that it was Fr. John J Deeney’s Birthday. He was born in 1921.

Fr. John (Center) with sisters Mary and Nancy

Even as a young boy, Fr. John had an active prayer life. His sister Nancy, my mother, recalls a story from when they went to the seashore in Sea Isle, New Jersey as young children. They rented a house for the summer which happened to be around the corner from the church. It was St. Josephs church in Sea Isle.

Fr. John, at age 8 would go everyday into the church and spend time there. If he took a walk at the seashore by himself, they thought it likely that he was in church. At a very young age, he knew how to find and reflect on the presence of God in his life.

Recently Fr. James Martin posted a video via Facebook called the Easiest Prayer Ever (Examination of Conscience) inspired by St. Ignatius Loyola. It is found on Catholic TV. In the video, he talks about the value and ease with which we can see Gods presence in our day to day lives.

In watching this video, it reminded me of the prayers which Fr. John had sent to us. A great one for the computer, Fr. John had taken time often to email and share his prayers and thoughts to family and friends.

Just before he passed away, Fr. Deeney emailed his family and friends email list and shared a number of his prayers one of which was the following:

Examination of Conscience Oct. ’09

Pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten me as I enter this prayer time

Ponder with great affection how much God, Our Lord, has done for me, and how much He has given me of what He has, … and as far as He is able it is the Lord’s wish to give me Himself (Sp. Ex.#234, see #231-237). God (Father, Christ, Spirit) dwelling in me, actively loving and transforming me (John 14:23)

Profound thanks to God (F.,Xt. HS) for all the love that He has shown to me. –to others (e.g. to my Jesuit brothers, to those for whom I have responsibility, to those for whom I intercede, to those who have prayed for me., to a broken world, a thirsting world

Thanks to Mother Mary and my heavenly intercessors for their help.

How conscious was I of God’s action and how consciously did I cooperate with God?
Loving and serving the Divine Majesty in everything (Sp. Ex #231)
Sharing in Christ’s saving mission, (particular actions done today)
Open to fully appreciate and receive the work of the Holy Spirit
Do I experience a growing relationship with God (with the Father, Christ, the Spirit?)
– Where did I fail in the above today?

Whose lives did I touch today, -somehow bringing Christ’s love, joy, peace?– by contacts (direct, indirect), by intercessory prayers, by offering suffering for others, for the Body of Christ (Col. 1:24) Where did I fail in loving others today?

Beg of the holy Spirit, through the intercession of Mother Mary, the grace that God the Father may place me with Christ the Son, and that I may seek and find God in all things.

Express contrition, say the Suscipe, the Anima Christi, a prayer to Mother Mary

Happy Birthday, Fr. John (or Uncle John as we called him). Thanks for sharing your stories and prayers with us!