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Prayer


Do you have a favorite way to pray? For me making acts of reparation is especially life-giving and efficacious.  An act of reparation seeks to repair, or make up for, your own sins and for the sins of others. So often I hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, which is a sin against God and a pain to my heart. As a response I try to turn other’s disregard for God’s name into praise and intercession. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The sanctification of His name among the nations depends inseparably on our life and prayer.” (CCC 2814) 


I pray in reparation by finishing other people’s sentences. What do I mean? Well, someone uses God’s name in vain, and I finish their phrase by turning it into praise or intercession. It’s a very practical and tender way to console the heart of Jesus. For example, when I hear someone say “Oh, my God,” I finish their sentence with a prayer or praise. 


It goes like this: 

“Oh, my God…”

… have mercy on us.

… forgive us our sins.

… I love you.

… You are holy, holy, holy.


Here’s another common example”

“Jesus Christ…”

…You are the Son of God, the Good Shepherd, the Light of the world.

… Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

… I praise Your holy name.

… I love You.

… I trust in You.  


Sometimes I say the response aloud, and other times only in my heart. On occasion, the other person will hear my quiet response, is convicted of taking the Lord’s name in vain, apologizes, and shares that they’ll be more careful. Usually, the person is completely unaware that they are violating the third commandment. Most people respond gratefully for being called to a higher standard, one which holds God’s holy name sacred. 


My advice – give it a try! You’ll be consoling the heart of Jesus, making reparation for sins, offering prayers for the world, and admonishing the sinner all in one simple act. Now that’s one powerful prayer!



Sr. Elizabeth Marie, CFR


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