I am a 78-year-old Marist priest, formerly a missionary for 29 years in Papua New Guinea, and the Fiji Islands. I know what my life was there. Since I came home in 1990, I’ve been working as hospital chaplain with over 12 years at the Boston Medical Center. I am very much attached to the daily Holy Hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament because I know what it is doing for me in my hospital ministry.
This prayer is to be prayed audibly if possible, repeating the words that strike you, word by word, line by line, with full attention at each word and with as many pauses as are needed:
I love You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus! I love You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus!
I need You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus! I need You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus!
I trust You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus! I trust You, Jesus; stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my rock, Jesus, my protection, my shield, my defender!
I walk with You, Jesus, and I feel very secure because I know You are always at my side, always ready to protect me and defend me from all harm. Stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my refuge, Jesus, where I can hide from all the danger, anxiety and worry in my life and where I can seek and find that inner peace, security and tranquility I need. Stay with me, Jesus!
May I never forget that, when I feel a bit anxious or worried, I should go to You immediately, Jesus, to seek and find that inner peace and security that I need. Stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my Strength, Jesus, who gives me the power I need to do what I should do and to avoid what I should avoid.
With You, Jesus, I can do everything, but without You I can do nothing. I am absolutely sure of this! Stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my Redeemer, Jesus. Stay with me, Jesus!
You shed your blood for me to pay the price owed for my sins, a great debt indeed, and You paid for this with your blood.
You washed away from me all the stain of my sins and suffered the punishment that I deserved in order to give me a new life, a life that has value, that has purpose and that has a glorious end.
And I am now experiencing this new life which gives me great faith and trust in You. Stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my Savior, Jesus. Stay with me, Jesus!
You saved me; You freed me; You lifted me out of the death of my selfishness and opened for me the gates of heaven.
I am free now; I am no longer enslaved by my addictions or compulsions or by the severe temptations that I had before.
Thank You, Jesus, for this great gift of freedom. It has changed my life completely. Stay with me, Jesus!
Because You alone are my hope, Jesus, that gives me the confidence to keep moving forward in my life without any fear, anxiety or worry, but rather with much faith and trust in You, Jesus. Stay with me, Jesus!
Thank You, Jesus, for these gifts of faith and hope You give me.
They free me from many worries and anxieties in my life.
Because You alone are my help, Jesus. I need You, Jesus. Stay with me, Jesus!
Walk with me by my side, step by step, hand in hand, face to face. I need You, Jesus!
May You be more active and communicative with me in my daily life, Jesus!
May I experience You more in my life so that I can hear You speak to me more and so that I can speak with You more often during the day.
Because You alone are my guide, Jesus, the light in my darkness, the map in my confusion, the teacher in my ignorance.
Enlighten your way for me, Jesus. Show me your way, Jesus! Put me on your road and direct me, Jesus. Because I need You and I want You. I know that your road is the best for me.
My Inner Peace
Because You alone are my inner peace, my tranquility and my safety. Stay with me, Jesus!
Thank You, Jesus, for the good night’s rest You gave me last night.
And I pray for the many people who could not sleep because of their sickness, the pain in their bodies, or because of their anxieties and fears in their minds or because of lack of a safe place to sleep, a safe home, a comfortable bed and a quiet place.
They are sleeping in dirt or on wooden planks, without any protection at all against bad weather or noise or even violence, like so many people who live in poor countries.
Give them the rest they need, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus, for my life. My life is yours. Do with me whatever You want.
Lead me, Jesus, to the people who need me.
Before, I was not looking for a long life; but now I want to live as long as I can. I want to use my life to try to inspire people to have more confidence in You, the same confidence that You have given me.
That is the purpose and focus in my life now, to inspire people to have more confidence in You.
Thank You, Jesus, for my health, for every member of my body that is healthy because I know each member is a gift from You.
And thank You, Jesus, for the quick recovery You always give me whenever I am sick.
I have nothing special to ask of You, Jesus, about in my health because I am know that You will give me everything I need in my life and in my ministry according to your will.
And that is what I want, according to your will, not mine.
I trust in You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus! Stay with me, Jesus!
Thank You, Jesus, for this time of rest before You in the Blessed Sacrament.
May I never forget that this time before You every day is the most important time of every day!
I need it and I want it to renew and strengthen my relationship with You, Jesus.
May I never exchange this time with You for anything else!
Heal me completely, Jesus; strengthen me; give me your energy, your vitality, your love and your patience.
Help me to see myself as You see me, Jesus. Remove from me all pride, selfishness, hate and revenge. Close my mouth, Jesus, when I am about to say something hurtful.
I want to be an image of You, Jesus. I want to reflect You in my life, to think, speak and act like You. I want to surrender myself completely to You, Jesus. Use me as You will.
You have called me, Jesus, to the priestly and religious life, a most precious gift.
You have protected this life from the many dangers in which I have placed it and You have rescued me from the many pitfalls in which I have placed myself.
Thank You, Jesus, for your protection and your rescue.
Without these I would have been completely lost and destroyed for the rest of my life.
I have wasted a lot of time in my life, Jesus, doing selfish things instead of paying attention to the needs of others.
I have hurt people by my words and selfish actions and by my lack of patience and love for them. I want to repair the harm I have done them, but I cannot do that directly.
And so I beg of You, Jesus, please repair the harm I have caused other people, especially spiritual and emotional harm.
Give them an abundance of your help.
Help them to understand the human frailty of all people, even priests.
And, with that, help them to be able to forgive the failings of all people, even those of priests.
Thank You, Jesus, for your unconditional love and for patience with me; for your understanding of my weaknesses, my immaturity, my ignorance and my lack of attention to You.
You were often there at my side calling me but I was not aware You were there; I didn’t hear You.
I was too occupied with my own pleasures, and so I ignored You, and for that I am sorry, Jesus.
But now I know that You are always there at my side, calling me and always ready to hear and help me.
Thank You, Jesus, for your compassion and mercy. Thank You, Jesus, for your forgiveness. Amen.
All the attributes I have used in this prayer to describe Jesus are attributes we find while praying the Psalms in our Breviary. If you are anything like me, for a long time I did not notice these attributes while saying the Breviary. But now that I try to pray the Breviary, I recognize them repeated over and over again, and it does me the world of good.
If you use the above prayer to help you with your daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, I suggest that, after praying this prayer, you finish your Holy Hour by praying the Morning Prayer of the Breviary before the Blessed Sacrament. An hour will go by before you know it. TP
FATHER BOURGEA, S.M., ordained in 1959, is a member of the Marist Fathers. He spent 29 years as a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and Fiji.