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Padre Pio says God is “obliged” to answer this type of prayer

With these, he will grant us his graces and help in everything.

When we are physically near someone we love, we naturally speak with them. Not all the time, of course, as people who love each other can also be in silence together. But it would be strange if we spent a whole day or even several hours saying nothing to a loved one sitting beside us.The saints apply that same principle to God. He is near us, speaking to our hearts, and we should speak back. Our words can be as simple as any greeting we’d make to a parent, child, spouse, or sibling in the same room as us.

“Jesus, I trust in you,” is one example. Or simply, “Abba.” “Jesus, be Jesus in my life” can be a beautiful prayer, or “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you. Save souls.”

These short prayers will spring naturally to our hearts if we live in the awareness that we are constantly, unfailingly in the presence of God. While it is not possible to have that awareness at the forefront of our minds all the time, with practice, we can become aware of God’s closeness many, many times throughout the day.

“We’ve got to be convinced that God is always near us. We live as though he were far away, in the heavens high above, and we forget that he is also continually by our side,” said St. Josemaria Escriva.

We’ve got to be convinced that God is always near us.

In the long tradition of the Church, various names have been given to these short prayers — our little hellos — that we speak to Our Lord throughout the day. They are called aspirations, or ejaculatory prayers (from the Latin for bursting forth), or as well, “arrow” prayers.

This last title was used by Padre Pio when he described these short, spontaneous prayers. He said they are like “arrows that wound God’s heart.”

What’s more, the beloved Italian saint said that arrow prayers have a special power in bringing down God’s grace upon us.

Writing in December of 1914, he said that it was not exaggerated to affirm that God is obliged to answer these prayers. He wrote:

… this word is not at all exaggerated in this case …

I urge you continually to renew the right intention you had at the beginning and to recite ejaculatory prayers from time to time. Those prayers are like arrows that wound God’s heart and oblige him — and this word is not at all exaggerated in this case — oblige him, I tell you, to grant you his graces and his help in everything.

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The fascinating history of the “We adore you, O Christ” prayer from the Stations of the Cross

The saint who gave us this prayer is best known for his love of the poor.

While St. Francis is well known for his love of the poor and most vulnerable of society, he also had an intense love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

In his Letter to All the Friars, St. Francis gave the following exhortation that clearly displays his passion,

Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! that the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation he hides himself under a morsel of bread.

Whenever he caught sight of a Catholic church in the distance, St. Francis was known to kneel down and give praise to God. Often he would say the following words that he passed on to his friars.

We adore you, O Lord Jesus Christ, in this church and all the churches of the world, and we bless you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Amen

This little prayer was used by Franciscans for many centuries and over time it was adapted to become a “standard” prayer in the popular devotion known as the Stations of the Cross. Franciscans were instrumental in spreading this devotion throughout Europe and the United States and so it should come as no surprise that this prayer of St. Francis has become the main prayer for this devotion.

Typically the prayer is shortened to say, “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because, by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”

It is said at the beginning of each Station and is usually prayed while genuflecting.

The next time you pray the Stations of the Cross, remember St. Francis and his passionate love of Jesus.