Monday, September 01, 2008

Get Behind Me & A Confederate Soldier's Prayer

Yesterday at mass, the priest mentioned an example that gave me new insight into the the phrase "Get behind me satan" (Mt 16:23) I used to understand it along the lines of "get lost", a reprimand of Peter, in contrast to the "you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" in vs18.

The priest gave the example of another time that someone wouls use the words 'get behind me' was a kindergarten teacher asking her students to get behind her and to follow her. The priest also said that the meaning of satan was the tempter. So putting both together, Jesus was telling Peter, to stop tempting him to go on a path different from that which the Father had set out for him, and to 'get behind' Jesus and follow Jesus in the path which is God's will.

Maybe that's the attitude that we should have when fighting with our temptations. Not just to battle with the temptation, but always with the mind of following the Father's will. Or when we have fallen to temptation or become the tempter ourselves, Jesus is giving us this constant command "get behind me".

Actually considering that the subsequent verses Jesus is telling his disciples to pick up their cross and following Him, its surprising that I've never seen the link between "get behind me" and the "follow me".

The priest also ended off his sermon with this poem/prayer which I have heard of before, but never recorded it down before.

Prayer by an Unknown Confederate Soldier

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might humbly obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men, most richly blessed.
Praise God for his priests and their ministry of preaching that helps us to understand and enlighten us on God's Word in our lives.


Elaine said...

Brother Terence???

Is this you? Terence Kesavan? Or am I mistaken? I happen to chance upon your blog through Father Aloy's. =D

Elaine (YAM)

Terence said...

Yup it is me...
Now my identity has been revealed ;Þ
You can check out the seminarians blog too at