Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“Make Me Free”

“Make Me Free”

August 4, 2010 at 7:53 am
Click on this to hear "Make Me Free"

When I was 15 after the first exhilaration of my conversion experience and seeing miracles and so forth, one day it all came crashing down to earth. I began to falter again under the weaknesses and burdens I had, feeling all bound up with all the negative patterns that had built up for so long. I did what I had the first time: I fell to my knees, admitted my helplessness and turned to the Lord in trust. “Make me free”, was the phrase that kept recurring. I picked up a prayer card and began to recite the prayer there. It was the Sacred Heart Prayer from the Sacred Heart Fathers from Racine, Wisconsin [the same ones who used to give out those metal Sacred Heart Auto League car stickers]. I had been saying the prayer every day, but I prayed it with desperation and determined to DO something to make my trust REAL; I would do the First Friday Devotion thing and to go to Mass every day. Here is part of the prayer:

“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus…I love you…I offer you this poor heart of mine, make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will…grant me the grace of a holy death..”

I had prayed it before, but now with poverty and desperation. And then it happened: a song started coming to me, a verse and a chorus, five times. (Eventually we cut this to four verses for performance.)  Several of the verses were reminders that we need to open up to others and see more than ourselves, something I sorely needed [and still need!] to do. It truly was a freeing experience. I should just let a loving Heart look after me and concentrate on living and loving.

A few years later after I’d done some more trusting and ministering, the final rousing coda came to me in a rush once. It’s okay to pray for a holy death, but that comes by LIVING with all you’ve got.

The amusing genesis of the song actually came before what I began with here. I went to a big Charismatic conference and everyone was engaged in praise and I was really throwing myself into it – it was so freeing! My eyes were closed and I was concentrating intently when I began to notice people laughing. As I opened up my eyes and looked around I noticed everyone else was sitting down looking at me. HOW EMBARASSING! (I seem to have a special talent for embarassing myself!) I was red-faced and crestfallen as I sat down; it’s always been one of my biggest fears, not knowing the etiquette of situations, afraid of offending or making a fool of myself. The very kind speaker said something like “Thank the Lord for freedom.”

Now, after this, a man I trusted deeply came up to me – I’m embarassed to say I’ve forgotten who it is!- and said simply, “The Lord wants to give you a song on freedom”. Now, I know I trusted the guy, because that’s the kind of thing you would have to! With a very simple reaction I ran to the Chapel, knelt down, furrowed my brow intensely and waited expectantly. I imagine I came out of my crouch once in a while to sneak a peek skyward to see if anything was dropping down directly upon me. When nothing happened, I chalked it up to a mistake and forgot all about it. It was maybe a couple of months after this that I got “Make Me Free”, and I recalled that incident. I don’t know if it was the suggestion of it that planted the idea; that’s certainly possible. But this song is just so darn good, I’m inclined to believe maybe the guy did have a genuine inspiration.

The insight it gives is crucial to everyone. We’ve got to let God be God and just learn to love and trust! That’s pretty simple; it’s not always easy. Lord, help us to be free by living in your Love!

Peace & the Freedom of Agape Love
Mark Lajoie
Mark Lajoie The chef at Oblates was Roy McKay; I did the pots and pans and worked for him. This was his favorite song and I did it just for him a few times and he was always pulling me out to do it for someone. He had reall insight into people and their motives. I grew to love old time country in his kitchen. ( And I'll never forget his green mashed potatoes on St. Patty's!) He has since passed on, but his example and memory is a treasured one for me and many who knew him.
August 11, 2010 at 9:03 am