Madonna House

He Can Count on God

Catherine Doherty

We are anawim before God. An anawim is a biblical word meaning a nobody, the poor man of the Lord, the poor man of the beatitudes.

An anawim knows he is nobody and doesn’t preen himself. He doesn’t strut about. He knows he is a creature. When he looks at his creator, he knows and adores him. He prostrates before his Lord.

The anawim is a nobody and, at the same time, a friend of God, the brother of Jesus, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is covered with the mantle of the Mother of God and helped by all the saints.

He is a creature, but what a fantastic creature! He can count on God. It is almost as if God will come down at a snap of the fingers, for he said, Whatever you ask for in my name I will do (John 10:25) and Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself … even greater works (John 14:12, 13).

We must understand that these two faces of man are one. We know that we are nothing. We realize that we are weak. Now we can allow God to manifest himself.

This is what St. Paul was speaking of when he wrote, When I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor 12:10).

This is why the prayer of the publican was, God, be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:13). He stood at the back of the synagogue and said it over and over. In this prayer, we find all that we need to say to God.

None of us is righteous enough to stand before him face to face. If I think only of his judgment, I despair. But I can count always on the infinite mercy of God.

The Jesus prayer might be enough for us: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Why would it be enough? Because it brings Jesus into your life. The repetition of the holy name brings the presence of the person. In the Hebrew tradition, the name of a person is the person. We read in the New Testament that all beings should bend the knee at the name at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10).

When I invoke the name of Jesus, I myself cease to exist. I am drawn into his name, immersed in his name, immersed in him.

—Excerpted from Soul of My Soul, (2006), pp. 101-102, available from MH Publications