Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How to Pray


I would like to write about prayer today. In the Gospels we are taught how to pray. It is from Jesus himself we receive the best teaching on prayer.
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:5-8
Then Our Lord gives us an example of how we ought to pray by teaching us about the goodness of the Father, who knows how to give good things, so that you might ask for the things that are good from Goodness itself. Even as he explains what we ought to do, he is a living example because by explaining it to us so that we may learn by practice, he is fulfilling what he teaches.
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15)
It is not only our Lord who urges us to pray earnestly and frequently, it was also Saint Paul who taught, Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
We are taught not to offer long and wearisome prayers, but to pray often, and with perseverance. Lengthy prayers are usually filled with empty words. Rather we are reminded to first rejoice in the redemption Our Savior has won for us. Then we are to humbly offer our prayers. Finally, we are taught to give thanks always. This one can be difficult especially in suffering, but it is through suffering that we can discover a deeper joy than we have ever experienced before.
It is through prayer that we can build our relationship with God, with Jesus and with our Holy Mother and all the saints. It is through prayer that we can find Jesus most intimately. Especially through living daily prayer. Our prayers are not just words, but they can also be an excellent way to live our faith, to be boldly Catholic in a world that is darkened by confusion because of sin. In this way, we will be see as the Light of Christ. In this way we can learn to encounter Jesus in all we do.
Jesus has called us to be His disciples. He has called us to be servants of love in order that we might be the physical hands through which His mercy can be dispensed.
We must go to the cross to empty ourselves. There is a great abyss that separates the Creator (God) form the creature (man). We cannot cross this divide by ourselves. It is only by the mercy of our Lord that we can come to him.
I urge you all to give up the things in your heart that do not belong to God for all they do is weigh you down and chain you to this world. Go to confession; let him remove those obstacles for you then you will have more room in your heart for Him. So that you can obtain in your heart a greater capacity to be filled with the mercy and love of Jesus which is pouring out constantly at the cross. All we have to do is go and receive.
In the daily readings today we read about Mary and Martha when Jesus come to visit. Martha is working hard while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. From a worldly perspective, Martha is upset because she is doing all the work while Mary sits and is lazy. But the Lord reminds us that we are not called to see things as the world teaches.
“The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’” Luke 10:41-42
Hospitality is not only about giving. It is about receiving as well. We must learn to receive the gifts God is generously pouring out all the time in order to learn how to give as He gives. We cannot learn how to love our neighbor as ourselves in the light of Christ unless we first receive God’s love and learn how to love by how He loves us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” John 3:16-21
Disciples are called to be the light of Christ so that others may find their path to Him. We must let our light shine in this world, so that the good works seen can give glory to our Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
In order to be this light, we must first receive it. Let us go to the cross, lay our burdens down and let Jesus wash away our sins so that we have a greater capacity in our hearts to hold his mercy and love, and learn to dispense it freely to all in this world darkened by sin. Let us live our faith boldly so that others may find faith and embrace hope instead of despair.
May God Bless you abundantly!

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