Pray With Faith
November 12, 2016 (readings)
Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Father Edward Hopkins, LC
Then Jesus told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, Lord, for you are mine and have proved your love for me. I trust you, for you have never let me down and know what is best for my life. I love you Lord for all your gifts. I desire to love and to do your will.
Petition: Teach me to pray always, Lord.
1. Becoming Weary: We can become weary in prayer when we don’t see results. This happens because either we have a distorted idea of prayer, or we have taken on worldly views that undermine our appreciation for its true value, or simply because we experience what seems to be failure in prayer (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2726-2728). Prayer is a gift and comes from the Holy Spirit. It is neither a machine nor a magic formula. It requires effort on our part, for it is an act of love, self-giving. Prayer works if I persevere and allow God to act. Sometimes I will not see its effects. To continue to seek God in prayer is already the best fruit of prayer. Do I depend on him?
2. The Judge: If prayer is about giving myself and depending more on God, then it becomes a question of how I understand God. I depend only on those I trust, and I trust only those who have proven their love and ability to support me. Do I really believe God is all good, all-loving and all-powerful? Do I believe he cares about me? God for us is a judge, but so much more. He is first of all a loving father and a dedicated, unconditional savior and lover. As a loving Father he wants our trusting dependence. He wants us to believe.
3. The Chosen Ones: Who are we for God? We are more than simple creatures, more than worthless slaves. We are beloved children, for whom he died and to whom he gives everything. We are the frustrated scholars and broken lovers that he desires to raise up to share his infinite truth and love. We are chosen ones, chosen for him, for happiness, forever. Out of the darkness and slavery of sin, he frees us so that his glory will shine in us. Now, if we are all this and more for God, why do we doubt in prayer? Let us place all our confidence in him.
Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord Jesus, increase my knowledge of your love for me. Help me to trust you in my everyday life. Open my heart to persevere in prayer. Grant me the humility to see how I need to pray, always and in so many ways. Teach me what prayer is and how to do it well for love of you.
Resolution: Throughout the day, I will dedicate myself to simple, small invocations and prayers that express my love, gratitude and trust in God.
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