Posted by: fvbcdm | March 11, 2014

Feast of Saint Eulogius of Cordoba (11 March 2014)

At the risk of becoming monotonous, I want to speak again today about the three principal ways recommended to us by the Church for our observance of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. More accurately and fitted to our contemporary situation, we might call them prayer, self-denial, and assisting others.

Yesterday the readings at Mass emphasized kindness, mercy, and justice to others. Today, the emphasis of the Mass readings is on prayer. In the first reading, God speaks through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament. He compares God’s holy word with the welcome rain that falls upon the earth, making it fruitful and enabling it to bear fruit. Then, in the gospel reading, we have Our Divine Lord giving us the Our Father, one of his most important gifts to us.

If we are ever to be the men and women of prayer that we should be, we must learn to meditate upon the word of God. That means to take a brief passage from Scripture or the liturgy or the Catechism, to ask ourselves, “What does this mean? What are its implications for me? How can I apply this to my spiritual life?” Personally, I have always found it helpful to pretend that I must write a composition upon some passage or preach a sermon or homily on it. Usually, the ideas begin to flow then and there. Saint Francis of Assisi said that he could spend the rest of his life meditating on the words, “My God and my all.” And Saint Teresa of Avila complained that she found it difficult to get through the entirety of the Our Father, because she found even the first few words so arresting that she couldn’t go on. This ability to take small portions of God’s word and make them the subject of our prayer is a tremendous gift in our communication with God, our prayer.

As an example, take those sublime words of Our Blessed Mother to the archangel when he proposed to her the idea of her becoming the Mother of the Savior. She asked only one question to clarify the idea in her own mind, and then said, “Be it done to me according to your word.” How we could grow in holiness if we were to go through our life with that kind of welcoming resignation to God’s will in our lives! It goes along very closely with the words of the Our Father in which Jesus teaches us to say, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We have little control over others, but we can certainly try to allow the Kingdom of Christ to come into our hearts, our minds, our home, our family, our work.

All of this can be summed up very briefly in the simple request of the apostles to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.”  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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