Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Give Up Praying

On Sunday in his homily, Pope Benedict said some important things about prayer. I'm always interested in reading about what others have to say about prayer. I give workshops and retreats on prayer, it's one of my favorite topics. Prayer has always come natural to me. What a blessing! I love all forms of prayer and I'm never at a loss for words in prayer. I hope I don't sound like I'm boasting, it is what it is.
I read at that the Pope made the following reflections about prayer during a homily at Mass in St. Peter's on Sunday, October 17th. He canonized six new saints at the Mass including the first male Canadian born saint-Andre Bessette and the first Australian saint, Mary of the Cross MacKillop. He began his homily with stressing "the necesssity to pray always, without tiring."
He said, "Sometimes we grow tired of prayer, we have the impression that prayer is not very useful for life, that it is not very effective. We are tempted to dedicate ourselves to activity, to employ every human method to accomplish our goals, and we do not approach God. But Jesus says that we must pray always and he does this through a specific parable."
The parable which we heard yesterday at Mass about the persistent widow is reason to hope. As the Pope said, "We must not give up hope, but always insist in prayer."
He went on to say that we must believe in the goodness of God and of course, faith is essential to prayer.
I certainly believe in the goodness of God and I also believe that God answers prayers in God's time and not our own. As it says in Scripture, "My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts......" We have to pray and leave the rest to God. In God's time, all prayers are answered, in one way or another. Hope is a wonderful thing.
Prayer is so much a part of who I am, I can't imagine life without it. Depending on the mercy, love and goodness of God, in all situations, is such a gift and a grace. Those of us who believe in God and can pray have an enormous advantage in life, in my opinion. I've written that a lot because I believe that's the truth. It's certainly true for me and my faith life.

Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (St. Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians- 5:17)