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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tenacious Prayer

"...because of his importunity (tenacity) he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. ~ Luke 11:8b-10

The readings for this 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time call to each of us to....PRAY. The message is clear. Christ calls, desires..expects His followers to be tenacious in prayer. As Christians we speak often of prayer. We read about prayer..gather for prayer. Yet we oft fail to know the power of prayer because we are not tenacious in our faith. Christ provides all we need to be the tenacious, victorious warriors of prayer He calls for and commands.
His Word will nourish our faith (Romans 10:17) and guide us into His will (Ps 119:105) so that we may pray with confidence (I John 5:14). Guided by His Word we then can know the Holy Spirit's strength to persevere in tenacious faith and love. This tenacious prayer will bring us into the very Presence of God. Fighting past the doubts, fear and distractions of the enemy we can come to the Cross and receiving His Holy Body and Blood we can be nourished by Christ Himself. In His Eucharistic Presence we can know the power and love of His wounds of holy love. If there is a 'secret' of tenacious prayer it is to pray until one is in the Presence of Christ.
For it is in Him we will find the strength, wisdom, guidance, healing, provision...whatever our need or desire it will be found in His way, His time, His Him.
So..let us each ASK... for those needs and desires that which God brings into our lives,
and, SEEK, His will, provision, strength to tenaciously
KNOCK..not just at the doors of life before us but to also, in courageous, loving faith knock down the
very fears, doubts or obstacles that would hinder the love of Christ from being known.

St. Francis of Assisi..prayed with tenacious love and faith. He would not allow failing health, eyesight, discord among his brothers form detering him from prayer. It was in his tenacious faith He experienced the fullest sign of gods' love as he shared the very wounds of Christ.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Helping the Wounded

This Sunday the Gospel shares the account of the Good Samaritan. The story tells of a man, wounded by robbers, left by the roadside. A priest, a Levite pass him by. A Samaritan, symbolic of those perceived to be of lesser value, stops, cares for the man living the love that Christ calls us all to live.
Today there are more people than ever on the roads of life who are wounded. Sometimes physically, even more often in soul and spirit. Yet the failed practice of the priest and Levite is many times the norm..even among Christians. In our times we often will hide behind the excuse that it is the job of the professional, or the idea that "I am not trained". So it is left for the firefighters, paramedic, doctors or other "expert". Even within the Church it is common to leave it to the priest, deacon, or "professional" to help another.
But it is not about expertise. It is about love for our fellow man or woman. As a firefighter I could not have responded to the many sick and injured that I helped care for IF first a loving soul had not first cared enough to stop and help as best they could.
We all are called to care for the many wounded with our prayers, our helping hands and hearts, with His love.