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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 25, 2010 - 17th Sunday of the Year

  • Last week's homily is in the library>>>
  • This week's Sunday readings are available at>>>
  • I will be presiding and preaching at the 5:30 Mass on 7/24 and the 12:30 Mass on 7/25

I'm thinking.....

This week's readings are all about prayer or better...praying. One theologian has listened to the Lord's Prayer and to the wider scriptures and suggested what I think are four great "laws" about prayer.

The four laws are :

1. Faith - you must have a relationship with God in faith before you can pray

2. Forgiveness - you cannot enter into communion with God (a good definition of prayer) Who is Love if you are not loving and reconciled with others

3. Persistence - part of prayerfulness is the ability to practice it without "it" being satisfied. Praying is part of the answer to prayers

4. In the Name of Jesus - It is through Jesus that we make every prayer. In the Name of Jesus guarantees that our prayer is rightly ordered.

My preaching will begin with the last "law" first. I am thinking that the role of "asking in the name of Jesus" might hold the answer to our most troubling questions about praying. What is your most troubling question about praying?

Let me know.


anon 1 said...

What is my most troubling question about praying? I’ve not really considered that question before – but as I do, it reminds me of a conversation I had once with a friend over lunch. She made the comment that she was good at “knowing what to pray for.” It struck me as odd at the time. I had never considered such a thing. I suppose that connects with the saying you hear from time to time – “You’d better watch what you pray for!” – implying that God may provide what you ask, which may in turn be something you didn’t really want after all! That whole thinking never resonated with me because I believe God knows my heart; and when it comes to prayers of petition I most typically complete them with Jesus’ – “but your will be done.”
But perhaps what could be qualified as “troubled” about my praying is that at times I am concerned about my focus on prayers of petition. The good news is that I “turn to God in my need,” but I suppose the bad news is that it tends to make my praying “all about me.” That’s one reason why I so appreciate the many opportunities and teachings the Church gives us about praying. By praying Liturgy of the Hours I am inspired by the prayers of praise and gratitude that are not always the first to come to mind when I am left on my own, but which so rightfully belong in relationship with our good and loving God!
And now I am intrigued with the Matador’s insight about “asking in the name of Jesus” and the answer that holds in our lives of prayer.

Anonymous said...

My most troubling question about prayer is that in our culture we tend to highly personalize the praying experience. With all due respect the first comment reflects this ... as do many in the US middle and upper middle and upper class Christian experience reflect. Do we not miss a HUGE message with the teaching of Jesus in the Gospel this weekend with the words to the Lord's prayer as we call it ... it is in the plural, not the singular (Our Father ... give US OUR daily bread, forgive US... etc.)? Have we not, in our comfortable culture lost the communal aspect of prayer?? In that OUR FATHER proclamation are included the people in jail, those on death row, the illegal alien, the gay couples, the person with aids, people on welfare, panhandlers, blacks,other minorities, people of the opposition political party, liberals, conservatives, young, old, etc etc etc. Prayer, relationship with God is not only individual, it is communal. The first reading also teaches us this ... the few rightous saved the rest ... just as all suffered for the sins of many .... So Matador ... ADELANTE

Anonymous said...

I feel my problem is that my words of praise are laughably lacking in eloquence and substance. I never know what to say to God in order to praise Him bc of the limitations of our human nature. What can "I" say to "Him"?? The awe of it all...I feel my nothingness as the creature with my Creator. I am at a loss for words with Him....except to express my thanks for all the blessings He has given me.

Due to this, I tend to stick with structured prayers when I pray, like the Rosary, Mass, and prayer books. lr

Anonymous said...

All of the above comments are fantastic and prompt me to share my thoughts.
Prayer is simple, we make it very complicated. There is not, in my opinion,"good or bad" prayer, the Lord always listen to us.

Before I start I take a couple of minutes to rest my mind, I open my heart to the Lord and invite Him to "sit comfortable" in the "middle" of it.
I reflect in to Whom I am going to address and addres Him as humble as I can be.
Then, I continue with my prayer (conversation) the best I know, I may start with "The Lord's Prayer" and follow with other devotions or even silence (God's language.)
We have to remember that prayer is a relationship as any other and has different stages.As we continue prayer in a regular basis, this relationship is going to allow Jesus to know us better and we will know Jesus better too.
This relationshiop will eventually reach the point of NO NEED for words, just being close to each other in pure intimacy. Trying to imitate each other....
For sure, this intimacy will motivate us to an ACTIVE life of involvement with others in need.
My trouble with prayer is at times the inability to calm my mind enough in order to
have a peaceful time praying.P.

Anonymous said...

P - love your approach "preparing" to pray. It is inspiring and helpful to me. I will try that approach -- however I cannot pray without falling asleep, unless I am at Mass. I especially love time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament but I always fall asleep. This is very frustrating to me and the only solace I have is knowing St. Therese the Little Flower used to fall asleep all the time during prayer also, saying it made her "childlike" in the eyes of God.

Anonymous said...

To the above...
How wonderful that you can sleep during prayer. Do you realize that Jesus is giving you that time to rest? May be you are tired. He knows your desire to pray, let Him take you
where He wants you to be. That happens to me too. Perseverance is the key to prayer, no?
Keep sleeping!! P.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for kind words, P. and do you really think so? I feel like it means I am being lazy and weak-minded. I remember how Jesus was upset with the apostles in the garden for falling asleep and not spending an hour in prayer with him on Holy Thursday. I could fall asleep while typing this if given the chance... lr

The Matador said...

What holy thoughts -all of these! Keep praying. Tx