Isaiah 55:10-11; Ps 34 From their distress God rescues the just; Matthew 6:7-15
Today we read in the gospel Jesus's catechesis on prayer. He invites us not to babble like the pagans who think they will be heard becasue of their many words.
In prayer, it seems, at least from the point of view of Jesus, less is best. In fact, structure seems all the more important as he gives us the "THe Lord's Prayer."
We all know, pagans aren't the only ones that babale in prayer, many of our christian separated bretheren also like to babble in fornt of people.
In fact, i had one so called minsiter, tell me that is was incorrect to recite the Our Father becasue it was a repetitions prayer and that is not JEsus meant.
Yet, we have the very words of JEsus in today's gospel, "This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgiev those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us form evil."
Seems pretty straight forward to me.
St. Gregrory instructs us that there isn nothing pleasing to the God the father than to hear these words, this prayer echoing in his ears, for they are the very words of Jesus himself.
If we have Jesus in our hearts, should we not have him on our lips as well.
For as St. benedict reminds us, it is the words of prayer that leads our mind into the heart of Christ himself.
Let the prayer be pressed upon our lips and thus echo and ring in the ears of our Father and let honor be given to him who gave us this prayer in the first place.
With the prayer, we pray not with human words alone but with the very words of God himself.
This morning we woke up early as a parish and add our first 6:30 am mass on tuesday during lent.
FOr this special mass, which about 50 members of the community showed up, i am so grateful; i started my little homily section on wisdom of the saints for our lenten journey.
I quotes St. Josemaria Escriva, a modern saint comparatively, He died in 1975.
I was quoting his take on mortification. Mortification is the discipline of the body, thus the root of the interior life.
The saint says the following, "If you do not deny yourself you will never be a soul of prayer...IF the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don't you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? What kind of mortification? that word you refused to say to another, the cheerful smile for those who annoy you; the silence when unjustly accused; a friendly conversation with those who irritate you; the daily effort to overlook the irritable trait of another you live with; this with perseverance is indeed solid mortification and thus begins the fruit of the kingdom being laid bear though you."