In today's gospel we encounter these words of Jesus right before he gives us the " Lord's Prayer" or as we say the "our Father": this how you are to pray.
As we think on those words for a minute, we must remember that prayer prepares the hearts for judgment. Prayer is what enables us to judge correctly as to our behavior.
Prayer prepares the heart for love in action.
If we pray wrong we live wrong. Now some may say there is no such thing as praying wrong, but Jesus seems to think there is. It is Jesus who says, " don't babble like the pagans...do not be like them."
There is a right way to pray. Jesus gives us the form of pray in the "Our Father."
It is the five finger prayer:
A: adoration. Our father who art in heaven, hallowed Be thy name
S: surrender. thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
K: knocking or kneading. Give us this day our daily bread
M: mold me. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us (make me my heart like yours)
E: escort or guide me. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Here is the prayer that forms our heart and mind to judge wisely the things of earth and to love the things of heaven.
As I make my way through Rome and Assissi, I encounter the remains of many devout men and women who pressed this prayer upon their lips numerous times and thus were able truly love in the proper order: God above all, then their neighbor, lastly themselves.
Prayer prepares the heart to love!