May the grace and peace of the Risen Lord Jesus be with you!
Although that is technically an Easter greeting, and we are now
hip-deep in ordinary time, calling us back to our Easter joy is
a good thing to do from time to time! Easter is the source of
our hope--His Resurrection from the dead is the foretaste of what
awaits us, if we remain faithful to Him. Staying faithful is
the hard part. I chose the quote above from the Pope because,
especially as we face the different struggles in our lives, it's
good to remember that our whole relationship with the Lord Jesus,
His Father and their Holy Spirit, happens at their initiative,
not ours. They have come looking for us, and in the greatness
of Their love for us, They will not let us go. We can run, but
we can't hide. We have a Savior Who loves to save, a Father Who
delights in "giving the Holy Spirit to those Who ask Him,
and a Spirit Who leads us into all Truth, the Truth that sets
Sometimes in our struggles we take too much on ourselves
and forget what lousy jobs we do as saviors when we try to save
ourselves. The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, does a marvelous
job. Hopefully each of us will choose to continue to give Him
room and time to save us. To give Him time is often the most
difficult aspect. In the midst of our very busy lives, do we
take the time to pray, the time to spend with Him that He may
deepen His life in us? The Catechism reminds us of the
dynamic of God's plan: "
the living and true God tirelessly
calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer."
( CCC #2567) This prayer, the Catechism goes on
to say, is a battle, a battle "
against ourselves and
against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man
away from prayer, away from union with God
battle of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle
of prayer." (CCC #2725) Though in one sense, it would
be more appropriate to call it the war of prayer, since if we
lose this battle of prayer, we will almost certainly lose the
war itself, jeopardizing our whole relationship with the Lord
If we're too busy to pray, we're too busy. But sometimes we need to be a little more creative in how we approach the whole issue of prayer. For example, an hour a day is a great thing to do, but I fear that sometimes, while that approach is easily (more or less) do-able for celibate males in command of their own schedules (e.g., moi) it is not necessarily an approach that might work well for busy moms with lots of kids. (A situation that our parish is blessed to share in, in abundance). For a busy mom, taking some extended prayer time on a every other week mother's day out may work better, or even a monthly retreat day and certainly, to take advantage of the yearly retreats offered in Christ the King. Hopefully we all try to take the Practice of the Presence of God approach of putting ourselves constantly in the presence of Jesus and doing lots of prayer-on-the-run. However, each of us needs quality time alone with Him. If daily doesn't work well because of other gifts of God in our lives, then we need to be creative and come up with other ways, so that we each get the time with Him, to love Him and, far more importantly, to let Him love us. Let us plead with the Lord Jesus to continue to teach us how to pray and when to pray, so that the gift of His life in us may grow ever more strong and we may continue to deepen that union with Him that is our source of life!