Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Second Sunday in Lent—25 February A.D. 2018
Ave Maria!




Second Sunday of Lent—25 February AD 2018

Ave Maria!


Please pray for Alfie Evans, 20 Months old.
Socialized medicine in Britain cannot diagnose his problem, refuses to let him go elsewhere,
and now wants to take him off life-support.

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Lenten Observance

 “His face shone as the sun,
and His garments became as white as snow.”[1]

"This is the will of God:  your sanctification."

    As we have said many times before, the primary purpose of this season of Lent is to acknowledge that We know that it is very unlikely that we will be able to draw closer to God, in order to ensure our personal sanctification.  We know that it is very unlikely that we will be able to work out our sanctification if we remain at a distance from God, insulating ourselves, as it were, with all of the cares of the world.  It is worthwhile, then, for us to spend a few minutes in pondering one of the chief ways by which we draw close to God.  That way is the way we call "prayer."

    Unfortunately, prayer is not always fully understood and appreciated, even by those who have been Catholics for many years.  All together too many people have abandoned their prayer life, quite mistakenly thinking that prayer is something that only children do; reciting their "God bless Mommy & Daddy and a few hurried Hail Marys before bedtime.  Quite the opposite, it is something that ought to develop in us as we grow older; our prayer life maturing right along with our physical life.

    It might help, first of all, to understand that there are several kinds of prayer—and that we should resort to all of them frequently.

    We can speak of public prayer and private prayer.  We ought to pray in private, several times each day, for, ultimately, our relationship with God is a personal one and our salvation is primarily our responsibility.

    But we also ought to join in public prayer with some regularity;  the Mass, of course;  and other prayers like benediction, the stations of the cross, the rosary, and the Divine Office.  As they say, "No man is an island."  We are all part of the society in which we live;  all part of this Christian community.  So we have a corporate obligation to worship God.

    We can speak of vocal prayer and mental prayer.  This might mean the difference between actually voicing our prayers in an audible tone, and saying them in a whisper, or merely voicing them in our minds.

    Sometime, though, when we speak of vocal prayer, we are referring to those prayers that have been composed by others, and which we recite from memory.  The Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Confiteor are examples.  These prayers are useful in that they generally incorporate all of the appropriate sentiments, leaving us less likely to omit some important element of our prayer.  The Lord's prayer, quite literally, was composed by the Lord when the disciples requested that He tell them how to pray.

    But there is also a place for the kind of prayer that we compose ourselves; what is generally called mental prayer or meditation.  Such prayers are quite likely to be more sincere, for we are not simply mouthing someone else's words.  In meditation we might try to call to mind some event in the life of our Lord and Lady, allowing ourselves to experience and feel the significance of it.  Or we might simply address God directly, telling Him what is on our mind in our own words, and waiting quietly to see if He won't form an answer in our minds.

    No matter how we pray, though, we know that all prayer falls into one of four categories.  It is useful to understand these categories, as our prayer ought to include some of each.  Prayer should not be limited to asking God for the things we want.

    The highest form of prayer is “adoration.”  When we adore God, we tell Him that we appreciate His greatness;  in Himself, in the world He has made, in His creatures, in all that He has done for us.  “Glory to God in the highest,” is a good example of adoration.

    The next form is “thanksgiving.”  In adoring God, we told Him how great His actions are.  We must not forget to thank Him for the great good He has done for us.  Thank Him for our lives, for the gift of our redemption, for our Catholic Faith, for the Mass and Sacraments, for our friends, and for all of the material and spiritual gifts He has given us.

    Prayer should also ask “forgiveness.”  Even the best of us have sinned—many of us quite regularly.  We ought to ask God to forgive our sins, and those of the people in the world around us.  Certainly, the modern world is in desperate need of reform and forgiveness.  On our own, we are incapable of making up for the evil of our sins, but through prayer we can receive the grace of forgiveness.

    Finally, prayer also must include “petition.”  That is the familiar, “God please do this or that for me.”  And, we should be taking our petitions to God, for they reflect our complete dependence upon Him.  We ought to be humble, though, recognizing that all prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is “no.”  We ought to ask God frequently for the graces needed for a good Christian life and for our perseverance in grace; especially in the hour of our death.  Don't take such things for granted.  Be sure that God knows that you value your eternity with Him in heaven.

    Let me close this little talk on prayer with one final reminder.  Make use of the angels and the saints in your prayers.  They understand the difficulties that we all must endure as created beings.  Have particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Take all of your prayers to her Son through her; allow her to decide what is best for you; she is, after all, our God-given mother.  And pray in the name of her Son—pray in the name of Jesus Christ—for we have been told that we will be granted whatever we ask in His name.

    So, now we know a little bit about prayer.  There are many books available to help us if we want to know more.  But the most important part of learning to pray is simply to do it.  More than any book you are likely to read; more than any advice anyone is likely to give you about prayer, the most important part of learning to pray is ... to pray.


[1]   Gospel: Matthew xvii: 1-9


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