Gospel (LK 6:12-19)
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.
Who taught you to pray?
I learned to pray from my parents and my grandparents. The first prayers I can remember praying were my bedtime prayers to my guardian angel and to Mother Mary. As I grew, I became more aware of a need to pray. At mealtime my family would “Give Thanks” for the food we had to eat. We prayed to tell God good morning and ask for His protection. If someone was sick in the family, we prayed for God to help them get well. Or we prayed for a little brother or sister.
My family’s faith in communicating with God was transferred to me by their actions and their way of living. Once a week we would walk a block to my grandmother’s house to pray the rosary with our neighbors. We would go Mass together on Sundays. All of these actions and memories were in my heart and mind.
But do I really know how to pray? My answer is no.
There are three quotes in the Catholic Catechism about prayer which are my favorites.
What is prayer?
“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” (CCC 2558,St. Therese of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C.25r.)
Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.” (CCC 2559, Rom 8:26; St. Augustine, Sermo 56,6,9:PL 38, 381.)
“The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.” (CCC, 2560, Cf. St. Augustine, De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus 64,4:PL 40,56).
Let us humbly ask God to teach us to pray.
Please humbly pray the PAPA Prayer for Priests and thank God for loving us so much by giving us Himself through the Holy Eucharist.