• Mary Jo Barr

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Reading 1 IS 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

Gospel MT 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“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 forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”


What is prayer?

According to our PAPA Handbook, prayer is “A heart-to-heart communication with our Lord Jesus about others and their needs in silence or with words.’ And our PAPA Patron saint, St. John Marie Vianney said, “Prayer is the inner bath of love into which the soul plunges itself…God commands you to pray but forbids you to worry.”(PAPA Handbook, p.8).

St. Therese of Lisieux said , “ 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.”(Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r)

How do you pray?

There are many ways I pray. In the mornings I pray in my room where it is quiet and I have no distractions. Sometimes I sing along with my favorite YouTube hymns or chants. I also pray with other PAPA members or friends for our Priests and the needs of others. My most intense praying is in front of the Blessed Sacrament or just silently being present.

But do we really know how to pray?

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2559) it explains that prayer is a gift from God. “Humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26) are we ready to receive the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”(St. Augustine, Sermo 56,6,9, PL 38, 381)

Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray with humility in addressing God the Father. His prayer is simple and prayed with all of His heart. Let us ask Jesus to teach us how to pray.

Let us ask for God to give us His gift of prayer.

Join us in praying for all priests to pray humbly, especially during the most powerful prayer of thanksgiving that Jesus gave us, the Holy Mass.

PAPA Prayer for Priests

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