Let us revive ourselves with prayer.
We see many human faces every day. They are tanned, healthy, cheerful, and full of freshness and life. But we also see many pale, sad, discouraged faces.
One walks down the street and does not know whether one is standing in front of a person or act of a shop window and sees a dummy in front of one. For such are the faces of many people; lifeless, bored, annoyed, discouraged…
The face is the expression of the human soul. The soul of such a man is in the grip of incomprehensible weariness, sullenness, worry, and life’s unpleasantness.
Spiritual experts advise: try it with prayer. Try to free your mind from the cramped atmosphere and a morbid mood by lifting your thoughts to heaven. Learn to pray. Expose your soul to the rays of heaven as you expose your bodies to the sun to make them tanned.
Many a man signs in his morbid melancholy, but I cannot even pray anymore.
Don’t be afraid, don’t say you can’t pray! Christ comes to your help today in the Gospel. He teaches his disciples to pray and encourages them that the heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask him.
And the Holy Spirit is the life into your weary and unruly body. All that is required of you is to ask and pray. Everyone who asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and whoever knocks gets an opening.
These words not only apply to the Apostles, but the Lord Jesus says them to us today, assuring us that God will answer our prayer. Will He hear us in all that we ask? Yes. In all things that accomplish Christ’s redemptive work in and outside us. Jesus guarantees a hearing, but only within the framework of the Divine Providence that governs the world. It is necessary, however, that one not only ask but that one makes it happen. It is naive to ask to have everything at once at this moment and without any effort, but it is excellent and necessary to ask for help against evil inclinations, for grace in the zeal to arrive at virtue. In this matter, supplications are never in vain. Similarly, the hearing of petitions for temporal gifts is guaranteed by Jesus if they are related to our soul’s welfare.
And such petitionary prayer is offered by Christ today to all who are wakeful and sick, from whom the life of God is ebbing away.
Brothers and sisters, to pray and ask God is to find the spring of living water, as Christ speaks to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
To pray means to ease your inferiority, put away the gloom of your life, and take a breath from your worries and miseries.
Even St. James the Apostle says: “Are any of you suffering? Let him pray” (Jas 5:13).
Yes, to draw in prayer the restorative power of the air from the heavenly mountains and strength from the higher light. We can do all this in prayer. We do not find it in any pleasures and amusements.
In one of his short stories, the French novelist Maupassant describes the exuberant life of a wine bar: it takes place in a modest little house where love is sold and wild dancing is done under the influence of wine and passion. When these orgies have reached their climax, the owner of the house staggers and sink to the ground. Suddenly there is a sepulchral silence. The woman has died. A stroke struck her. Then one of the women kneels and begins to pray the Our Father. She struggles for words, for she has not prayed it in years! But a second, a third, comes and helps her. They are frightened and pray. Where did the transition from stormy passions to prayer come from in them? Indeed, they have felt their human weakness and God’s power to end the intoxication of the senses.
This, too, is the form of man. When he is knocked down to the ground, seized with pain – he begins to pray. He lifts his hands to prayer, or at least his heart to God. Will those whom we see disgusted and tormented in ordinary life do this? Will they! They will if we help them.
Let us help them not seek comfort down on earth but long for heaven. Let us help them not to seek comfort and strength in wine cellars but in God! Let us tell them that Christ can shake the weary souls poisoned by passions, boredom, and alcohol. If we do not have the strength to say to them this, or perhaps we feel that we are like this, then we have no choice but to pray for ourselves and them in this way:
God, you have created us in your image. We are to show you in our lives; we are to radiate joy and happiness – but you see what sin causes in us. We ask you, God of life, we ask you for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, give us your Spirit – give us your Spirit, give it to all who ask you for it, that we may shine again with the fullness of life that you provide, O God.
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