Deacon’s Corner, October 14 2018

Why do we pray? St Ambrose said we pray to “offer God a sacrifice of praise and pay your vows to the Most High.” 

He wrote “Jesus taught you about the goodness of the Father, who knows how to give good things: and so you should ask for good things from the One who is good. Jesus told us to pray urgently and often, so that our prayers should not be long and tedious but short, earnest and frequent. Long elaborate prayers overflow with pointless phrases, and long gaps between prayers eventually stretch out into complete neglect…when you ask forgiveness, you must take special care to grant it also to others…when you pray you must be free from anger and from disagreement with anyone, so that your prayer is not disturbed.”

St Ambrose tells us we can pray anywhere.  He writes “Jesus said go into your room and pray in secret…this “room” is not the room with four walls that confines your body when you are in it, but the secret space within you in which your thoughts are enclosed and where your sensations arrive. That is your prayer-room, always with you wherever you are, always secret wherever you are, with your only witness being God”

St Ambrose says “Above all, you must pray for the whole people…for the whole body, for every part of your mother the Church, whose distinguishing feature is mutual love. If you ask for something for yourself then you will be praying for yourself only, and you must remember that more grace comes to one who prays for others. If each person prays for all people, then all people are effectively praying for each other… If you ask for something for yourself alone, you will be the only one asking for it; but if you ask for benefits for all, all in their turn will be asking for them for you. For you are in fact one of the “all.” Thus it is a great reward, as each person’s prayers acquire the weight of the prayers of everyone… it is a sign of greater humility and more abundant fruitfulness.”

Our Catechism tells us our prayer is God’s gift of grace to us (CCC 2563).  As we enter our prayer-room this week to receive God’s grace, may our prayer be always guided by the Holy and centered in our hearts.   Deacon John

Adapted from the Office of Readings, October 8, 2018

 

Posted in Deacon's Corner.

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