Friday, October 28, 2011

It is simply impossible to lead, without the aid of prayer, a virtuous life. --Saint John Chrysostom

My little children, your hearts, are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.--Saint John Vianney

(Luke 6:12-16)
Jesus went up 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.

Today, we may contemplate a full day in the life of Jesus. A life with two clear sides: prayer and action

You may ask yourself a question. Did Jesus need these lengthy hours of lonely prayer, when everybody else was asleep?

Once we have well established our prayer life , it only remains for us to imitate Christ in our action. In today's gospel, we can see him “organizing the Church”, that is, choosing those who were to be his future evangelists, the followers of his mission on earth: «When day came, He called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them whom He called apostles» (Lk 6:13). We find him, later on, healing all types of sicknesses. «Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all» (Lk 6:19), the Evangelist says. So that our identification with him may be complete, we only need to digest the fact that this “power” to heal everybody may also come forth from us. But here is the key, the source of that “power” is not ourselves but Jesus. John the Baptist put it best, “I must decrease and he must increase” (Jn 3:30). This will only be possible if we remain in him, by developing a daily prayer life and participating in the Sacraments of the Church frequently (both the Eucharist & Confession). Then little by little, our lives will mirror more and more the life of our Lord. Scripture tells us, “for apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). Do you truly believe that?

I feel Mother Teresa captured this idea well when she said:

"Each of us is merely a small instrument. When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, often you see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive lined up. Until the current passes through them there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God.

"We have the power to let the current pass through us, use us, produce the light of the world. Or we can refuse to be used and allow darkness to spread."

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