Thursday, April 3, 2014

“How often I failed in my duty to God, because I was not leaning on the strong pillar of prayer.”

You haven’t been praying? Why, because you haven’t had time? But you do have time. Furthermore, what sort of works will you be able to do if you have not meditated on them in the presence of the Lord, so as to put them in order? Without that conversation with God, how can you finish your daily work with perfection? Look, it is as if you claimed you had no time to study because you were too busy giving lessons. Without study you cannot teach well. Prayer has to come before everything. If you do not understand this and put it into practice, don’t tell me that you have no time: it’s simply that you do not want to pray - St. Josemaría Escrivá

Gospel text (Jn 5: 31-47): Jesus said to the Jews: «If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless. But Another One is bearing witness to me and I know that his testimony is true when He bears witness to me. John also bore witness to the truth when you sent messengers to him, but I do not seek such human testimony; I recall this for you, so that you may be saved. John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were willing to enjoy his light. But I have greater evidence than that of John the works which the Father entrusted to me to carry out. The very works I do bear witness: the Father has sent me. Thus he who bears witness to me is the Father who sent me. You have never heard his voice and have never seen his likeness; then, as long as you do not believe his messenger, his word is not in you.

»You search in the Scriptures thinking that in them you will find life; yet Scripture bears witness to me. But you refuse to come to me, that you may live. I am not seeking human praise; but I have known that love of God is not within you.

»For I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me. If another comes in his own name, you will accept him. As long as you seek praise from one another in¬¬stead of seeking the glory coming from the only God, how can you believe? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. Moses himself in whom you placed your hope, ¬accuses you. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?».

Have you ever picked up your Bible, read a passage from it, and then sat back and wondered what in the world is God trying to say to me? It’s possible that you may have walked away and decided either that you were spiritually deaf or that the passage didn’t have any consequence for your life. But somewhere inside your heart, you sensed that there was something in that passage for you, but you just couldn’t put your finger on it.

The following guidelines can help you hear the Lord as you read his word. Try them over the next few days, and see if they make a difference.

Select a Scripture passage that you want to read. Maybe you will choose to follow the daily Mass readings with the meditation from Oh.....Francesco.

Don’t read right away, but begin with prayer. If you feel like singing or humming a hymn from Mass, do it.

When you feel ready, read the Scripture passage you have chosen.

Read it again slowly, dwelling on the words or phrases that struck you.

Use your imagination to place yourself in the scene described in this passage.

Imagine that Jesus is sitting across from you and telling you this story himself.

Be still. During this quiet period, some words or pictures may bubble up in your thoughts. This may be God speaking to you—especially if the images and thoughts lead you closer to Christ, fill you with hope, or stir your heart to love and forgive.

Try to write out what you think God is saying to you, and close with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

God wants to reveal himself to us in Scripture. Only by quiet reflection will we learn to hear his voice.

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