Teach us to pray
If we were to look at the world around us, we simply cannot deny that the whole of reality is not only composed of the physical, but also the spiritual. As human beings, we too are made up of the physical and the spiritual – we each have a body and a soul. In order to live in the physical world, we must take in what our bodies need: to breathe the air, eat food, drink water and use our senses to see, hear, smell, taste and feel. In a similar way, we must also take in what our souls need: finding fulfillment and a deeper sense and purpose in life. Those who believe in God, realize that in order to do these things, they need to communicate with God through prayer.
Prayer is not merely a ritual of words and postures, a mental task or an exercise in concentration. Those who view prayer in this way regard it as an activity with which, sooner or later, they simply won’t have the time for. Rather, prayer is a personal encounter with God which comes from the heart because it is the heart that prays. If our hearts are far from God, then our words of prayer are in vain. Thus, our hearts should be attentive to God to whom we speak, since we are heard not by the number of words we use, but by the fervor in our hearts (Mt6:7).
In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us how to pray: what to say, who to pray to, and what to pray for. In the “Our Father,” Jesus teaches us to know God for who He really is. And so, Jesus taught us to call God our Father in heaven. To have a relationship with God, as our Father, means to acknowledge His holiness, His Divine Will, our dependence on Him, His justice, His mercy and His love. Jesus tells us to trust in God because God, who is perfect, is infinite in goodness and love. Hence, we must learn to depend on our Father in heaven, who is infinitely wise, patient and loving, by obeying His commandments and accepting His Divine Will. St. Thomas Aquinas once said, “We do not pray in order to change the Divine Will, but to ask those things which God has already decreed to be brought about in response to our prayers.” Moreover, we ought to pray always and with persistence: to ask so that we may receive, to seek so that we may find, and to knock so that the door may be opened to us.
Back to school! Faith Formation classes for children for schoolyear 2019-2020 begin next month. Classes for Grades 1 to 6 begins on August 18. Classes for Grades 7 to 8 begins on August 25. The class syllabus for each grade level may be downloaded from the church website.
Our church is very blessed to have families with small children, and we are even more blessed that the number of small children in our church increase each year. As a church, it is important that we provide a safe and fun place for little children to run and play. A good children’s playground will also attract new families with small children to join our church. Unfortunately, our children’s playground is currently unsafe and unusable. Fr. Bill, together with the pastoral council and finance council will begin research and planning to renovate our children’s playground. We ask for your support and prayers on this worthwhile project.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.