Reflections - October 16, 2016

“Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?”  Lk. 18:7.
This Sunday’s Gospel urges us to always pray without discouragement. The Lord gives us an example of this in the parable of the widow and the judge, who was not afraid of God and did not respect men.  The fact is that he was a despicable man.  But because of the perseverance of the widow who asked “render a just decision for me”, Lk. 18:3, this man “delivers a just decision for her because she keeps bothering him”.  Lk. 18:5.
The perseverance of the widow can also help us connect with the growth of our spiritual life through prayer.  Remember that invoking the Lord is a grace received from the Holy Spirit and that through this gift the knowledge of God and of all that refers to Him reaches simple souls.  It also makes us taste with affection and conviction that God is Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier……This gift makes us persevere in prayers of thanks, repentance, thanksgiving, and intersession…..
Prayer also creates sensitivity in us towards those who suffer, towards the poor, towards the sick and towards those living with tormented inner lives.  It is persevering prayer that makes us become intimate with the Lord, “to comfort my people”.  Is. 40:1.
However we know that in our spiritual experience there are moments of “dark nights” and that “bonfire of our faith” starts to go off and enthusiasm disappears and we start a religious routine.  The worst part is that we start to feel that we cannot grow spiritually.  Yet we cannot become discouraged and stop praying.  We must continue to pray with persistence and perseverance and not allow ourselves to be lead into a routine or to shorten our time of prayer.  Let us not forget the balance between being and doing.
It is sometimes good to go into a profound discernment and ask ourselves questions.  What is happening that our prayer life is not fruitful?  It could be that we are in stressful situations at work or with our family.  It could also be because of emotional or psychological problems, changes at our job, successes, failures, problems of age…….It is important in these cases to discern with spiritual direction and spiritual retreats.  Remember as Psalm 120:1 says:  “The Lord answers me when I call in my distress”.
Perhaps for many mothers who do not have much time to pray the example of
how Mary prayed in her little house in Nazareth showing her love and perseverance in difficult moments will help them find a special place to pray.
I invite you in this month of October to pray the Mysteries of the Rosary to Mary, the mother of Christ, with perseverance and to thank her and the Lord for so many blessings in your community and in your family.  Amen.