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Saint Aloysius and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

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Praying To God From Your Heart

Homily 07 28 2013
17th Sunday OT - C

Homily 07 28 2013
17th Sunday OT - C

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There is a story that Huckleberry Finn, one of Mark Twain's great characters, prayed for a fishing pole and hooks. When he got only the pole, he gave up praying.

And then there is another story, much older of the woman who read Jesus' statement that "if you have faith, you can move mountains."


Just what she needed...

There was a mountain, actually it was more like a hill, outside her window, which in her opinion, spoiled the view of the sea. So, she prayed before going to bed that the mountain would be gone by morning. Day came: she leaped out of bed, ran to the window and cried out: "Just as I thought, it's still there!"

Both of these are bad prayer examples. The actions are childish, not childlike. A child trusts his or her father or mother because the parent, for a little one, is all love and goodness. And this is a model of the way we are invited to turn to our heavenly Father.

WE have the supreme model of prayer in the Lord' Prayer today. In community we pray it in the common words we have learned but we also need a freedom when we pray it by ourselves to use our own words.

The first reading shows us Abraham just walking with God in conversation, in intimate exchange, not as equals, but in respectful mutuality, as Abraham argues with God in prayer.

Obviously, Abraham's talking with God, his prayer, has been conditioned by his knowledge of God as caring and merciful and personally and attentively involved in the needs of humankind.

St.. Paul speaks to this same issue today when he says God has pardoned all our sins and given us new life in Christ. The Gospel speaks of Jesus praying and teaching his disciples to pray.

Saints and mystics have written endlessly about prayer throughout history.

Prayer becomes difficult when we forget who God is or when we cease to be ourselves before God.

That reminds me of the example of prayer offered us in the person of John Vianney, a priest and pastor of the French Village of Ars, the patron saint of parish priests and confessors.

Not one of the "brighter lights" in his seminary class, Vianney barely succeeded in satisfying the academic requirements for ordination, but his parishioners deeply benefited from his spiritual guidance, holiness, and relationship with God.

They noticed he spent time in church, seeming to do nothing, and they inquired as to what he was doing. He replied simply, I look at God, God looks at me and we are happy together.

In the Gospel Jesus' disciples want to know how he talks to God after seeing him praying. and he tells them. Like a child with a parent, like a Son to a loving Father. It's not an exclusive relationship that shuts out all others.

His conversation with god is inclusive affirming God as parent of all and affirms that we are children of God.

All the gospels from the 13th through the 34th week of Ordinary Time should be understood as lessons for disciples in training. Jesus was forming disciples and a part of the process included lessons in prayer, and to pray with persistence, to ask until we're hoarse.

Seek until we're bleary eyed. Knock until our knuckles hurt and then accept the answer to our prayers.

We are invited to believe in God's presence, the same God who listened to Abraham and to whom Jesus prayed is the God who is also our Parent. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to address God as Abba.

In praying the Lord's Prayer all who are disciples enter into a close relationship with God and share in the mission of Christ to bring about God's Reign.

As a priest for 42 years, I would advise parents to teach their children coming to Mass to participate in the part of the service where we say the Lord's Prayer together, to pray with them every night at bedtime.

It's tried and true. But it's only the beginning. Prayer in all of its many forms and contexts is as individual as it is powerful, and it is our job to help our children find their own prayerfulness, and to use prayer as a means of making a spiritual connection with their creator, sanctifier and redeemer.

The job of parents would be a lot easier if God were more like Santa Claus, who knows when you are bad and good, and brings wonderful gifts to all the little girls and boys.

Well, there's Good News...

God may not have a mailing address or a supersonic sleigh, but the Holy Spirit knows where the gifts are kept and as pastor, as parents, as religious ed teachers, we're all called to help form the next generations into a prayerful people.


Home Homilies Homily 07 28 2013

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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
Map it



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