Monday, October 18, 2010

Confirmation I and II: October 17, 2010: The Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 18:1-8

Journal: How did you live out last week’s Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

Pray always? Some scholars translate this as praying without ceasing. Sounds pretty impossible. But maybe it depends on how you look at it.
Here’s how I pictured prayer when I was young. Kneeling at church. Reciting memorized prayers. Lying in bed, asking for help on a test or with a friend. Prayer took time set aside. So you could never pray always, unless you never ate, studied or worked.
Over the years I’ve come to see God as my friend, a constant companion, always there to support and guide me. So my understanding of prayer has changed. I still think it’s important to set aside special time for prayer, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to wait for those times. God’s hangin’ out with me all day long.
And that’s pretty critical for me. Because several times each day I need divine help. It happens like this. Here’s that person who irritates me. God, give me patience. Here’s someone asking for help. God, what do I do? I feel like an idiot. God, help me believe in myself. What a beautiful day. God, help me be grateful. God surrounds us each moment of our lives. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples to recognize that and rejoice. We all want close friends willing to hang out with us. Some of us have them. Some don’t. But we all have a best friend in God, who is always trying to shape us, help us, respond to us.
Here’s a challenge: Pray always, or without ceasing, this week. Make an effort to remember that God walks with you at all times, down every school hallway, across every practice field, through every mall, and across every street. Talk and listen to God throughout the day. In other words, just hang out together.

Journal: Has this reflection of the Gospel changed your thinking about prayer? What was your previous idea about prayer and praying? What insights have you gained from this week’s Gospel – how will you now approach prayer differently? Be specific.

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