1st Tuesday of Lent 2019 (readings)
Today Jesus condemns the superstitious notion that long and wordy prayers are needed to attract God’s attention; what Christ doesn’t want is for us to babble like the pagans of his day.
So then true piety is not so much a matter of the amount of words as of the frequency and the love with which the Christian turns towards God in all events, great or small. Vocal prayer is good, and necessary; but these words which we utter only count if they express our inner feelings.
I want to share with you a quote about prayer from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Testament, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and Christ himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle.
Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn [us] away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The ‘spiritual battle’ of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.”
My brothers and sisters, lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and abstinence; so let’s not neglect our battle of prayer; our battle against laziness, against temptation to remain idle. The reward God offers, union with himself, is worth every effort.