Prayer must be “humble, fervent, resigned, persevering”
Today I was thinking about fathers. People who I dearly love are today surely missing their fathers who have gone before them
My dear friend misses her father Brian – he is in her thoughts. My mother misses her father and my father his – though they died as old men and could ask no more of this life.
My father-in-law is dearly missed as the father of his children – though he died nearly 40 years ago. Even I – who never met him as he died in a country far away from me when I was a little baby – miss his presence in his son’s life and by extension in mine and the lives of our children. How different the man I married might have been without the loss of his father.
As I reflect on my husband’s grief - which though old is not diminished - I wonder if Christ himself, grieved for his Earthly father, Saint Joseph, after he died?
Christ is God. He saw all things clearly. He knew this world is fleeting and the next eternal. He could see the truth about death. In DEATH Christ saw LIFE!
Christ is humble and patient and kind. Through the mystery of the Holy Trinity, Christ is content to do God’s will.
If only we could grieve for our loved ones as Christ grieved for His! If only we had Christ’s WISDOM! If only we could see as He does!
Yesterday the Gospel (Mark 7:24-30) told the story of the Canaanite woman who petitioned Christ to heal her child and even when Christ told her that he would not feed the children’s food to the dogs, she persisted – HUMBLY.
I will take their scraps. I do not care. Please just give me what is leftover, I will take only the worthless parts tat nobody else will take – she was not proud.
Think of that woman! She approached a man who others crowded around and shouted her troubles to Him – completely unmindful of her privacy, reputation, or dignity - in a world that judged her based on all of those things. She only cared that God could hear her and help her. If only He could hear her all would be well... because her faith in Him was so great that she knew – she simply knew – that he would have pity on her once He heard her.
Faith gave her Courage. Courage gave her Hope. Hope brought her Grace…
And Christ healed her child!
There is a reason that we hear about this woman in the Gospel some two thousand years after she lived and died.
The Canaanite woman shows us how to pray.
Saint Mary Magdalena de Pazzi, who was a Carmelite nun and mystic in the early 17th century said that the Canaanite woman in this Gospel teaches us that our prayers should be “humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear."
And with awe and fear – I dare to pray… To God, who is my Beloved, my Father, my Daddy, my Dad…
Because I know, that if He will only hear me, all will be well.
For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.