So compassionate, so faithful, so loving You are Our Father.
We ask You to increase our faith and our love for You that we may use blogging as an instrument to fulfill Your purposes. May we become bloggers of truth and promoters of peace.
Help us to be steadfast in our Christian commitment that visitors may find in our blogs a source of encouragement and inspiration. Give us strength to proclaim Your word, that we may play our part in breaking down the walls of hostility in the world and use our blogs to strengthen the bonds of friendship, solidarity and love.
Make our hearts meek and humble that we may treat our readers as friends, not as unique hits, that we may strive to change ourselves for the better more often than we pimp our site templates, that we may find more time to ease the pain of someone in our own home than to reply to comments left by strangers, that we may interact with our next door neighbors as often as we chat with our blogrolled friends, that we may be more concerned about helping the less privileged than about the number of subscribers to our RSS feeds.
Deliver us, Father, from spams and viruses, from pride and selfishness, and from the temptation to replicate images without permission and copy ideas without crediting the original authors.
May we always be united as a network of bloggers and friends working together in Your name. May our blogs lead us closer to You.
We ask all these through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Last Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI said that prayer “is not something accessory, it is not ‘optional,’ but rather a question of life or death.” He added that “Only one who prays, that is, who entrusts himself to God with filial love, can enter into eternal life, which is God himself.” As simple as this message is, it is still something that people need to hear.
Prayer is an essential part of our growing relationship with the Father. We can say that one of the things that we can point to as evidence that our spiritual life is in trouble is the absence of regular prayer. We can find several reasons to pray, but I think one of the most important is to be able to discern God’s will as well as to have the grace to do God’s will. The Pope himself emphasized that “true prayer consists precisely in uniting our will to the Father’s.”
The pope’s message draws inspiration from the Transfiguration story as told in the Gospel of Luke. In the story, Jesus went up the mountain to pray together with three of his disciples. Jesus’ transfiguration took place while he was praying. The Father affirmed that He was pleased with His Son.
I agree with the Pope when he said that prayer entails responsibilities. A person cannot pray and neglect others. A person cannot pray and at the same time hurt others. To pray is to be a responsive and responsible Christian. To be a prayerful person is to be a loving, forgiving, and compassionate person.
You will find the complete text of the Pope’s message here.
As a young boy, I often saw my parents holding hands even during such ordinary moments as going to the public market to buy food. They were such a sweet couple and until now they still are. I grew up appreciating the holding of hands as a tangible expression of love and intimacy. Thus when held hands as we said grace before meals, I felt that special love and care that bonded us as a family.
In the masses I celebrate I encourage the congregation to hold hands during the singing/praying of Our Father by holding the hands of my altar servers and/or other liturgical ministers at the altar. I see it as an expression of unity and brotherly/sisterly love. I see it as an act of acceptance of the other person, even if he/she is a stranger, with glad and generous heart. I also see it as a concrete sign that in the celebration of the Eucharist we become truly one body and one spirit in Christ. Continue reading