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Novena Prayer to St Philomena

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Prayers & Litany to Our Guardian Angel

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Prayers & Litany to
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Prayers & Novena to St Martin De Porres
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Prayers Before & After Confession
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Prayers for Priests & Vocations

Prayers, Novena & Litany to St Anne
Prayers, Novenas & Litany to St Jude Thaddeus
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Various Prayers
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Audio Files - SSPX
Video Files - SSPX
Thoughts for the Week
 
 

 

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
7th September 2014

Bishop Fulton Sheen on The Purpose of Prayer

The purpose of prayer is to give God the opportunity to bestow the gifts He will give us when we are ready to accept them. It is not the eye which makes the light of the sun surround us; it is not the lung which makes the air envelop us. The light of the sun is there if we do not close our eyes to it, and the air is there for our lungs if we do not hold our breath. God's blessings are there - if we do not rebel against His Will to give.

God does not show Himself equally to all creatures. This does not mean that He has favourites, that He decides to help some and to abandon others, but the difference occurs because it is impossible for Him to manifest Himself to certain hearts under the conditions they set up. The sunlight plays no favourites, but its reflection is very different on a lake and on a swamp.

A person's prayer often keeps step with his moral life. The closer our behaviour corresponds with the Divine Will, the easier it is to pray; the more our conduct is out of joint with Divinity, the harder it is to pray. Just as it is hard to look in the face of someone whom we have grievously wronged, so it is hard to lift our minds and hearts to God if we are in rebellion against Him. This is not because God is unwilling to hear sinners. He does hear them, and He has a special predilection for them, for as He said: "I have come to call sinners, not the just." (Mark 2: 17.) "There will be more rejoicing over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine souls that are justified and have no need of repentance." (Luke 15:7.) But these sinners were the ones who corresponded with His Will and abandoned their rebellion against it. Where the sinner has no desire to be lifted from his evil habits, then the essential condition for prayer is wanting.

Everyone knows enough about God to pray to Him, even those who say that they doubt His existence. If they were lost in the woods, they would have no assurance whatever of anyone nearby who might help them find their way - but they would shout, nevertheless, in the hope that someone would hear. In like manner, the sceptic finds, in catastrophe and in crisis, that though he thought himself incapable of prayer, he nonetheless prays. But those who use prayer only as a last resort do not know God very well - they hold Him at arm's length most of the time, refusing Him the intimacy of every day. The little knowledge of God that such people possess does not become fruitful or functional, because they never act upon that knowledge: the Lord ordered that the unproductive talent be taken away. Unless a musician acts upon the knowledge that he already has of music, he will not grow either in knowledge or in love of it. In this sense, our conduct, behaviour, and moral life become the determinants of our relations with God. When our behaviour is Godless, then prayer is an extraneous thing - a mere attempt at magic, an attempt to make God serve our wishes in contradiction to the moral laws He has laid down. The man, who thinks only of himself says only prayers of petition; he who thinks of his neighbour says prayers of intercession; he who thinks only of loving and serving God, says prayers of abandonment to God's Will, and this is the prayer of the Saints.