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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Prayers of Petition - Why and How

The Holy Catholic Church teaches:

2629 The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even "struggle in prayer."102 Its most usual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him.

Trying to put a name to prayer is always difficult for me.  I make a determined effort to pray only praise, to praise God simply because He Is and not because I want something from Him.  Yet it always seems to end up me begging Him for something - a sign, a gift, a solution - and I often wonder if this is a really practical example of how my spiritual life is, basically, underdeveloped and childish.

I think there is something to be said for always remembering that I am a child of God and so to make an effort to not lose my childlike wonder at all He has done for me and with me and through me - especially during the last ten years of tribulation.  However, I also know that there is something wonderful about growing up, maturing and having my relationship with God deepen and take on new meaning.  My need for stuff, my need for love from other people, my desperate scramble for a life that seems perfect to my human eyes has lessened over the years and I have grown in the peace I feel.  The idea that no matter what, life is going to be okay, increases.  Sure, I have set backs, but all in all I feel a lot more confident in my walk today than I did even a year ago.  Life is better, with or without the things and people I thought I needed in it.

Maybe my petitions have allowed me to become more aware of the amazing relationship; that relationship I have with my Creator who is the Origin of all things.  I don't doubt His love for me in the least - though I still struggle, sometimes, with the idea that He doesn't like me very much.  That is, I believe, left over from the relationship I had with my earthly father.  I know I was not someone he really liked at all - I was too much like him in some ways and way too different in other ways - but that's not such a bad thing today.  Today I accept that I was the best daughter I could be for him, whether he liked me or not is immaterial.  I tried and I loved and I was there even when I did not want to be - and that is the essence of love.

God wants me to be with Him.  I understand that at a deeper, more solid level than ever before and because of that understanding I am even more aware of the gift He has given us of The Eucharist.  No matter how discouraged I may become by the behavior of the people in His Church, I cannot leave The Eucharist.  I am okay.  I will survive.

Today I pray another prayer of petition:  I beseech Him to take care of my family and my friends.  I ask Him to guide them home to Him and back to The Eucharist.  I entreat Him to keep all of them safe and sound until they can find themselves Home to Rome.

And I ask that this Sunday the Niners not play too badly against the Falcons......

Have a great day everyone!

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