The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Thursday, March 13, 2003
Thursday of the First Week

The Readings
Esther C: 12, 14-16, 23-25 Queen Esther took refuge in Prayer
Psalm 138 Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Matthew 7:7-12 Ask and you shall receive

St. Gaspar
Therefore, I prefer to pray than to speak

The basic consideration is that in aspiring toward God, with whatever inner groaning there may be, in being convinced of the divine presence, the substantial nature of prayer is not lost. What is necessary is that we maintain the intention of serving God without becoming discouraged.

Through the Season of Lent the readings take us progressively deeper into the disciplines of the Christian life - fasting, almsgiving and prayer. In Tuesday's gospel, Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Today he encourages them to ask, to seek, to knock, whenever they are in need.

The example is in the prayer of Queen Esther some 400 years before Christ. She experienced her people in grave danger and took to prayer and petition. The story of Esther is the sign that God continually watches over his people and never abandons them.

St. Gaspar likewise teaches us an important lesson. In our greatest struggle or sorrow, incapable of great and fancy prayers, a deep sigh may be all we can muster. He insists that this too is prayer, as long as one is certain that God is present. Faith here is learning how to walk in the dark, convinced that God is still present and maintaining our intention to serve him. Faith here is joining our sorrows with the sorrows of the head, of living with Jesus in the garden or under arrest, or carrying the cross, or suffering the pain of death. A sigh of resignation may not be enough. The sigh, knowing that this is where God lives, and that this is the pain and suffering with which Jesus identifies, is the essential nature of prayer.

Prayer is a way of intimacy with God. The trials and traumas of life often lead us to believe that God has abandoned us. Gaspar invites us during these times to refrain from discouragement with the faith that death has no power over us,

• When have I experienced my greatest need, and how has God provided for me?
• What is the deep desire I have failed to ask of God?
• Who is most in need of our prayers, and what are we willing to do about it?

The PBLC reflection can be found here

The HRI conference ended today. It was quite a success. Prayers for the Provincial Council meeting today (Thursday) would be apppreciated.

Also Happy Birthday to my sister, Kathryn Lamphier.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 1:03 AM link
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