Tag: faith

In Praying, Faith Is More Important Than Words. 

In Praying, Faith Is More Important Than Words. 

*In Praying, Faith is More Important Than Words*

(Homily for Tuesday 12th March 2019).

“And in praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” *(Matthew 6:7-8).*

As the saying goes, “empty vessels make the loudest noise.” A prayerful Christian is not necessarily a noisy Christian. The effectiveness of prayer is not in the number of words used, but the faith underneath every word.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus already told us to pray in secret so that our prayer is heard only by God who sees in secret. When we begin to shout and shakedown entire buildings, we not only draw attention to ourselves, we also display a gross lack of faith in the power of God who hears even the whispers of our mind.

In truth, when faith is lacking, we tend to use more words because it always seems to us that God hasn’t heard it enough or that God needs to be shouted at before He can take action. Jesus warns us today not to be like the Gentiles who heap up empty phrases.

*What is an empty phrase?* A meaningless combination of words or could it be what many often refer to as speaking in tongues? It is one thing to truly have the gift of the Holy Spirit, utterance, but a different thing altogether when you just make unintelligible sounds so that people would think you are speaking in tongues.

Before ever we set out to pray, we must first believe that the God we are about to talk to is more than able to do anything we ask. In this way, our prayer carries more weight even when we do not use many words. For instance, in today’s first reading, we hear God saying that just as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return without first watering the earth, so is every word that comes from His mouth.”

This means, it really doesn’t matter how many times we repeat it, God’s words are “Yes” and “Amen” They must surely work. Those who believe in prayer know that every word uttered in faith works like magic, they don’t fuss like the prophets of Baal who were attempting to challenge Elijah.

In teaching us to pray, notice that Jesus makes use of intelligible and coordinated statements. Jesus did not speak in tongues. Jesus did not even repeat any phrase or statement. Jesus addresses God as our Father. He praises God, asks that His Will be done (not ours), He asks for our daily bread, forgiveness of sin and deliverance from evil/temptations.

The Phrase, *“Let Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” is one that teaches us to be truly humble and place our absolute trust in God’s direction for our lives.* Why am I always trying to give God specific instructions about my future and my life when in truth, God created me without even seeking my permission?

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus also makes us understand that prayer is never complete without the necessary corresponding actions on our part. That is to say, if I do not forgive those who sin against me, I am actually asking God not to forgive my own sins against Him.

It doesn’t matter how many words I use, if there is bitterness in my heart, if I cannot give to my neighbour what I am asking from God, my words at prayer carry no value. How can I be asking God for protection when I am silently wishing the death of my neighbour? How can I be asking for my business to prosper when I long to laugh over the collapse of my neighbour’s business? How can I be asking for satan to die when I exult him afterwards by living a sinful life? *Prayer is not just about words, it is Faith in Action.*

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my faith in you that I may realize the need to use less, but only meaningful words in prayer and grant that my actions may not nullify for my prayers, Amen!

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 1st Week of Lent. Bible Study: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 34 and Matthew 6:7-15).*

Fr. Abu.

Should Catholic Parents Let Small Kids “Decide For Themselves” About The Faith? 

Should Catholic Parents Let Small Kids “Decide For Themselves” About The Faith? 

I feel the necessity to say this at least once a week to parents when it comes to their role in the spiritual development of their children:

You. Are. The. Parent.

When your child was baptized, you said you would take the lead in the spiritual and moral development of your children. This idea that you let your child decide if they are going to be involved in that development is a dereliction of duty.

I would assume good parents don’t let their child decide whether or not they go to school.

I would assume good parents don’t let their child determine their diet.

I would assume good parents don’t let their children determine their bed times. I would imagine good parents don’t let their children determine whether or not the child wants to obey their parents.

I would imagine good parents don’t let their child determine a lot of necessary and important facets in their child’s life.

Perhaps as the child gets older, more leeway is given to help the child decide… but to make good decisions.

Why on earth do we treat faith as if it is so personal and individual that the child decides whether they are going to participate in what builds their faith? Why would we let a child decide whether they go to Mass? Catholicism isn’t a buffet of choices. It is way of life.

We do this and then wonder why the child grows up to treat faith and belief like a buffet that they stylize to what they want. We do this and teach our children rebellion against God.

My job as a pastor is to call the parents to live up to the commitment they made at their child’s baptism. They weren’t just words. They were a promise made to God.

****************

Well said, now you know the answer is NO, Catholic Parents SHOULD NOT let their kids “decide for themselves” about the faith!

Written By Fr. Bill Peckman For ChurchPop. 

Fr. Bill Peckman is the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO and St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, MO.

The Reward For Faith Is To See What You Believe 

The Reward For Faith Is To See What You Believe 

*The Reward of Faith is to See What You Believe.*

(Homily for June 30, 2018). 

“Truly I tell you, no one in Israel have I found such faith”…. And to the centurion, Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour. Matthew 8:10-13.  

As this week draws to a close, we recall many lessons we have learnt in the course of our readings during the week. 

The life of St. John the Baptist teaches us humility; silence to allow God’s plans prevail; and the constant need to prepare our environment for God to dwell in. We should not be too quick to judge others without first judging ourselves. 
Do to others exactly what you wish them do to you. Aim at holiness and not popularity. Be careful of falling into the hands of false prophets because not all those who use the name of God belong to God. Practising God’s word makes it fruitful in our lives.
Saints Peter and Paul teach us that christian life is difficult, a fight, a race and a challenge to hear from the Holy Spirit rather than depending on flesh and blood. 

Today, Jesus sums everything up with his statement to the Centurion who pleaded for his servant’s healing. “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” These words of Jesus might have been addressed directly to the Centurion, but in reality they apply to us. 

We can never cheat God. We only get that which we believe is possible. So long as we don’t expect it to happen, sweating, panting and praying for long hours is futile. Even before we engage God in prayer, we must first expect to receive what we are asking for. 

The centurion was so sure of the power of Jesus’ words. He believed wholeheartedly that Jesus had the power to heal his son even from a distance. He felt so unworthy to have Jesus come under his roof despite the fact that he was a highly respected man in the area (a whole centurion at that).

Am I a proud person? Do I show the utmost respect for the things of God treating them as sacred items? Do I really examine my conscience properly before stepping forward to receive Jesus under my roof in Holy Communion?

It is not easy to believe something you have not seen, yet the truth is that the only way to see it is to believe it. How strong is my faith?

That the centurion came to Jesus because of his servant (not even his own child) is another point worthy of praise. How much care do I show to my employees, my domestic staff, my servants? Have I ever prayed for them? Do I bring them to Jesus for transformation and healing? 

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, you healed the sick, heal my faith and devotion to you. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of the 12th Week in ordinary time. Bible Study: Lamentations 2:2-19, Psalm 74:1-7, 20-21, Matthew 8:5-17).*

Fr. Abu

​Pope Francis Admits to ‘Darkness’ In Own Faith

​Pope Francis Admits to ‘Darkness’ In Own Faith

Pope Francis admitted on Sunday to sometimes having “darkness” cloud his own faith, while warning against “Christian parrots” who pay lip service to the church without acting on its values.

“At certain times, I have also encountered moments of darkness in my faith and that faith decreased a lot, but with a little bit of time we rediscover it,” the Pointiff told parishioners after saying mass in a village near Rome.

“Some days we can’t see faith, everything is in darkness.

“Yesterday, for example, I christened 13 children in areas devastated by earthquakes and there was a father who had lost his wife, and we ask ourselves if this man can have faith.

“We understand that there is darkness, we must respect this darkness of the soul. We don’t study to get faith, we receive it like a gift.”
Francis also urged believers to spend more time talking to their family.

“If I say I’m Catholic and every Sunday I go to mass but then I don’t talk to my parents, I don’t help my grandparents, the poor, I don’t visit the sick, then there’s no point,” said Francis.

“In that way, we’re nothing but a Christian parrot: words, words, words.”

AFP

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