11 April 2021
How blessed we are! It was so wonderful to have people in church this Holy Week and Easter. It is important that we hold in our memory last year’s Holy Week and Easter when no one was able to be in church so we never take these sacred days for granted.
This past Easter we handed out a book entitled I Heard God Laugh by popular Catholic author and evangelist Matthew Kelly. We handed out 1000 books! More books have been ordered and will hopefully be here by this weekend. The premise of the book is to teach us how to pray. Many of us have been taught many prayers, but how many of us can say we have been taught how to pray, especially in a way that helps us to build our relationship with God?
By this time, you should have made a commitment to read the book and read the first chapter. Additionally, this first week was about finding a time in your day that you could regularly commit to ten minutes of daily prayer, and a place you would be comfortable praying. Finally, this week I called upon you to incorporate three steps into a prayer routine. The first was to start your prayer time by thanking God in a personal way for what you are grateful for that day. Secondly, revisit the times in the past day when you were and were not the best version of yourself, talking to God about those times and considering what you learned from them. Lastly, I challenged you to write down questions you have for God. In the homily for Easter Sunday I reminded you that waiting for an answer takes patience, and having patience can be one of the hardest parts of prayer for many of us.
Why the book, and why the focus on prayer? As I mentioned in my Easter message, there has been a lot that has divided us this past year. It is important we come together as a parish and do something we can all do, and all agree has the power to change us personally and our parish, community, and even world. Imagine how different our parish could look in three or six months if we were all praying at least ten minutes a day and building a personal relationship with God where we have the courage to ask him the tough questions and the patience to wait for the answers.
Additionally, there are parts of our lives, for most of us at least, with which we are not completely satisfied. Matthew Kelly asks the question that if this is you, are you willing to do something about it – to try something new? The missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle we call life could be not having the relationship with God that can only come through personal daily prayer. Ultimately you need to answer the question for yourself as to why prayer is important for you. But if you have tried other things to improve your life, you’ll have to admit that prayer is the easiest and least expensive, and has the best potential to alter your life. What do you have to lose?
This weekend we will look at chapter two in the book during the homily. If you don’t have a book yet, hopefully the books will have arrived by this weekend. Either way you can still start with finding a time and place to pray. You can also start with the first three steps I gave you:
-Thank God in a personal way for what you are grateful for this day
-Revisit the times in the past day when you were and were not the best version of yourself, talking to God about those times and considering what you learned from them
-Write down questions you have for God
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