A Message from Father William

Daily prayer, communion with God, is essential in the life of every person, as we express our faith in God. We’re saved by God’s grace and we embrace His grace with faith that God calls us to live, to express in prayer, in our words and actions. So, as we hear this Sunday at Mass, we cry out to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, persevere in prayer, express our hope and trust in Him, as He heals us and leads us to eternal life in Heaven, and calls us to proclaim and live the Good News (Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 147; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39).

Nonetheless, we and many people can get so caught up in the busy-ness of life that we don’t pray or might even live as if God did not exist. The truth is that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit does exist and He wants us to be in communion with Him, to pray every day. Jesus Christ showed us the importance of prayer in His constant communion with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (Nicene Creed). Many times in the Gospels we see Jesus pray (Mark 1:29-39; Part Four of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is dedicated entirely to the gift of prayer). We read that Jesus got up before dawn to pray and sometimes stayed up late to pray. He prayed to fulfill His earthly mission, as He prayed on the eve of His crucifixion, in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood as He prayed for us. Jesus, God the Son, took on our human nature, but remained divine; He became man, suffered and died for us, so that He could rise from the dead and conquer sin and death, in order to redeem us, to bring us to our eternal home in Heaven. Jesus even prayed that we would be one in Him (John 17). He taught us to pray (“Our Father…” Matthew 6, Luke 11). To be His disciples, we who are imperfect, weak and vulnerable to sin and temptation, need to pray. Often. To be, is to be in Communion with God – this happens in prayer, raising our mind and heart to God, as we enter into a timelessness. This Communion with God Who is Love, is the answer to many problems in our lives and in the world.

Prayer is as essential to our life as food and water because prayer places us in communion with God Who is Love, the author of our life. Prayer does not change God, but changes us, conforms us more closely to Jesus Christ. God the Holy Spirit enables us to pray (Romans 8) and wants us to make a personal commitment to prayer, individually and as families. Christian prayer takes many forms – the perfect form is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (listen for how many times we say pray and prayer in the Mass). Prayer can include saying the Holy Name Jesus, or Jesus, I trust in You, or Mary, Mother of God, pray for me; a morning/evening offering; adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication, spiritual communion, praying in the communion of saints; the Rosary; Divine Mercy Chaplet; contemplating a crucifix (the sign of Christ’s love for us); and many other forms. Prayer leads us to a deeper union with God as it strengthens us, along with God’s Word and Sacraments, to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News of His mercy and love, in our words and deeds (1 Corinthians 9), to invite all people to meet Jesus in a life-changing and life-affirming way. Come Holy Spirit, give us strength to pray each day. Amen.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William Vernon