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Fr. Mark’s Desk - October 21, 2018
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Dear Parishioners,

There is a monastic style of prayer in which all members of a religious community gather for prayer at specific times of the day. This is often the very foundation of some religious communities. The schedule of prayer is often early morning, midday, evening and night. Then some communities will have a middle of the night prayer. This entails awaking, gathering, offering prayer, and returning to sleep. I must confess, that while I do enjoy prayer, I have never set my alarm for the middle of the night to offer praise to God. Perhaps I should try it sometime. I am fairly certain I would not succeed well in such a discipline with any frequency.

But therein perhaps is the challenge to our prayer lives. It is easy to pray when we want, or when it is convenient, but choosing frequent prayer as a consistent choice for our lives can be a challenge. Over time however, such a choice of dedication to prayer can ground our life and lead us to something we realize we cannot live without.

There are many styles and forms of prayer. Silence, the Rosary, the Mass, the Stations of the Cross, reading Scripture, reading the lives of the Saints are some of the avenues to a successful prayer life. Sometimes, simply taking a passage of scripture and repeating it can lead to an inner peace. The passage from John 15, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” gives me frequent reassurance.

So, in a prayer-centered life, this weekend’s Gospel makes complete sense. Our God comes to us because he wants to, and gives his life so that we may share in that/His life. Only in a state of prayer can this passage make sense. Otherwise, it is difficult or impossible to understand.

Perhaps the next time you are having a bad day, week, month, or year, set your alarm for the middle of the night, to offer prayer/praise to God; not because you have to, but because you want to. And see, if the God of our salvation doesn’t make Himself known to you in that moment!

Have a great week!
Father Mark Walter

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