Thursday, October 9

"I Don't Want to Pester God"

I have this thing about praying for things persistently.  Sometimes I feel like I should not bother God with my petty requests: help with my shift taking calls, help with finding a lost object, etc.  I know He's got more to worry about than whether or not I have a good close ratio or if I can find my iPod (or even my lost kitty toy - ask about that sometime).  But, feeling a bit guilty, I still send those prayers up.  I feel like such a goofball asking for such small things.

Today's Gospel deals a bit with that, as does the reflection offered by Daily Gospel Online (a free e-mail service):

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11,5-13.

And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?" 

Commentary of the day : 

Rabanus Maurus (c.784-856), Benedictine abbot and Bishop 
Three books to Bonosus, Bk.3,4; PL 112, 1306 

"He will give him whatever he needs"

You should never lack confidence in God nor despair of his pity... Sing to the Lord these words of the prophet: «As the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the Lord our God till he have pity on us. Have pity on us, O Lord, have pity on us, for we are more than sated with contempt» (Ps 123[122],2-3)... If we are sated with contempt because of our numberless sins yet our eyes should remain turned to the Lord our God until he has pity on us, nor should we cease to beseech him until he grants us forgiveness for our faults. Indeed, it belongs to the steadfast and persistent soul never to desist from persevering in prayer through despair of being answered but to persist unwearyingly in that prayer until God shows it mercy.

So that you do not begin to think you are offending the Lord by persisting in your prayers when you are not worthy of being heard, remember the parable in the Gospel. There you will find that those who pray to God with importunate perseverance are not displeasing to him, for it is said: «If he does not give it to him because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.» Understand, then, that it is the devil who tempts us to despair of being answered so that hope in God's goodness, anchor of our salvation, foundation of our life, guide for the path heavenwards, may be taken away from us. Paul, the apostle, says: «In hope we were saved» (Rm 8,24).

Maybe it's not so bad that I ask.  I mean, children ask their parents for all kinds of things, and aren't we children of the Most High?  Doesn't Saint Therese tell us to become like little children and be small?  

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