Dear Members, Benefactors and Apostles of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Joy of Easter lingers now throughout the Season of Pentecost. Christ’s Resurrection is our eternal hope. Our spiritual eyes are opened so that we can behold Him and dwell in Him. His prayer is ours! “Whatsoever you ask the Father, in My name that I will do.” (John 14:13)
God has placed mercy at the door of His palace, with the mission to receive all those who present themselves there. His angels are watching at the door not to close it against us, but to welcome us inside. We must knock with confidence. We call God, Our Father, in order to show us that we should feel the confidence of a child toward Him. God demands this confidence due to His infinite perfections, without which all prayer is powerless.
We must ask Him for graces with the firm persuasion that we will be heard. He, who doubts if his prayer will be heard, renders his prayer sterile and dead. The reason our prayers are so seldom heard is because we pray without confidence; we mistrust God and His word. If our prayer is not answered as we ask it, then we must believe that what we asked is contrary to our own interests or to our general welfare or to the aims of Providence, which are higher than ours, and God will give us something better. If He delays the answer to our prayer and judges it to be more expedient for us to receive it at a later period than what we have asked for, He defers the answer to our prayers out of love towards us.
God often makes these delays to render our confidence more heroic in itself and more honorable to Him, and more meritorious for us. By so doing, we are forced to persevere in prayer thereby keeping ourselves more constantly united to Him. Thus God, even, when He refuses or defers, is always love and goodness, and always worthy of our confidence. Let us thoroughly understand these truths that, henceforth, the delays inflicted on us by God will excite us to pray more and to pray better. When we pray with fervor, our prayer comes from the bottom of our hearts and goes right to the Heart of God. The ardor of love and fervor of desire gives wings to our prayers and raises them up to Heaven. If the heart is cold, it is mute and cannot say anything to God. In order to understand how fervent our desires should be, it is sufficient to consider the greatness of the graces we beg God to grant us, or the evils from which we pray to Him to preserve us. We ask Him for the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, His virtues, the adorable Blood of His Son, meekness and all His perfections. Great things ought to be asked with a great affection for them.
In prayer, we ask God to preserve us from Hell into which we may fall at any moment. We sail upon a stormy sea, fruitful in shipwrecks, of which the consequences are eternal; and we pray so little, so coldly and with only a faint desire of escaping Hell. To pray for a moment and to expect an immediate answer, is to be wanting in respect towards God; it is to forget that He is Master of His gifts and has the right to choose the moment for granting them. Delay in our being granted the graces we ask makes us better appreciate their greatness and because it is essential to our salvation and helps us to establish in our lives the “habit of prayer.”
Prayer is our spiritual food and the soul cannot any more cease to pray often than can the body to eat often; otherwise, it falls into a state of weakness and dies. Prayer is our armor in temptations and trials. If we give up, we are vanquished! Prayer is the mysterious ladder of Jacob. It is the key which opens the treasure of graces; to abandon it is to renounce the assistance of God and condemn ourselves to powerlessness in conquering our passions and triumphing over our miseries. Prayer is the means of maintaining within us – Faith, Hope, Charity, thoughts of Heaven and of our future life, love of our duties and the courage to fulfill them. So, true are the words of Our Blessed Lord: “We must pray always and never cease.” (Luke 18:1)
We often ask God for temporal advantages begging Him to order the events of our lives in accordance with our pride, ambition, vanity and sensuality, and to keep us from all kinds of crosses, sickness and suffering, the death of our loved ones and all temporal calamities. These requests are not wrong in themselves but we must always pray, “My God, not my will be done, but Thine!” We are under the reign of Him whose Kingdom is not of this world! We must labor to be detached from earthly possessions. Through embracing God’s Holy Will, we will be lifted up towards Heaven and drawn to the embrace of His Most Sacred Heart. In order that our prayer may be granted, we must be recollected and unite with Christ in the very center of our souls, where He is most intimately present. Here, we bow down all the power of our souls, pray and then listen to what God replies.
In the rush of our daily lives, and the constant bombardment of our senses, making time to step aside to a quiet place and give God five precious minutes of fervent prayer will be our anchor in the storm of this warfare for our souls. Daily, I receive your Mass requests and your notes sharing the heavy crosses you carry, physical and spiritual. May your hearts be lightened, and your burdens made bearable as we pour out upon you and your families the most Precious Blood of Jesus given to us at every Divine Liturgy. Through the Passion and Death of Christ, we are raised up and given life eternal.
We are profoundly grateful for your prayers, gifts and love.