At one of the Benedict sites I frequent to see if there is any news, there was a post about some Franciscan priests who visited Benedict. He asked them to pray for the Church. While I could have guessed at this, it is nice to have concrete confirmation that this is what the Pope Emeritus is praying for and asking others to pray for. I will pray for it as well.
I suppose there are hundreds of prayers for the Church. I’ll keep it simple. I will pray the Our Father. In doing so I pray that I will do the Lord’s will, that the Church does the Lord’s will.
Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed by thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Do I hallow the Lord’s name? I’ve gotten used to OMG as an expletive. I am trying to curb this expression. Even if I am not saying it, am I think gosh when I use it – or is gosh what others think I mean? What about all of us in the Church because praying for the Church means praying for me and you and all of us and for the formal structures which are really nothing more than human beings acting on their beliefs.. How often do we keep the Lord’s name honored? How often do we unthinkingly profane it?
Do I do the Lord’s will? I wish there was a phone connection some days. I am a sinner and doing his will is hard. Pray for me, I will pray for you.
Do I forgive? I try very hard on this one but fall very short often. I will pray for my enemies and forgive the slights. I will pray for the grace to do so. As I will also pray that temptation for my habitual sins might be ignored and overcome. I will pray for you as well. If we all enter into this one prayer, we might find ourselves and the community moving closer to holiness.
In the reading from Ezekiel today, we are reminded that we are his people – “oh my people” the Lord exclaims. In the Letter to the Romans we are reminded that we are in the Spirit. My prayer and your prayer do have efficacy for we are not of the flesh but of the Spirit.
We are reminded this Sunday that the Lord has promised, he does it, do we? do I? So for my prayer I pray that we do – that we honor the Lord as member of His Body should, that we do His will and not our own, that we forgive others as well as ourselves and remember the Lord keeps his word – we will be nourished, we will be saved, each one of us and the Church itself.