Memorial of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, O.F.M. Conv., Martyr and Confessor of the Faith
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the last few weeks (with the exception of the one week when I didn’t send out an email to you) my emails have been rather lengthy due to the amount of information I believed you needed to know. Today, I’m blessing you with a very short email that is almost totally spiritual in nature. Since last week there have been no new updates concerning the pandemic which I need to share with you, so I’m just going to share a thought or two from this weekend’s Gospel reading from Matthew 15:21-28. Before you read the Gospel, please read our Old Testament reading first: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7. It will make the Gospel reading even more meaningful to you.
“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”
How I wish that, in these days, the Lord would be gently saying that same thing to each of us! “Oh, Christian, great is your faith!” I needed to place myself in that encounter in order for its richness to sweep over me again. Remember, this is a foreigner and (gasp!) a woman who is approaching Jesus apparently without a husband or male relative accompanying her. Unheard of! And yet, in the face of society’s frowns upon such an encounter, this unnamed foreign woman in faith, in desperation and, perhaps, in no little fear brought her whole self to the Lord to beg for His intercession on the behalf of one whom she loved so much. She risked much by coming to the Lord at such a time in her life, and yet it was her persistent insistence before Him that manifested her deep faith to Him. I had to ask myself just what is it that ought to be driving me in persistent insistence into the presence of Lord. It isn’t that there isn’t plenty for me to be praying about in these days, so I’ve tried to compose a little spiritual inventory that may, perhaps, serve as an inspiration for you to also search your heart to find those places and situations which demand your urgent, persistent and insistent prayer. It is with urgency that I pray for all of you. In numerous emails which I have recently received there is a theme of growing impatience and discouragement, and some have admitted to a weakening of their faith. These things drive me urgent prayer. It is with urgency that I pray for a soft heart and a tender conscience. Question: have you found yourself silently yelling at the TV from time to time as you listen to national and world news? Full disclosure here: I have. It shames me to admit that, but realizing that I’m brutalizing my heart and spirit by doing this has caused me to be more urgent in praying about my own spiritual condition. How’s your heart? I seriously pray in urgency for our country. In urgency I pray for our little blue planet and for its healing. Urgent, persistent, insistent prayer; perhaps never in our lifetimes has such prayer been demanded of us, so I urge all of us to be up and about this urgent work, this work of persistent, insistent prayer.
Stay faithful. Stay smart. Stay in touch. Stay well.
Your brother in the bonds of Christian love,