Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – Day 35

March 19, 2024

God, our heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s teaching about prayer. Thank you that he knows when I am tempted to give up and stop praying. Grant me a resilience and perseverance to keep on praying even when it doesn’t feel as if it is making a difference. Transform me so that the inclination to pray grows more and more. Amen. 

The prayer above closes this week focused on Practice Prayer. The authors Michael White and Tom Corcoran, shared the parable of the persistent widow to remind me that when I get weary in prayer, the poor widow with no status or leverage, never stopped appealing the judge. He answered finally. If, in his corruptness he would respond … how much more our God responds. 

This week, I will do what many cancer patients do in recovery. I will have my six-month cat scan. I mentioned it at Mass and asked for prayers. I received a number of prayer assurances but a couple encounters touched me in light of today’s reflection. A recently widowed woman told me she has prayed for me every day since the cancer diagnosis four years ago. She has prayed numerous Rosaries. That’s persistent!  With prayer like that, I know I am in God’s hands. The widows in our lives are a blessing and can change the world with persistent prayer. I can too.  

Has prayer become a habit for you? What has helped it become habitual? What motivates or encourages you to persevere in prayer? 

What frustrates you about prayer and makes you tempted to give up? How can you overcome that temptation? 

How has your understanding of practicing prayer and the sacraments grown through our focus on this STEP this week?

We are blessed with many prayer forms in our church. Whether I’m reading Scripture, a spiritual reflection like those offered in Rebuilt Faith: A Handbook for Skeptical Catholics, centering prayer, Rosary, time before the Blessed Sacrament or presiding at Eucharist … I am reminded this week to worship, adore, embrace humility, give thanks, supplicate, listen and persevere. It takes practice and after nearly seventy years of life, I’m still practicing. 

Happy Saint Joseph Day!