Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 11/13/2013

prayer with the Father

(c)Mary TV 2013

November 13, 2013
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Dear Family of Mary!

"...Have a personal relationship with the Father, which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children - my apostles..." (November 2, 2013)

Our Lady is calling us to a personal relationship with the Father. We might wonder how we can do this. It occurred to me that Jesus came among us, became one of us, so that He could bring us back to the Father and give us a personal relationship with Him. This was His entire mission. He did not come to make Himself a King. He did not come to judge the world, or to put things right by His power. He came to lead us back to our Father and His Father.

He is uniquely able to lead us to the Father, because He came from the Father and is one with the Father. And so we can trust Him to show us how to have a personal relationship with the Father.

Jesus' relationship with the Father happened through prayer. Jesus, throughout His earthly ministry, spent many hours in prayer, often praying all night. His heart yearned for the Father. His desire was for the Father. His joy was in the Father. And just as Our Lady tells us in this message, His relationship with the Father deepened His love for us.

Jesus taught us how to have a personal relationship with the Father, when He taught us how to pray:

"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.   
"And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be 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 debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. (Mt 6: 5-13)

In this passage from Matthew's Gospel, Jesus teaches us how to pray to the Father. It is a very simple teaching. Pray in private, in the silence of your heart. Pray simply with these few words, but let them lead you into a conversation with the Father. Take the words of the "Our Father" and let them sink deeply into your heart. They will open the doors of your heart and facilitate the conversation. These words are the best conversation starters!

Our Lady did this with the visionaries and their prayer group in the very beginning. She helped them to really meditate on the words of the Our Father. They would pray one phrase over and over until they unlocked the deeper meaning in it. We can try it ourselves.

For example, for me just saying "Our Father" is a revelation. When I first go to prayer I have all my needs, my worries, my intentions on my mind. I come full of my own agenda. But saying "Our Father" opens up my heart to a different agenda. I do not come to the Father on my own, but as one of His many children. I come as a member of His family, one of the kids! And that perspective gives me so much peace, so much more confidence, and joy!

Saying "Our Father" shows me that I live in a community of love based on that one Father. My identity comes from the Father of us all, the Father who created us and who loves us. In that love, the family exists and that love is what holds us together. All our needs will be met by our loving Father.

If we are wondering about having a personal relationship with the Father, maybe we should start with the "Our Father" and see what kind of conversation will begin and what kind of relationship will develop!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013


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