by Sr. Ann Heady, fsp
In the midst of problems and uncomfortable situations, I often get lost in anxiety and fears. Is this your experience? When we focus on the problem, we often forget the greatest resource we have. Prayer.
Pope Francis reflects on this in his morning homily October 8th. He stated, “The first task of life is this: prayer. Not the prayer of words, like parrots; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord. We know that prayer works miracles.”
Pope Francis was reflecting that morning on the story of Jonah, the prophet called to carry the message of God to the Ninevites. Jonah had not gone even half way through the city with his message from God when the people believed Jonah. They began to pray in earnest to the Lord and ask his forgiveness. They repented of their sinful ways. And what was the Lord’s response? He heard their prayer and in his love and mercy did not carry out what he had intended to do, but saved the people in his mercy because of their prayer.
The Holy Father ended his homily by offering us a new way to think about prayer. He said, “Prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that he will come. So that he builds things, he knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something.”