Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples (and to us) “about the necessity… to pray always without becoming weary” (Lk 18:1). How often have you or I found ourselves weary when we pray, and where does this weariness come from? Perhaps it comes from being tired from or anxious about our daily lives. Maybe it comes from frustration over seemingly “unanswered” prayers. Oftentimes, however, we become weary when we forget Who is on the receiving end of our prayers. On the receiving end is a God Who loves each of us. We do not pray to a God Who is distant or disinterested in the particulars of our daily lives. In fact, he is our “guardian,” our “shade,” and he is beside us at our “right hand,” as it says in the Psalm (121:5).
I remember when I was in seminary, my priest advisor asked me, “Patrick, why do you think the Church asks her future priests to study theology [which is the study of God] for so long?” (I was in the seminary for six years before being ordained a priest.) I paused for a moment and said, “So I can preach well, teach the faith, defend the truth against those who speak falsely against it…” My answer seemed similar to what Saint Paul says in the second reading about using Scripture for “teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3: 16-17).
He said gently, “Patrick, you are not wrong, but more importantly, the Church asks you to study theology so that you can fall more deeply in love with the Lord.” Saint Thomas Aquinas says that we cannot love what we do not know (cf. Summa Theologiae I-II, question 27, article 2).
So that we may not grow weary, we must know (and love) the Persons on the receiving end of our prayers: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We come to know the Triune God through the study of Scripture and Tradition, listening attentively at Mass, receiving the sacraments worthily and regularly, and playing an active role in the life of the Church.
To this last point, if you need help discerning how to play a more active role in the life of the Church, particularly the church of St. Martin of Tours, you are invited to our Ministry Fair on Saturday, October 23, from 8am – 3pm & 6pm – 8pm in the Parish Hall. The theme is “Deliver Discipleship… Come follow me.” How is the Lord inviting you to follow him? Come and see what our parish has to offer.
Have a blessed week.
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,