Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Oct. 20, 2013

Reflection for Oct. 20, 2013

Pray always -- especially when you're discouraged

by Sister Carolyn Zahringer

In the first reading from the Book of Exodus, Moses stands with hands raised to affect a favorable outcome. Raised hands is a prayer posture. Eventually, Moses grew tired and needed assistance to support that posture longer than he could under his own power. How many times have you or I depended upon support of the faith community to remain in a prayer posture beyond our own strength?

In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of a widow receiving a just judgment because of her persistence. That was totally against the culture of the day.  Women in general and a widow in particular had very few, if any, rights. What is Jesus' message for us regarding justice for the vulnerable in our society?

There is a message in the readings that challenges us to not become discouraged.  Persistence in prayer speaks of us "showing up" to pray each day and trusting God to guide our decisions.

Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. -- Psalm 121

Chapter 33, US Catholic Catechism for Adults

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
Ninth Commandment

by Sister Mary Kabat

The Ninth Commandment is not limited to specific actions.  It challenges us to a way of life, a life with a pure heart and an attitude of modesty.  The grace of Baptism purifies us from sins, but a tendency to sin remains.  So we must consciously practice purity of mind, heart and body with daily vigilance.  To do this we need to rely on the grace of God and on prayer, the practice of chastity and a purity of intention.

It is especially difficult to live this commandment in a culture which prizes sexual permissiveness and immediate erotic satisfaction. Christ calls us to live the Gospel fully and be signs of contradiction by the witness of our lives. Such a life keeps us from exploiting others and from losing the mystery of our very person.

St. Maria Goretti, Patroness of Modern Youth, is a great model of spiritual and physical purity and a model of concern for the spiritual welfare of others as well as oneself.

Daily Roman Missal

Very inspiring! Love to read it.

Glad that this week's readings are expressing the importance of prayer. I am teaching 7 & 8 grade CCD in my parish. We talked about prayer last week. Will be a good follow-up and reminder to the children about praying.

Anne Lemott's book, "Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers," suggests that all prayers are either pleas for assistance, expressions of gratitude, or moments of awe. As Sister Carolyn points out, whichever one you offer up today, keep on doing it!


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