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The Inexhaustible and Undiminished Treasure of Prayer


”Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.” ~ Saint John Chrysostom

In today’s 1st Reading (1 Timothy 2:1-8), Paul urges his young protégé Timothy to pray, to pray for everyone, for this is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” It is here, nestled within this text, that Paul ~ inadvertently or otherwise ~ offers a simple but potent approach to the offering of supplication for the many people that we too are indeed called to pray for: “Dear God, I pray for (insert name), that they may come to the full knowledge of the truth. . . and that they may be saved.” I can’t think of a better prayer to offer for anyone and everyone in our lives. “It is my wish then,” Paul concludes, “that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.”

Today’s passage affords us the opportunity to reflect upon our prayer life. Who or what do you pray for with the greatest fervor? Do you seek the intercession of the great Saints of our Church? Do you remember to give thanks and ask for forgiveness during your time in prayer? Do you pray for the dead, those for whom the Book of Life has been closed and whose eternal fate is unknown? . “We must say many prayers for the souls of the faithful departed,” Saint John Vianney would often say, “for one must be so pure to enter Heaven.” Is the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary a part of your prayer arsenal? Do you pray big? Do you pray at all?

“Don’t worry about having the right words,” explains pastor and author Max Lucado. “Worry more about having the right heart. It’s not eloquence that God seeks, just honesty.” Scripture tells us that the prayers of the righteous are powerful, that they availeth much (James 5:16). In that respect, prayer can motivate us to strive for righteousness in all that we do.

Today our Church pauses to celebrate the Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, the proliferant bishop and Doctor of our Church whose quote kicks off today’s Reflection. An early Church Father best known for his sublime preaching ability, Saint John was given the name Chrysostomos, meaning “golden mouthed,” after his death. I leave you with another one of his quotes on the topic he so loved, the words which inspired the title of today’s Essay. He said “Prayer is a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm.”

Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us . . .

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

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