Tuesday, March 15

Choosey prayers choose prayer

We are ploughing through the Sermon on the Mount in the readings and I figured we would get here eventually, where Christ teaches the disciples how to pray.

I won't try and talk about the prayer itself, but I would focus on the verses which bracket it.

“And when you pray, 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." (Mt. 6:7-8)

This brings back my 'Bennie Situation' discussion.  God knows how powerful, how good and how merciful She is and He doesn't need reminding.  Not unlike my mother when I was in college, She knows why you're 'calling' even before you pick up the spiritual phone.  Do we need to pray at all, then?  Sure...just like I need to call my mother and tell her that I love her (mental note, call mother).   Prayer focuses our mind on matter spiritual, helps us sort things out and express our gratitude for what He has done for us.

The second, trailing bracket is as important.

"If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures." (Mt 6:14-15)

It's easy to point and damn.  It is MUCH harder to point and forgive.  To acknowledge that a wrong has been done, to recognize the pain and harm that wrong has done and to forgive the perpetrator of this wrong which has caused pain and harm.

To echo yesterday's reading (and Sirach), to forgive or not forgive is a choice which is OURS to make.  God has given us the innate capability, but we must choose to do so.  There are consequences here, as before.  If you wish the forgiveness of God (who knows EVERYTHING you've done), then you need to forgive others.  Note, there aren't conditions, stipulations, provisos, codas or addendums.  Just do it, or don't .  Your choice.

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