God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Give To God What Is God’s

The Infant Samuel at Prayer, Painting by Joshua Reynolds, (1723-1792)   via wikipedia

The Infant Samuel at Prayer,
Painting by Joshua Reynolds, (1723-1792)
via wikipedia

I remember in October of 1996 receiving a letter from a priest fried living in Connecticut.  Ordained just five years earlier, at the age of 55, my friend of twenty years, told me of his recent appointment as Pastor to a parish in a small town, with a population about 5,000.  In his letter, he enclosed the program booklet used at the Sunday Mass of his installation as Pastor.

 Before the Bishop of the Connecticut Diocese finally accepted him, my friend received many rejections from Bishops throughout the USA.  I kept writing letters of recommendations.  Because of the encouragement I had always given him to be a priest, I looked upon my friend as my spiritual son.

In part, his letter read, “I’m the only priest here, so I am kept busy.  I have difficulty in saying my Breviary.  No time.”  The Divine Office (Duty), called the Breviary, takes about 40 minutes to say with prayers for morning, afternoon, evening and night time.  The four books of the Office, in keeping with the four liturgical Seasons of the Church Year, are mostly composed of Psalms of praise, thanks, petition and sorrow for sin.  Priests throughout the world say these inspiring prayers every day for their people and their welfare.

I wrote back to my friend, “Your words, ‘no time for the Breviary’ set off an alarm of bells in my mind.  The chief work of the priest has always been to pray for his people through the Mass and the Breviary.  Get up before your people and tell them, ‘I have been given too many things to do.  My prayer life is disappearing.  I will have to stop some of my activities so that I will be a worthwhile priest to you.’ ”

Then I said to him personally, “If you give your life to total activity without prayer, you will soon burn out, become a cranky old man, angry at your people for making so many demands on your time and possibly lose interest in your Priesthood.  Be ruthless in cross off activities that keep you from prayer!  Every day go over to the Church, say your Office reverently.  Spend time there in the Presence of the Lord.  Your words and messages to your 550 families will have a heavenly union and inspiration.”

We must be convinced of the time we owe to God in prayer of thanks, praise, petition and sorrow for our sins.  Days, without a good measure of prayer, can bring a despairing boredom to life.  Things will upset us easily.  We lose our cool as it were.  Our personal weaknesses can easily overcome us.  We owe God our expression of prayer, especially the greatest of all prayers – Holy Mass on the weekend Sabbath.  We can talk to God in any position, walking, standing, sitting or kneeling.

I wasn’t preaching to my priest friend.  As my spiritual son, I wanted him to be spared the mistakes I had made as a new Pastor.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

October 2, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The psalms that I connect most deeply to are Ps. 23 (22), “The Lord Is My Shepherd” and Ps. 148, “Praise the Lord from the Heavens.” My favorite canticle is Mary’s Magnificat “My soul doth magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46f). Thanks for sharing about how reading the breviary, our psalms, coaxes us to praise and thank our Almighty Creator and how the psalms open our dark hearts to the light of His Word when we admit and confess that we like David have sinned.

    Comment by Ed Miskovic | October 5, 2016 | Reply

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