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Prayer, The Key To Holiness


The Lord’s Prayer, by James Tissot, Via Wikipedia

Years ago I had lunch with a priest friend, a Father John, a man of my own age.  Born in Yugoslavia, Father John had spent over 3 years in a Russian Siberian prison camp, his only crime being that he was a Catholic Priest.  Prison rules forbade possession of anything religious, such as rosaries, prayer books and pictures.

Not able to offer Mass, still the priest enjoyed the freedom of raising his mind and heart to God oftentimes each day.  When he came out of Siberia, he was in excellent spirits, despite the miserable food, the inhuman treatment and the harsh cold.

At lunch that day, Father John said to me, “I saw many prisoners give up on life because they refused to turn to God, or they didn’t know how to pray.  Prayer”, he went on, “made the difference between life and death for me.”   I remember thinking to myself that day, “Here sitting across from me is a living example of the power of prayer.”

Through the years, I have found the practice of prayer to God the best of all adventures.  Through this conversation with our Creator, weak, human beings bring His Power, Goodness and Beauty into their lives.  Every man, woman and child can life their minds and hearts to the Lord.

Temptations to evil constantly make us conscious of our human weaknesses.  Only by prayer to the Lord and His Mother Mary, can we succeed in turning away from alluring attractions.  In such time, I say, “Lord Jesus, and Mary our mother, help the poor, the sick and they dying.”  I distract myself from the evil by asking help for others.

Prayer makes the difference between despair and a strong hope in the beauty of life.  Father John, the ex-prisoner of Siberia, helped me to believe in the power of prayer.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 11, 2017 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Hi FR George,
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of FR John’s time in prison. What a wonderful example of perseverance during horrible tribulations. In a very small way, I’ve found myself crying out to God many times during my recovery from the traumatic brain injury this year. It would sustain me during times of despair when I felt like I would never recover.
    And I felt such joy the first time I was able to attend mass this year (on Palm Sunday!). Thanks for always knowing what your readers need to hear. Love you, my friend!
    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | August 12, 2017 | Reply

  2. Experience with manic depression at 33years old. I had holy commuion almost daily in a secular hospital by a dedicated priest. He just. Smiled and I received my precious Lord. I had a wonderful patient husband three children and my family praying daily. I was not thinking of the power of prayer at that time, but I new I needed Holy Communion. It took 1 full year and months to finally know how blessed I was. I am now a pro-life counselor and a third order Lay Carmelite. Praise God, Love Marian

    Comment by Anonymous | August 22, 2017 | Reply


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