The Lord already has commanded us to pray always, but today may be a day of more intense prayer. A tremendous spiritual war is raging. Some Christians are winning this war by giving up their lives for the gospel. Others are so defeated they don't even know a war is going on. Their spirits have "become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares" (Lk 21:34). Still others are neither winning nor losing; they are in the middle of the fight of their lives, for their lives. Many of these Christians are resisting sin to the point of shedding their blood (Heb 12:4). The Lord calls us to join them in the struggle by our prayers on their behalf (Rm 15:30). Our brothers and sisters in the Lord are crying: "Pray for us that the word of the Lord may make progress and be hailed by many others, even as it has been by you. Pray that we may be delivered from confused and evil men" (2 Thes 3:1-2). Therefore, "at every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company" (Eph 6:18).
At the beginning of his papacy, Pope John Paul II exhorted us: "We feel not only the need but even a categorical imperative for great, intense and growing prayer by all the Church. Only prayer can prevent all these great succeeding tasks and difficulties from becoming a source of crisis" (The Redeemer of Man, 22, emphasis added).
On this last day in the Church's year, the Lord wants to complete His works, transform His people, forgive our sins, restore broken relationships, and more. For this to be done, there is "the necessity of praying always and not losing heart" (Lk 18:1).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2009 through November 30, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009.