Monday, November 18, 1996> >
Dedication of the Churches of Peter and Paul
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
"the necessity of praying always"
"Jesus asked him, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' " —Luke 18:40-41
Jesus spoke of "the necessity of praying always and not losing heart" (Lk 18:1). We are to never stop praying (1 Thes 5:17). Many centuries ago, a Christian went on pilgrimage and asked holy person after holy person how it could be possible to pray always. The answer he finally received was what is called the "Jesus prayer." This prayer is a combination of Luke 18:39 and Luke 18:13. The Jesus prayer is: "Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner." The prayer is sometimes shortened to "Lord Jesus, mercy" or even to only the name "Jesus." The Christian pilgrim was taught to pray this many times, to pray it almost with every breath to the point that he was thinking of Jesus even when he was not praying it. Thus, he was obeying the Lord's command to pray always.
Be like the Christian pilgrim. Try to learn to pray always. Keep trying no matter how long it takes. Even if others discourage you, cry "out all the more, 'Son of David, have pity on me!' " (Lk 18:39) Because there is the necessity to pray always, there is the necessity to learn to pray always. The Holy Spirit will teach you (Jn 14:26). Pray in the Spirit (see Jude 20). Pray always.
Prayer: Father, by the Holy Spirit, may I not only have a life of prayer but a life of praying always.
Promise: "Happy is the man who reads this prophetic message, and happy are those who hear it and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near!" —Rv 1:3
Praise: Paul rejoiced when the gospel of Christ spread to others, even when that meant physical suffering for himself (Phil 1:17-18).
Reference: (To help pray always, order our booklet, Life-Changing Prayers From the Bible.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996