"prayer must occupy the first place"
"So I say to you, 'Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.' " —Luke 11:9
This year, 1997, is the year of Jesus, which is to prepare us to celebrate the year 2000, the year of the Great Jubilee and the beginning of the third millennium.
This year should be a special year of prayer. We've prayed before, but we need to pray as never before. We should again ask Jesus to teach us to pray (see Lk 11:1) and fast. He and the Father want to give us not just "good things" (see Mt 7:11) but the Giver of all good things, that is, "the Holy Spirit" (Lk 11:13). "The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us" (Rm 8:26). Let us pray to the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit. Pope John Paul II has taught that a "great prayer for life is urgently needed" (The Gospel of Life, 100). He prophesied that prayer and fasting are "the first and most effective weapons" against the culture of death (The Gospel of Life, 100). "We feel not only the need but even a categorical imperative for great, intense, and growing prayer by all the Church" (The Redeemer of Man, 22). He also teaches: "In this journey which we are undertaking with other Christians toward the new millennium prayer must occupy the first place" (That They Be One, 102).
Prayer: Father, in this month of the rosary, teach me to pray in a way appropriate to our times.
Promise: "The day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of hosts. But for you who fear My name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays." —Mal 3:19-20
Praise: John Leonardi said: "Children should be entrusted only to good and God-fearing teachers."
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Ten Commandments of Intercession.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997