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Thursday, June 7, 2001

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Tobit 6:11; 7:1, 9-14; 8:4-7
Psalm 128
Mark 12:28-34

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praying after all

"My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance." —Tobit 8:4

Sarah was married seven times. Each of her seven husbands died on their wedding nights (Tb 7:11). I wonder if the second husband, the fifth one, or the seventh one thought of praying with his wife. Tobiah, the eighth husband, did pray with his wife (Tb 8:4), and he had a happy marriage instead of a sudden death.

What does it take to get a person to pray? I know married couples whose adult children are out of church and out of communion with God. Yet these couples don't pray together because they're not comfortable praying with their spouse. I know Christians who live in a culture of death where abortion, perversions, and other acts of violence abound and increase. Yet these Christians don't find time to pray. I know parishioners in parishes where most of their members commit serious sins and don't even go to Mass on Sundays. Yet will the people in these churches get serious about praying? What does it take to get us to wake up and pray — seven dead husbands, several spiritually dead children, a culture of death, or a spiritually dead church?

It's time to pray — overtime.

Prayer:  Father, help me to realize "the necessity of praying always and not losing heart" (Lk 18:1).

Promise:  " 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the second, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " —Mk 12:29-31

Praise:  Jenna arose early in the morning, before the sounds of her large family filled the house, to spend quiet time in listening to her Lord.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001