"teach us to pray" (lk 11:1)
"When you pray, say: 'Father...' " —Luke 11:2
This morning I attended Mass in the bedroom of Father Al Lauer, the founder and long-time author of One Bread, One Body. Father is dying of liver cancer and has only days left to live. (This teaching is being written two years in advance.) Father could not rise out of bed and could barely talk, but he still wanted to give a short homily on today's Gospel. I am passing on his words to you, for the words of those dying in Jesus carry a special credibility (see Ps 116:15). I thought of Jesus gasping out His precious last words on the cross as I listened to Father's homily.
Father said: "This section of Luke's Gospel is really not so much about the persistence of prayer as it is about the certainty of our prayers being answered. Jesus wants us to trust in God the Father as our Abba. Jesus wants us to be certain when we pray that either our prayer will be answered as we requested — or God will answer it even better than we asked (even though it may initially seem as if the Lord is saying 'No.') God is our Abba (Lk 11:2). Have confidence in Abba as One Who always answers our prayers and is vitally concerned (cf Lk 10:40) about every prayer we bring to Him." Then Father Al's strength was spent, and he had to close his eyes and rest as the Mass continued.
"When you pray, say: 'Abba...' "
Prayer: "Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come" (Lk 11:2).
Promise: "Steadfast is His kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever." —Ps 117:2
Praise: St. Bruno prayed "to seek God assiduously, find God promptly, and possess God fully."
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (For a related teaching, order our tape Lord Teach Us to Pray on audio AV 57-3 or video V-57.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004