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Thursday, March 9, 2017

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St. Frances of Rome

Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
Matthew 7:7-12

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praying on the edge

"When I called, You answered me; You built up strength within me." —Psalm 138:3

Queen Esther's whole race was scheduled to be exterminated. The Jewish people were so pitifully weak that they couldn't do anything politically or militantly to stop the genocide. They had "their backs to the wall." They were alone and had no help but God (Est C:14). So Esther, on behalf of her people, prayed: "Save us by Your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but You, O Lord" (Est C:25).

This Lent, many of us are facing major tragedies and challenges. We wonder if we will even make it through this year. We don't know what to do. We are "crushed beyond our strength, even to the point of despairing of life" (2 Cor 1:8). The Lord is calling us to pray through our trials. He promises: "Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7). He assures us: "If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to anyone who asks Him!" (Mt 7:11)

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves" (Ps 34:19). "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rm 10:13). Jesus "is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He forever lives to make intercession for them" (Heb 7:25). "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). Pray in pain. Pray through tragedies. Pray in glory.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness so I will pray as I ought (Rm 8:26).

Promise:  "Treat others the way you would have them treat you: this sums up the law and the prophets." —Mt 7:12

Praise:  St. Frances reconciled herself to God's will and continued to thank Him even when her two young sons died.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2016

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