WEDNESDAY OF 27th WEEK

Upon entering a church, a child sees people, either on their knees or sitting, with their heads between their hands... He asked his mother, "What are these people doing?" "The mother said to him, "They are praying" "And what is Prayer", the child questioned. "It's talking to God," the mother explained "it is to say to God as to a friend all that one wants to say... or to tell God what you cannot express to others. Often their prayer is made of trust, despair or even revolt."

"If they ask for something, will God give it to them?" "It depends, and not always," the mother answered. The child became confused, he added: So what is the prayer used for? The mother gave him a sign of keeping silence.

These questions often embarrass us. However Jesus tells us today to pray to his heavenly Father who will provide us with all things we need.

In our consuming society, where everything must be used for something immediately, where everything must be profitable as soon as possible, prayer indeed seems to be idle, and serve no purpose, in the eyes of the majority of young people in the world.

But for us, prayer means asking; prayer means trusting and taking refuge in God. And in prayer, we often expect God to modify his plan and even to change himself to fit our plan. Our God is the God of Providence. We ask him to give us beautiful and sunny days next week because we are taking our vacations, so much the worse for our neighbor farmer. I do not care about the fact that sunny days given to the tourists may be a disaster inflicted on farmers.

Jesus teaches us how to pray and our prayer is not to change God, instead, our prayer will change ourselves and make us listen to God, to understand what God want us to do. This teaching that we say together every time we celebrate the sacraments of the holy Eucharist or at every meeting or celebration, is the model of any prayer. This prayer turns us to the Father, to the love of His Name, to the desire that He be known and loved, the desire of his Kingdom of Justice and Peace among men. Then “the Our Father” makes us ask for daily bread, forgiveness of sins and forgiveness granted to others. What could be more beautiful about prayer than the "Our Father", which expresses the Glory to God and Peace to people?

However, in a world damaged by evil, hatred, sufferings of discord, disasters, indifference, war, injustice, division... it is not enough to pray, but we need to become peace maker, mediator of mutual understanding. For through our prayer God wants us to help the misfortunes of the world, to heal the wounded and to love everybody.

Confident that God is close to us always and hears all of our prayers, let us come before him today with our needs.

For Pope Francis, bishop Edward and all clergy, that they may continue to be blessed in their minitries and efforts to help the faithful grow ever closer to Christ

For blessings on those who do almsgiving out of love for God, that we may always be generous and kind to their fellow, especially to the poor and the needy

For those who serve our country and communities: that their generous service and sacrifieces may be honored by all and be rewarded by God’s favor.

Father, you want us to live in close relationship with you and with our fellow beings. Open our heart to to your response and to the call for help of brothers and sisters. We ask .

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We are a community of monks of the Cistercian Order. Monks first came to Ava, Missouri from New Melleray Abbey in Iowa in 1950 to establish the monastic life here.

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