Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2016

The liberty of the New Covenant and its perfection in prayer and the Spirit. 

Hosea, Chapter 10, Verse 3
For now they will say, “We have no king! Since we do not fear the LORD, the king—what could he do for us?”

Christ is the strength of the weak and the humble confidence of those who trust in him. Christ says to us, “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. (Jn. 10:27)

Short Explanation of the Lord’s Prayer[1]

Why does God wish us to pray to Him?
To remind us: 1. that all good things come from Him, and that without Him we have nothing. 2. That we may confide in Him and try to make ourselves worthy of His divine grace, by thoughts pleasing to Him, and valuing more, and using better, the graces we receive.

Why is our prayers often not heard?
It is because we often ask for something that would be more hurtful than profitable to us.

When ought we to pray?
We should pray at all times, but especially at, 1, morning, noon, and night; 2, in time of great temptation; 3, when receiving the sacraments; 4, when about to undertake anything important; 5, at the hour of death.

Which is the best of all prayers?
The Lord’s Prayer; but though we say it a hundred times, it will fail to produce its beneficial effects if we repeat it thoughtlessly, without thinking of its meaning or purpose.

Why does this prayer commence with “Our Father?”
To encourage us thereby to a child-like confidence in God. As our Father, Who loves all men, and is ever ready to help them.

Why do we say, “Who art in heaven,” since God is everywhere?
We say this to admonish us to lift up our hearts to heaven, our true home, where God has set up the throne of His kingdom.

What do we ask of God in this prayer?
In the first petition, “hallowed be Thy name,” we pray that God may be known and loved by all men, and that His name may be glorified by a Christian life. In the second petition, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray God to enter and rule in our hearts by His grace, to spread His Church throughout the whole world, and after our death to award us eternal happiness. In the third petition, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” we offer ourselves entirely to God, and declare ourselves ready to be subject to the dispositions of His holy will, as are the angels in heaven, and pray to Him for grace to do this. In the fourth petition, “give us this day our daily bread,” we ask for all things which we need for the body, as food and clothing, and for the soul, as grace and the divine word. In the fifth petition, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us,” we pray to God for forgiveness, but only as far as we forgive those that injure us. We must therefore remember that we shall not obtain forgiveness from God so long as we have in our hearts hatred against anyone. In the sixth petition, “and lead us not into temptation,” we acknowledge our frailty, and ask God to remove temptations from us, or, if He permit us to fall into those which the world, the flesh, and the devil prepare for us, to give us grace not to consent to them, but, by combating and overcoming them, to gain the merit and the crown of justice. In the seventh petition, “but deliver us from evil,” we pray to God to preserve us from sin, and the occasions of sin; an evil death and hell also from all temporal evils, so far as may be for the salvation of our souls.

America is now at the threshold of history

Like Israel in Hosea’s time America has drifted into serious sin. According to John Maxwell Israel while in captivity had no real leadership (much like America) and had broken the “Law of Solid Ground.” The 6th irrefutable law of leadership—The Law of Solid Ground states that “trust is the foundation of leadership.” Israel’s leadership made false promises that had eroded the people’s confidence in their leaders and people follow only in proportion to their trust in the leader.

American’s are a just people and fair people and our hearts go out to the world. Yet what are we to do?

Many years ago while reviewing the CIA handbook I noticed that economically all of the nations that have been giving us the most trouble militarily were also on the list of those countries with the worst per capita income: people who make less than 200 dollars a year. I thought rather than do battle with a number of of these people in some way if we were to bring the economic power of America to these populaces and help them to improve their lives and rid themselves of the gangs and dictators. Thus bringing up their per capita income; what would the effect be on those who we may have to embattle? I questioned would improving their lives in their own country decrease our need to do battle? I decided to do an experiment. With a little research I invested in one of the stocks from one of the poorest countries Zimbabwe. After three months I sold my stock after doubling my money. My point is perhaps we as America’s can do more by helping the downtrodden in building up their own countries.

[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896