Posted by: sisterbernice | March 4, 2011

Confident in Prayer

Throughout the year, I have been surprised by coincidences on Fridays or news that comes out on Fridays.  Today’s coincidence is that March 4th is traditionally the beginning of the novena to St. Francis Xavier.  For many, this is meaningless in relation to the sex abuse crisis and/or Ireland’s experience.  For me, it is very important.  I haven’t done the novena in years but I did in the past.  I have always found it helpful.  I fell away from it because of my lack of joy in my modern Jesuit experience of Catholicism.  The Jesuits seem not to have notice they have lost their way as many of them criticize others about the same.

I decided to start and do the novena this year.  Perhaps I will learn to forgive the Jesuits for what I perceive as their  hypocrisy.  I need to do that.  In the novena,  I will pray for healing of the many.  But in particular, those who have been abused by Jesuits and for renewal of the Jesuits in their mission.  A link to basic directions to the novena are here:

http://www.catholictradition.org/novena-grace.htm

Today’s readings are here: http://www.usccb.org/nab/030411.shtml

The gospel seems most important to me.  Isn’t this appropriate to my efforts – the power of prayer  and confidence that the Lord will and for many has healed us?  The carts have been turned over, the reform has started – as has the persecution of victims and non-victims alike.  Will the Church die like the fig tree or will our faith renew it – that is the challenge.   And so, let us forgive so that we are forgiven (no one is innocent here) and let us confidently move forward in the Lord.
Mk 11:11-26

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions.”

It is also First Friday – time for adoration along with all other prayers and devotional practices.

Today I will pray for Archbishop Dolan too- seems he is in the crosshairs.  It bothers me that Bishop Weakland and the others who actually were the problem don’t seem to be the object of the media criticism or Jeffrey Anderson’s hate.

Although my focus is broad, this Irish American prays for the Irish church, the home that nurtured generations of my family in a faith that has always sustained, even in times of tragedy and doubt (see today’s first reading)..  It is a faith not in an organization but in a person – the person of Jesus Christ.  We have forgotten that it is this relationship that is the most important.  He is our faithful friend, pray confidently to him in prayer.

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