July 19, 2020
Fr. John Mary’s homily reflects on our ability to pray with ease and our inability to pray due to our weaknesses. We must be humble and not fall into the sin of pride but rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance through humility and trust.
- Through difficult times, people are finding prayer hard and difficult.
- The greatest danger in the spiritual life is pride, especially in times when prayer is easy.
- In our own weakness to pray, the Holy Spirit can aide us and act beyond our own efforts or awareness.
- According to St. Paul, the greatest prayer is not what we do, but what we let the Holy Spirit do in us.
- We can give greater glory to God in one moment of trust than whole hours.
- The Holy Spirit needs humility and trust form us. We need to let Him pray in us beyond our words and efforts.
St. Paul says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought.”. He tells us that the Holy Spirit comes to the aide of our weakness. St. Paul is helping us realize the greatest prayer is not what we do, but what we let the Holy Spirit do in us. He respects our free will, so we can impede Him, not let Him or we can freely allow Him to act in us.
Let Him pray in us, beyond our words, beyond our efforts. When we let the Holy Spirit guide us, the sighs and groans come out. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God. This groaning and longing and desire in our soul for the Father is an echo of the Father’s own yearning for us, to unite us to Him. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs to deep for words. With all of the difficulties we encounter in prayer, tell the Holy Spirit, “I recognize my inability, but I put my trust in you and I ask you to pray within me.”
These are very difficult times we are going through – very unusual, uncertain times – people are finding prayer hard right now – struggling to pray, because of worry, discouragement or feeling frustrated, hurt, angry with all that is going on – actually there can be a lot of benefits to the situation – the biggest danger in the spiritual life is pride – St. Paul says, today, “We do not know how to pray as we ought.” – he says we including himself – You might think of prayer as primarily vocal prayer to recite – or efforts to meditate – to adore – to be quiet and focus – the words of St. Paul might seem discouraging, but they can be encouraging – especially when life is too painful and we don’t feel capable – we feel too weak – too human – too poor – when we are experiencing the cross in our own lives – St. Paul says the Holy Spirit comes to the aide of our weakness – that could be happening right now as we are celebrating this Mass, the Holy Spirit can be here acting – the Holy Spirit acts beyond our own efforts – even beyond our own awareness – what St. Paul is helping us realize is the greatest prayer is not what we do, but what we let Him (Holy Spirit) do in us – what we let Him, because He is giving us free will – and He respects our free will – so we can impede Him, not let Him or we can freely allow Him to act in us – even now in this Mass – The greatest danger is pride, so what is so important is humility – when we feel unable to pray, maybe the opportunity is precisely for the deepest prayer, because we are letting Him pray – sometimes we may feel fervent, focused, peaceful, spiritual, maybe on fire – the Holy Spirit feeling His light and consolations, His peace – other moments we may feel the contrary – not focused – unable to focus – not spiritual constantly distracted with all sorts of temptations – seems like you can’t pray now it is just useless – I am a hypocrite for being here – St. Paul is helping us understand that what we feel is not always a good indicator of our prayer – a passage from St. Faustina, she is contrasting a time, when a person might feel full of God’s consolations, God’s light and prayer just zooms by, because of the intensity of what we are feeling – it seems so powerful – there could be other times when even spending a few moments, seems like a difficult struggle – things are so hard – the time seems to us completely wasted – and yet St. Faustina says one act of trust in those difficult moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolation – it is precisely the opposite of what we may think – because it is so difficult, that can give greater glory to God in just a moment – one of act of trust than whole hours, when it is easy to pray, there can be a danger of pride…”Look how holy and good I am at praying.” – It is not about our ability to perform, that is the danger of some meditation techniques,
Christian or eastern oriental – the danger is focusing on my efforts – what the Holy Spirit needs from us is humility and trust – humility to recognize we are not able and trust not in our own ability – we may not be aware of the value of this time – so what is the type of prayer St. Paul is talking about? – he goes on to say the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings – another translation says with sighs too deep for words – how is that for a prayer, just groaning? – St. Paul says the whole of creation is groaning with labor pains – he says not only the creation, but we ourselves have the first fruits of the Spirit – we groan inwardly – it is not always exteriorly, so if you are in the chapel going Awwwawwwawww (FJM said this…lol) it might bother people around you, so sometimes it has to be inward – it is still this groaning of our heart and soul as we wait for the adoption of sons and redemption of our bodies – we are not made for this wounded, damaged earth – what is this longing, groaning, sighs? – it comes from what is deepest within us – from our heart to the depth of our soul – we may not always be aware of it – that is one of the efforts of the devil, to keep us distracted, so we are not aware of what is coming from the deepest within us – what the Lord has put there – longing for love, peace, joy, life, truth, justice, victory, glory and power – longing for happiness – longing for God – the deepest yearning of your soul – the Holy Spirit in our soul crying out, “Abba, Father” drawing us to the Father – prayer is something much more mysterious than our own efforts –often we feel most unable, because of the trials we are going through – let Him pray in us – beyond our words, beyond our efforts – just let Him, what is deepest in us – the sighs and groanings come out – Holy Spirit intercedes for us according the will of God – this groaning and longing and desire in our soul for the Father is an echo of the Father’s own yearning for us, to unite us to Him – Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness – for we do not know how to pray as we ought – the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words – at this outdoor Mass there are a lot of distractions – but none of those are obstacles to the Holy Spirit – all of the difficulties we encounter in prayer, tell the Holy Spirit I recognize my inability, but I put my trust in you and I ask you to pray within me –so right now with our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, let us ask the Holy Spirit to pray within us at this very Mass-