THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
2 September 2018
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Today we are asked to consider the widow's only son. He was restored to life because Jesus had mercy upon his mother. It seems that, all too often, we fail to understand the efficacy and need to pray for one another. We are undeserving of God's mercy for ourselves, but when others pray for us God is more likely to hear their prayers in our own regard. When we pray for ourselves there is generally some defect in our prayers, but when we pray for others, charity enters into our prayers and this love for others covers a multitude of sins. Therefore, it appears that our prayers for others are more efficacious than the prayers we offer on our own behalf.
God has commanded us to love one another. Next to the love of Him, comes the love of ourselves and others. Self-love, is seldom pure or without fault, while the love of others tends more easily to be purer and without selfish defect. Jesus assures us that where two or three are gathered in His Name, He is there with us. In His Name and in His presence, the prayers of others effect a great benefit for us. Likewise, our prayers for others tend to be much more beneficial.
If we pray for our neighbors, and our neighbors pray for us, then nothing is lost and everything is gained. Our interests and needs are not neglected or forgotten when we forget ourselves to come to the aid of others. God has created us to complement one another, not to compete with one another. It is truly sad to see brothers fighting and quarreling with each other. Everyone is our brother as we have all come forth from the same Father in Heaven. He has commanded us to love all our family, friends, neighbors, and especially our enemies and those who seek to harm us.
It may seem that when we pray for our enemies, the love is not returned and our enemies will not pray for us. Of course, we should not be praying with this selfish motive because this tends to stain the purity of our prayers. However, if God softens the heart and converts the enemy and he becomes good and our true friend we have gained much, and natural gratitude will induce him to pray for us.
It is essential that we pray for one another. That we advance the good of all those around us. As those around us grow in grace and merit, it is a true benefit for us our world is a better place, and we become beneficiaries of their goodness and their prayers. There are many that are dead in sin in the world around us. They are in great need of God's grace, and God's mercy is often predicated upon the prayers of others. Let us frequently pray that sinners stop offending God and instead begin giving honor and glory to Him. This will please God and become a great blessing for others. It is a blessing for the individual, but also for all those around him.
We encourage one and all to pray for the graces of priestly and religious vocations. The children of our world are in great need of souls that are dedicated to praying to God for their fellow men. These generous religious souls are depending upon our prayers for them. With the decline of religious and priestly vocations, the Church has become a widow and her only son is dead. However, the tears and prayers of the remnant Church can draw forth the mercy of God and He can give to Her new life and hope in good and holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life. As we weep over the loss of so many vocations dedicated to God, the Church, and souls, we strike at the heart of Jesus, and in His mercy, he can give new life to souls that are dead and undeserving of this grace. He can transform them from a state of displeasing Him into an elevated state of grace and union with Him.
We need the prayers of others, and the prayers of religious and priests are some of the best that can be offered for us. The priests and religious are given to us and made holy for us, by our prayers for them. Each complements the others. If there is a lack of priests and religious, it is, perhaps, because we have failed to pray for them. If God's life and grace seem to be missing or lacking in our own lives, it is perhaps because we have not enough priests and religious to pray for us.
It is time for us to gather together in the midst of God, and truly beg and plead with Him as a mournful widow who has lost her only son. Perhaps, God will have mercy on us and restore new life into the Church and the world through our love and prayers.
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