THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Fifth Sunday after Easter
26 May 2019
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Jesus has said that if we ask the Father anything in His Name He will give it to us. We are now left questioning our own prayers or the veracity of Jesus Christ. We often pray in the Holy Name of Jesus but we find that our prayers go unanswered. Our first conclusion is, usually, that either Jesus has deceived us or we have not truly prayed as we should. Obviously, we must reject the very thought of Jesus not telling us the truth.
It is quite probable that we have not prayed correctly. Is it enough for us to say something like, "we ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ?" There are many who use the Name of Jesus, but they remain unknown or rejected by God. The response of Jesus on the Last Day will be "depart from Me you workers of iniquity, for I know you not." There are many who worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from God. Our prayer must, therefore, come from our hearts and not just from our lips.
Our prayers must be directed to the One True God and not a false god that we have fashioned according to our liking and call "Jesus Christ." There are countless groups and individuals who have made a false "Jesus" that they worship and pray to. Many Protestants have created a false "Jesus" that allows and encourages them in sinful divorce and "remarriage." Many worship a false "Jesus" that allows them to murder their pre-born children. These false "Christs" are not the True Son of God that we are to pray to. We only find the true Jesus Christ in the true Holy Catholic Church. If we are not following the true Church and the true Jesus Christ we are idolaters worshiping a false god and, obviously, our prayers are not asked in the Name of Jesus Christ. King Solomon says: "He that turneth away his ears from hearing the law, his prayer shall be an abomination..."
Next, we must ask if we are praying for what is sinful or wrong. If this is the case then God will not hear such "prayers."
It often happens that we pray for things that will only be given to us at a future date. For example: when we daily pray "Thy Kingdom Come." yet we are not expecting this to be given as soon as we finish our prayer, but rather at a suitable time. "We know that this is ordered by the kind providence of the Creator, so that, for example, our desires may intensify by the prolongation of our devotion, and by daily increase grow more and more, until at last, they come perfectly to possess the joys they seek." (Venerable Bede)
Oftentimes we pray for others and our prayers are not answered. It seems that we have done everything correctly, but to no avail, and the devils are quick to suggest doubts against the faith. On these occasions, we must recall that Jesus has promised that He will give us whatever we ask in His Name. He has made no such promise for the others for whom we pray. Other people have a free will and God honors and respects this gift He has given them. Our prayers, though, are not lost. God will reward us for the charity that we have for our fellow men, even if they never benefit from our love for them. Jesus will give to us the promised joys regardless of whether those for whom we pray receive His graces or not.
Most importantly, we need to understand that Jesus is telling us what we must ask for when we pray in His Name. ".. that your joy may be full." Where will our joy be made full, but in Heaven? Our eternal salvation needs to be the major object of our prayers. Everything else is secondary, less important, and often even unworthy. When will our joy be made full, except when we enter into the glory of Heaven. All other joys or pleasures are less than full or complete joy.
It is not wrong or evil to desire little joys or pleasures. These temporal, passing pleasures, are good and given to us by God. However, none of these can ever fully satisfy us. Our hearts will only find complete peace and happiness in God. We must guard against seeking eternal happiness in temporal things. This is idolatry. The fleeting goodness and happiness that we experience in this life is given to us to draw us closer to God. It is as if all of creation is a sign directing us to God. They all say to us: "See us and experience how good we are, but know that this goodness is from God and is only a tiny particle of the goodness and happiness that awaits you in Heaven."
Let us never cease asking in the Holy Name of Jesus that our joy may be made full.
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