October 28, 2008
Saints Simon and Jude, apostles. Feast
Luke 6: 12-16
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that my time spent in prayer with you can and will bear fruit in my life and the lives of those around me. Increase my faith so that I will never leave your side. I firmly trust in you, and I want to cling to you even when there is nothing else to grasp. I want to love you with the same love that you have shown me.
Petition: Lord, help me to realize that without you I can do nothing.
1. Sleepless Nights
Imagine yourself with Christ on the mountain, spending time talking with his Father. What did Christ speak to him about? What did the Father tell him? Before the greatest moments of his ministry, Christ always goes up a mountain to pray. Not only does he desire this time alone with God the Father, he also knows this time is fundamentally necessary for the fulfillment of his mission. It is from his Father that he receives the strength to go forward.
2. Contemplation Brings Us to Action
It is precisely this time in prayer that brings Jesus to action: The next morning he comes down from the mountain and chooses his disciples. Sometimes when we go to pray, we become pragmatic and think of all the good we could be doing if we were out doing apostolate rather than praying before Christ. This is backwards! Without filling ourselves up with God in prayer, what are we going to offer to those who come to us? “One cannot give what one does not have.” A natural fruit of our prayer will be renewed apostolic zeal to go and set the world on fire for Christ.
3. Action Brings Us Back to Prayer
Once we have been out speaking to others about God and bringing them closer to him, we will naturally feel the need to stop and return to prayer for strength and renewal. To be contemplative and then conquering may at first seem to be an oxymoron, yet Christ never lets one get in the way of the other – one naturally leads to the other. As Saint Augustine exhorts us, “Pray as if all depends on God, and work as if all depends on you.”
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, bring me up the mountain so that I may spend quality time speaking to you and learning from you. Please help my prayer drive me to apostolic action and, in turn, my apostolic action drive me back to prayer. Keep me close to you, and never let me be separated from you.
Resolution: As the activities of my day begin to pick up, I will take a small step back and say a quick prayer. I will ask for the grace to be filled with Christ’s love, so that in turn I may give this love of Christ to all those I meet today.
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