Praying with Trust
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come unto you.
I wonder often about answers to prayer. So often I pray without any idea if my prayer was even heard. The situation or person prayed for does not appear to change, there is no sign or clear answer that would lead me to believe that my prayer has been received or answered. I am conditioned, or trained, or accustomed to praying every day. Sometimes I say the words mechanically like a robot but other times I pour out my heart with deep emotion and love, pleading with God, even as a beggar, when a situation is heavy on my heart. From a quick Ave, or a litany, or a chaplet, or rosary, to long hours before our Eucharistic Lord in Adoration. I feel that if I mindlessly pray some traditional prayers then OK, maybe Our Lord shouldn’t consider that one, but if I am on my knees and with all faith and sincerity, I plead for someone, an important cause, or for a dire situation, then I expect some sign, some response, an inkling of hope. But often I return to my duties with a kind of empty purse.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not talking about despair or hopelessness, just a question, a concern, like did I miss something, am I doing it wrong, and yes perhaps I am not holy enough, or my prayer is selfish.
Psalm 140 I have cried to thee, O Lord, hear me: hearken to my voice, when I cry to thee. Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight, the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice.
And yet most recently I offered my Lenten sacrifices for an elderly relative with many crosses and heartaches in her life who became homeless. Within a week of Ash Wednesday, she is being cared for by a niece, receiving medical attention, and on a waiting list for housing. Other prayers were received and blessed abundantly with many graces, but it took years to see the good fruits like the many long years of struggle raising a large, home-schooled family, all of whom are now living a life of deep faith and love. I now see the abundant blessings from many hours of ardent prayer and supplication. And yes, even our own struggle to save lives, years on the sidewalk, working for prolife politicians, the March for Life, fundraisers, and endless reading and strategizing. And now after fifty years we saw the end of Roe vs. Wade the national law permitting abortion.
Matthew 18:3 Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
To have the faith of a child, trusting that a loving Father God will hear and answer. We pray because we trust. From Saint Faustina’s Diary: “The graces of My Mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts.”
Jesus I trust in You
Fellow parishioners of St. Peter’s in Steubenville, Charles and Shawn, came into the city with me this morning. We joined Jackie and Anthony for the first shift of the day. As a good beginning before PP opened, we recited a rosary together and Shawn set up a Bluetooth speaker which played beautiful chants.
Only a few couples entered on our watch, as well as one or two young ladies. I don’t think any of them accepted our literature. (Most folks going in are usually workers during our shift.) Business seemed a little slower today. Two of the couples actually came back out later on, one set leaving entirely while the other one returned after some time. Too bad they don’t ALL leave!
Sean and Charles, along with Tracy, our four-hour vigil friends from Steubenville, and Jackie from Butler had everything set up and ready to go. The usual number of clients came but none would stop when we offered help.
Around 10:30, the medical waste truck came and removed the big bio waste box and left three to be filled. The driver said that he didn’t want to be here; he was on our “side.” Pray that he finds a different route. Cold, inside and outside.
The clinic was busy and the winds raged. But we take comfort in knowing that every person who entered was given a message of hope and offered an alternative to death. Several women who passed by shared their abortion stories. One, an older woman, who had clearly regretted her abortion, asked how she could help spread the message of life. The other, a young woman who presented with an angry attitude, initially insisted that our presence on the sidewalk led women to believe that they were being judged. This young woman was open to dialogue and walked away with post-abortion healing resources, a better understanding of what we stand for, and a smile on her face.
Today was a light day of foot and auto traffic. Approximately 3 ( 2 women and 1 fellow) entered the PP building. There were the usual exits at 4 PM including the security guard and 4 workers at various times, but around the 4 PM hour. John handed out a few rosaries and I handed out a flyer to a man waiting in a car, later a girl from the building got into the car. Bill, John, Bob and myself were present for this shift. This sounds repetitive but it was a quiet afternoon. The security guard took the photo.