C--Thursday of 11th Week of OT--Blessed Michelina of Pesaro

Every Breath That We Take is From Our Father in Heaven

Continue his teaching in this chapter 6 from the writing of Saint Matthew, Jesus teaches us how to pray to God. The prayer that we are all familiar with, the Our Father, he teaches us to pray.

There are two ways of prayer: We pray by ourselves alone, or we pray with others. In our prayer, we either pray it verbally or silently. It is usually like a conversation in our prayer. However, just as in a conversation, there is one who does the talk, and the other listens and vice versa; while in prayer, we often find ourselves is the only one who talks, and God is the one who listens. It seems like in our prayer, we are the only one who talks, and God seems to listen all the time and never has a chance to talk since there is no one to listen. Therefore, the spiritual ones differentiate the four stages of prayer such as: The first stage is when we talk, God listens. Second stage is when God talks, we listen. Third stage is when both talk, and nobody listens (not recommended). The last stage is when nobody talks, nobody listens, and just being present to each other (this is a highly recommended stage).

A man read the Scriptures and found an advice to pray unceasingly, and he did not know how to pray unceasingly. So, he decided to seek for the answer. He came to a monk and asked for his help. The elderly monk gave him a Rosary and reminded him to pray with the Rosary the prayer, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.” This man began to pray the Rosary with this prayer every day and every time he had a chance.

One day, the elderly monk died. The man was deeply sad, but he went with the monk to his resting place to say “Goodbye” to him. On the way to go home, he started to recite the prayer using the Rosary as he was taught by the elderly monk. He recited, “Lord Jesus,” then he took a breath and continued, “Have mercy on me a sinner,” then he took another breath. He kept doing this in every breath that he took in and every breath that he exhaled. In his surprise, he noticed that this prayer became his breath at every breath that he inhaled and every breath that he exhaled.

Perhaps, this is to answer why in “Our Prayer” prayer, Jesus teaches us the very first two words, “Our Father.” He wants to remind us that every breath that we take in, and every breath that we release, it comes from God, Our Father in heaven. May we are reminded to thank the Lord when we recite the two words “Our Father.”


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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