Forgiveness Nourishes Our Prayer

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings for Today

Saint Justin Martyr – Memorial

“When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”  Mark 11:25

Prayer is something that many struggle with.  When we’ve come to a deep faith in Christ, we want to grow closer and we want to know how to pray.  But often times this can be a struggle and many can give up on it after good intentions begin to fade away.

Though there are many things that could be said about prayer, the Scripture above does highlight one of the greatest obstacles to a healthy prayer life.  The obstacle Jesus speaks of is the lack of forgiveness. 

When we come to Christ, in prayer, we need to first cleanse our hearts if we are to hear Him speak.  And if we come to Him while holding on to a grievance toward another, this is an obstacle that must be dealt with first.  In fact, if we hold on to that grievance and try to pray, our prayer will most likely not be very effective.

Just prior to this Scripture passage above, we have the story of Jesus cleansing the Temple.  He turned over the tables and drove the merchants out because they were desecrating the Temple by their greed.  We should see this story to also be a story about our own souls.  Our souls are temples of God and Jesus does not want sin in our soul.  In fact, He wants to root it out with a passion and with much zeal.  The goal is to let Him do this and to let Him cleanse our souls of sin, especially the sin of a lack of forgiveness.  Doing so will allow our souls to become places of prayer and worship.

Reflect, today, upon whether you want to grow in prayer.  If you do, then start by cleansing your heart of all sin.  Confession is the best way to do this.  Start by looking at any sin of anger or a lack of forgiveness.  By choosing to forgive and letting go of anger, you are allowing Jesus to drive this vice out of your soul.  The result will be that you are in a much better place to invite Christ to make your heart His dwelling place.  With that done, your prayer life will greatly increase.

Lord, please do forgive me.  I see my sin and I am sorry.  I also forgive those who have sinned against me.  Help me to let go of any anger I may have and to let Your love take its place.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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Saint of the Day – Saint Justin Martyr