Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sunday, July 17

Each Sunday morning I look forward to reading The Prayer Appointed for the Week. This week's prayer is especially suggestive.

How many times have I prayed, wondering if what I asked for was after all what I should have been asking for? How many times have I prayed with less than full confidence for my request? Often enough.

How many times did my children ask me for something that I knew they did not really want or need. Not long ago we visited my son and his wife in their new home, and we told them we'd like to help them out with some yard tools -- so we went to Home Depot. We said to them both, "Just ask." They did. And we bought a few items: two shovels, a rake, a wheelbarrow. We knew they knew what they needed.

Therein lies one of the mysteries of prayer: "we knew that they knew what they needed."

Sometimes, however, we don't know what we really need for life, God knows that we do not know what we need, and that is why we pray,

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom,
you know my necessities before I ask and
my ignorance in asking:
Have compassion on my weakness,
and mercifully give me those things for which my unworthiness I dare not,
and for my blindness I cannot ask.

If God knew that we knew what we really needed, we'd always get what we wanted. We are broken vessels, we are fallible humans, we are selfish people -- and part of life is to learn that our condition is such that we genuinely need God's Wisdom to walk this life uprightly.

To read this morning's office, click here or see The Divine Hours, pp. 247-248.