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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, day 8

eucharistic adorationEsther didn’t know God. But when she was in need, she remembered something she had heard about Him, and this made all the difference.

A young soldier once told an Army chaplain, “Sometimes I’m scared, and then suddenly a quiet calm comes over me.” The chaplain said, “It’s then that your mother is praying for you.” The soldier might not have known God, but he had experienced the power of prayer.

In the Scriptures today we hear Esther asking God for protection and Jesus reassuring His disciples that God will give them good things. But sometimes we focus so much on gifts that we miss the giver. In asking God for things, we might miss the real gift of prayer: God Himself.

People exchange gifts, but the most important of these are not material objects. Rather, our mutual giving takes its deepest value from our willingness to be attracted to each other, absorbed in each other, and accepting of each other’s faults and foibles. If I can be absorbed in other people, what prevents me from sometimes being absorbed in God?

When was the last time you said to God, “There are a lot of things I could talk to you about, concerns that are making me anxious, but right now I just want to spend some time being with You and looking at You”?  

Father Francis Skelly, C.Ss.R.
Bronx, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25; Psalm 138; Matthew 7:7-12