Friday, 27 February 2009

Traddie picture of the day: the power of prayer

Another WYD picture, this time of an order that are not technically traditionalists, but are certainly very sympathetic to the TLM.

I have put it in today because some things about Mother Teresa's order connect up particularly well with some comments of the Holy Father at the Ash Wednesday ceremonies as reported by VIS. St Paul, he says,

"...exhorts us to "persevere" in prayer, and to "pray without ceasing". On the subject of almsgiving, he speaks of "the great collection in favour of our poor brethren" and underlines how "charity is the apex of a believer's life. ... He does not expressly mention fasting, but he often calls for sobriety as a characteristic of people called to live in vigilant expectation of the Lord".

"May Lent, marked by more frequent contact with the Word of God, by more intense prayer, and by a severe and penitential lifestyle, be a stimulus to convert and to love our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and needy".

Mother Teresa's Order is one (of the few these days) that takes asceticism seriously, as well as the care of the poor and needy, providing a standard for the rest of us to strive for as best we can especially in Lent!

Secondly, on the call for more intense prayer, there is a particular connection to yesterday's picture of the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. You might recall that the Sisters were originally sedevacentists. But a neighbouring parish priest started a campaign to convert them. He persuaded his bishop to invite in the Missionaries of Charity, and the Missionaries embarked on a prayer campaign for their conversion, together with visits to them. It worked, a testament to the power of prayer by holy women! You can read the full story here.

A lot of the Gospel readings that have been set before us over the last week have been about the need for strong faith and persistence in prayer (the blind man on the road, the Centurion, and so forth) in order to get what we need from God! In an age that tends to deny God's direct agency, we need to be witnesses to his power to intervene, to save, to reward, to punish. Our prayers may not be as favoured as those of the saints, or those who offer so many sacrifices through their total consecration to God. But our sacrifices and prayers are valuable to do, and we won't know the effects until we try! So getting working on all those causes....

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