The Price Tag of Prayer … Tuesday, July 30

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Prayer. It takes up very little space. But is there a TIME and place for it in our lives? If we’re to taxed for time to talk with God maybe we need to re-think our schedule.

A Rosary Meditation … The First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden. “Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven.” — Saint Ephraem of Syria. Prayer sounds like hard work. If the example of Jesus in the garden is any indication, well, it IS hard work. But then it ought to be, if its work, a labor of love shouldn’t it? We go to great pains, lots of work, to keep in touch with friends and family because of our love for them and the close ties we share. We spend money on gas, long distance fees, delivery charges, air fare, postage, and more just to keep in touch. Keeping in touch is obviously a valuable commodity. And the effort expended proves this. How much effort do we put into an extra five minutes, now and then, to stay in touch with God? Is it to much hard work, does it cost to much, is it just to much trouble? Does our prayer life indicate our closeness to God, or our distance?

Today … St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Born at Imola, Italy in 406, St. Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola. St. Peter merited being called “Chrysologus” (golden-worded) from his exceptional oratorical eloquence. In 433, Pope Sixtus III consecrated him bishop of Ravenna. He practiced many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ruled his flock with utmost diligence and care. He extirpated the last vestiges of paganism and other abuses that had sprouted among his people, cautioning them especially against indecent dancing. “Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil,” he remarked, “cannot rejoice with Christ.” He also counseled the heretic Eutyches (who had asked for his support) to avoid causing division but to learn from the other heretics who were crushed when they hurled themselves against the Rock of Peter. He died at Imola, Italy in 450 and in 1729 was made a Doctor of the Church, largely as a result of his simple, practical, and clear sermons which have come down to us, nearly all dealing with Gospel subjects. “Golden-worded.” Want to be like this saint? To have golden words upon your lips? It occurs to me that any word spoken in loving prayer to God meets this criteria.

Consider … “Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.” — St. John Chrysostom.