October 23, 2022
Let’s face it. We all brag at times. And we all act humble at other times. The context can make each inappropriate. The prayer of the self-focused is unheard of because it is simply self-talk. But, even the selfish can have a glimmer of hope, when his prayer finds its root in humility.
Jesus highlighted the hearts of the proud and the humble in today’s parable. In spite of our Catholic experience, and our knowledge of prayer, we do not know how to approach God because we are creatures. Yet, because of faith, we dare to approach and ask; because of humility, we are open to receiving prayer as a gift.
God gives all good things to us, even prayer. This might be a good time to look upon our prayer lives and reflect on God’s goodness to us. We must ask ourselves: “How have our prayers, our prayer habits, our insights from prayer, even our urges to pray gifts from God? How has prayer and the need for prayer humbled us? How has prayer brought us closer to God?
Who’s in charge of the heart? This question cuts to the heart of spirituality. That which stands at the very core of the person becomes the battleground. Are we in charge? Or is God?
If we believe God is in charge, how do we know God is close? We cannot know (or brag) through our own efforts. We can only know when we allow God in. When we open our hearts to him. And his love.
Opening the heart is a life-long process. We progress one moment and one issue at a time. We can take a quick measure by looking at our priorities. Is it one focused on God and others? Or, is it focused on the self?
Sincerely, Rev. Msgr. John M. Campbell