In response to his disciples’ request to teach them to pray, Jesus gives them a model of prayer which, because it comes from the Lord himself, has come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer. The Gospel of Luke presents a more streamlined version than the longer and more familiar version given in Matthew’s Gospel. Nevertheless their content is the same. We begin by praising God, whom we acknowledge as Father, and opening ourselves up to his will. Only then do we ask him to sustain our lives, to help us stay in right relationship with others and to keep us from sin. What more do we need?
God does not need our prayers, but we need to pray. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) Rather than telling God what he doesn’t already know, prayer reminds us of our dependence upon him. That is why even the Lord’s Prayer begins with praise of God before asking for his help. Nevertheless Jesus invites us to be bold in praying: “[A]sk and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” In John’s Gospel he says, “[W]hatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” (John 16:23b)
Praying with the Church is also important. It reminds us that our relationship to God as Father implies a relationship to one another as brothers and sisters. Participation in the Sunday Mass is important for this reason. We need to be part of the Church to receive the eucharist and the other sacraments, and to exercise our baptismal priesthood in offering the eucharistic sacrifice. It is here, too, that we hear God’s word proclaimed. The liturgy of the Mass contains every type of prayer and should be the cornerstone of our spiritual life.
After Mother Nature’s temper tantrum at the end of the previous week, last Sunday the Lord provided us with a beautiful day for St. Peter’s Shin-Dig. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen; to all who came to enjoy the fruit of their labor; and to the businesses and individuals who donated food, prizes and other items.
As we approach the redemption phase of the capital campaign for a future St. Charles Parish Center and parking lot repair, some donors have asked what becomes of the money collected for this campaign. It is deposited in an interest-bearing savings account with St. Ambrose Financial Services, Inc., in La Crosse. This is a parish savings account and the funds are designated for this project. None of it goes to Lynch Development Associates, the firm which conducted the campaign. Lynch Development was paid a fee for its services, but does not receive a commission on the funds raised. We are continuing to receive pledges and I hoped that the majority of parish households will take ownership of the project and support the campaign.
While on vacation I did find a farmer who will let me cut some oats for threshing. They are not ready to cut yet, but should be in the next week or two. I hope they don’t get flattened in a storm.
Please pray the rosary for good weather and protection from severe and damaging storms. Pray for people who have sustained damage and for the people who are working to help them.
May God bless his people with peace.