Skip to main content

Just Ask!

From today’s Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Mt 7:7-8)

Why did Jesus have to remind us to ask? He reminds us to make prayers of petition because asking requires faith that God can really answer prayers. I am very good at remembering to pray for big lofty goals: world peace, an end to hunger, an end to abortion, etc. But I cannot count the times that I have been dithering about something—sometimes a big dither and sometimes a small dither—and suddenly I hit myself up side the head like a V-8 commercial and say, “Oh yeah. I should pray about this.” There is no task that is too big or too small for God. Whether it is picking out a Christmas gift for the in-laws or finding the right words for an errant child, God will help if I ask. I just wish I could remember to ask before I worked myself into a worried frenzy.

Pope Benedict XVI has some interesting words on this idea of asking for God’s help in today’s reflection from Journey to Easter:

Today we are seeing a revival of gnosticism, which perhaps is the most somber threat to the spiritual and pastoral work of the Church. Gnosticism allows of retaining the time-honored terminology and ceremonial of religion, the aura of religion, without retaining faith. And this is the profound temptation of gnosticism: it is nostalgia for the beauty of religion but it is also weariness of the heart, which no longer has the strength of faith.

Gnosis presents itself as a refuge where religion can continue after faith has been lost. But behind that flight stands almost always a faint-heartedness which no longer believes in the power of God over nature, in the Creator of heaven and earth. And so there begins a contempt of bodily things—the body appears exempt from morality. Contempt for the body generates contempt for the history of salvation, to become finally a religious impersonalism. Prayer is replaced by interior exercises, the search for the void as a place of freedom.

I had never really thought about failing to ask God for help as a sign of a weak faith. But it makes sense. If I don’t think God can help me get dinner on the table, do I sincerely believe He is powerful enough to bring world peace?


Rosemary Bogdan said…
Nice post. Good food for thought.

Popular posts from this blog

Find Catholic Mass even when Traveling

First published 1/27/06

There is no such thing as a travel dispensation. Even when you are away from your home parish, you are expected to take advantage of your Sunday opportunity to attend Mass. With most communities offering a Saturday evening vigil Mass as well as Sunday Mass, there is really no excuse for missing Mass while traveling unless you are backpacking beyond the reach of civilization. It takes just a little planning and effort on your part. The question is, “Do you really want to go to Mass?”

Why should we worry about missing Mass while traveling? Well, the easy answer is “’Cause the Church says so!” Missing Mass is considered a serious sin. Jesus told Peter Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven (Mt 16:19)so we must take the edicts of the Church quite seriously. Still, this is a child-like level of understanding. The more mature answer is we have a responsibility to maintain our relationship with God. Like any relationship, if it is neglected, it weaken…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…