It would seem that if we consider the power of God’s love, prayer would come easily. And while sometimes it does, that is not always the case. Sometimes, like when we are on a retreat, for example, it can seem easy to pray. At other times, it can interrupt our lives or can be hard.
Perhaps this is because there are different types of prayer. I know I can focus too much on petition or intercession types of prayers. Yet, do I think God? Do I praise him? Do I just sit in his presence? Jesus gives us the example. Pray often and always.
Sometimes when we read a story in the bible, it can result in a surprise for us. Today’s first reading might be an example. Deception is used to further God’s plan. The father is tricked. The younger son receives the blessing. But despite this deception, God’s plan is fulfilled.
When we think of God’s plan for us, it often is not clear until we reflect back over our lives. How is it then we discover God’s plan? Perhaps the best way is to put ourselves into the place where we will come to know God and what he wants.
Every early student of philosophy has probably used the line from St. Thomas Aquinas, “all I have written is so much straw.” I know I did. the intent was to suggest that even Thomas Aquinas, did not think his work is too valuable. The problem of course, was that those of us who were new to studying St. Thomas Aquinas, did not know the context in which this quote was made. it seems the brother Reginald, in writing the words of St. Thomas Aquinas dictated, heard the following sentence. “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” St. Thomas Aquinas compares what is written is so much straw in the context of the things that have been revealed to him. This is no small distinction.
Today’s feast of the solemnity of the body and blood of Christ, uses lots of texts based upon the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. It was not that St. Thomas Aquinas’s disparaging his own work, but rather that he was suggesting that any attempt to describe the mystery of God, was bound to fall short, compared on an experience of the mystery of God. and so as we attempt today to understand the power and the gift of the Eucharist and the lives of Catholics we must keep in mind that such a powerful ministry does not easily available self to being explained.