Our Lord here recommends to us three conditions to be observed when we pray.
- Solitude: because going a little further he separated himself even from those whom he had chosen. When thou shalt pray enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door pray to thy Father in secret(Matt 6:6). But notice he went not far away but a little, that He might show that he is not far from those who call upon Him, and also that they might see him praying and learn to pray in like fashion.
- Humility: He fell upon his face, giving thereby an example of humility. This because humility is necessary for prayer and because Peter had said: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee (Matt. 26:35). Therefore did Our Lord fall, to show us we should not trust in our own strength?
- Devotion, when He said My Father. It is essential that when we pray we pray from devotion. He says My Father because He is uniquely God’s Son; we are God’s children by adoption only. (In Matt. 26)
Here we consider the tenor of prayer. Christ was praying according to the prompting of his sense nature, in so far, that is, as his prayer, as advocate for his senses, was expressing the inclinations of his senses, proposing to God, by prayer, what the desire of his senses suggested. And He did this that He might teach us three things:
- That he had taken a true human nature with all its natural inclinations.
- That it is lawful for man to will, according to his natural inclination, a thing which God does not will.
- That man ought to subject his own inclination to the divine will. Whence St. Augustine says: Christ, living as a man, showed a certain private human willingness when he said, Let this chalice pass from me. This was human willingness, a man’s own will and, so to say, his private desire. But Christ, since He wills to be a man of right heart, a man directed to God, adds, Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.
Christ had two wills, one from his Father in so far as he was God and the other in so far as he was man. This human will he submitted in all things to his Father, giving us in this an example to do likewise, “I came down from heaven, not to do my will but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38).
—Thomas Aquinas, Meditations For Lent
1-8 Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God,
the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
May he judge your people rightly,
be honorable to your meek and lowly.
Let the mountains give exuberant witness;
shape the hills with the contours of right living.
Please stand up for the poor,
help the children of the needy,
come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
Outlast the sun, outlive the moon--
age after age after age.
Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim.
9-14 Foes will fall on their knees before God,
his enemies lick the dust.
Kings remote and legendary will pay homage,
kings rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth.
All kings will fall down and worship,
and godless nations sign up to serve him,
Because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need,
the destitute who have run out of luck.
He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out,
he restores the wretched of the earth.
He frees them from tyranny and torture--
when they bleed, he bleeds;
when they die, he dies.
15-17 And live! Oh, let him live!
Deck him out in Sheba gold.
Offer prayers unceasing to him,
bless him from morning to night.
Fields of golden grain in the land,
cresting the mountains in wild exuberance,
Cornucopias of praise, praises
springing from the city like grass from the earth.
May he never be forgotten,
his fame shine on like sunshine.
May all godless people enter his circle of blessing
and bless the One who blessed them.
18-20 Blessed God, Israel’s God,
the one and only wonder-working God!
Blessed always his blazing glory!
All earth brims with his glory.
Yes and Yes and Yes.
Today's Lenten Activity:
Pray the Lord's Prayer today at 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm.
Daily Lent readings and activities at: