Thursday, June 18, 2015

Power of the Lord's Prayer: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, June 18th, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            One of my summers on the path to priesthood was spent doing CPE—a clinical pastoral experience—at St. Mary’s hospital in Duluth.  I was assigned to the cardiac floor and cardiac ICU.  It was a great summer with many influential experiences.
            At the same time, my summer in the hospital was a bit awkward.  What I mean is, I was a seminarian at the time and as I visited patients I recognized that people needed the sacraments—Anointing, Confession, Eucharist.  All I could provide was my presence and prayers!  So I leaned heavily on the Lord’s Prayer and saw firsthand its power.
            One of the greatest was when I stopped by to see a young man that had attempted suicide.  He had a couple of kids, a broken relationship and ran into drug and alcohol problems.  After a long visit I asked if we could pray and led him in the Our Father.  Halfway through he began crying and after we said Amen he told me, “I think it’s time to come back to church.”
            We pray the Lord’s Prayer all the time—at Mass, within the Rosary, in other times of need—yet how often do we recognize its power?  People who have been away from Church—who have been away from God—for decades know the Our Father.  Half-conscious souls on their deathbed will start mouthing the prayer when they hear it.
            The Our Father is the only prayer that Jesus taught his disciples.  As we pray these words at Mass, let’s do so with gusto!  Remember how much power these simple words have in our lives.

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