People and the Power of Prayer – Real Life Rosary

People and the Power of Prayer

Posted by James Hahn on

Tuesday September 12th - The Holy Name of Mary

Luke 6:12-19

People are amazed when I tell stories from real experiences that take place during the course of my job. I must rephrase that and say that people who are sane and love the Church are amazed at my real life stories.

Just last week a woman came to my office wanting to enroll her children in the PSR (Parish School of Religion - formerly known as CCD - no body knows what that stands for. Actually it is Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. As long as we have an acronym we DRE's are happy (Director of Religious Education)). She, without any hesitation or embarrassment, told me of how their family jumps from parish to parish and often attends the Protestant church up the street instead of going to Mass. I asked her if her children had been in any religious education program to which she replied in the negative. At least not since First Communion and now since it was "time" for Confirmation they wanted to come back and "get" this sacrament. I told her that I would need to put the children in a grade lower and that they would not be able to be Confirmed for two years. She became upset and decided to go to another parish. Unfortunately another parish will probably take them right in and never challenge them to be Catholic.

The best episode came during a Confirmation Mass. Well, really it was after the Mass. All of the newly confirmed students were standing on the steps of the sanctuary while the bishop and priests stood behind them. I stood at the pulpit giving directions to parents - asking them to take the picture and move on so the person behind could have a turn, asking them to maintain silence, etc. As I was doing this a father was making his way up the isle looking at me and rubbing his forehead with his middle finger. Yes, he was "flipping me off" in the Church in front of the bishop, priests, and Jesus himself!

Today I spoke with a woman who wanted to sign her children up for PSR. I was encouraging her to take part in our adult education program that takes place at the same time as the children's programs. She informed me that she didn't need any "adult education". She said, "I know everything about the Catholic Church. I have been a Catholic my whole life and I don't need an adult education program thank you very much." I laughed, out loud into the phone but she just kept on.

Every morning I pray for the people I will speak with or encounter during that day. I spend time in prayer asking God to bless them and give me the words to say. Prayer is absolutely essential for making good decisions either in my job or any other. Today's Gospel shows me that even Jesus had to really sit down and speak with His father when it came to human nature. He was about to make a very important choice by choosing His followers. He spent the night in prayer! Out of all of the people who were following Him at the time He chose only twelve.

But I might say, "He is God. He knew from eternity who He would choose." However, I must remember that Jesus had two wills, a divine will and a human will. His human will was not omnipotent. He too sought God but not for His own sake but for ours. Therefore, He prayed that James and John would not feel entitled to something simply because they were part of the group. He prayed that Peter would not lash out when he didn't get his own way but would instead be humble. He prayed that Judas would not think of himself as one who knows it all and doesn't need to learn any more.

Jesus continues to pray for us. He continues to intercede on our behalf. If we will only take the attitude that everything is a gift and we deserve nothing we will have everything. If we ask for the grace to control our tempers and selfishness He will give us the grace needed. If we, like those in the Gospel, "seek to touch him" we will find that power comes forth from Him and He will heal us all.

"In prayer we seek, find, and converse with God just as we would with an intimate friend. We can speak of our sorrows and joys, our weaknesses and problems, and our desires to be better and to help others to be better too."
-Pope John Paul II

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