Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/9/2015 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Prayer is a process of Love exchanged for love. In its classroom we learn how to live in this communion throughout the day and in all circumstances

Jesus said: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt. 11:28-30) I need to hear these words often these days. Life can certainly become burdensome at times. We all know this is true. However, those of us who bear the name Christian know the One to whom we can always turn, the Lord Jesus.he says to each of us this morning, Come to Me. We need to surrender our burdens and freely take up His Yoke.

A Yoke. We are now yoked to the Lord, and, in Him, with one another.

A Yoke. We are now yoked to the Lord, and, in Him, with one another.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/9/2015 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: take up my yoke, surrender, discipleship, Advent, prayer, communion, Josemaria Escriva, contemplation, contemplative, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - Our Gospel today is short, but profoundly important:  Jesus said: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt. 11:28-30)

I need to hear these words very often these days. Life can certainly become burdensome at times. We all know this is true. However, those of us who bear the name Christian know the One to whom we can always turn, the Lord Jesus. He says to each of us this morning, "Come to Me". We need to surrender our burdens and freely take up His Yoke.

Throughout the biblical accounts of the earthly ministry and life of Jesus we discover, in his Sacred Humanity, the path to finding true rest. He was regularly in prayer. He lived in a continual communion with the Father. He now gives us the grace we need to live in the same way. 

His prayer opened the heavens, brought provision to the hungry, gave Him clarity for making decisions and brought the glory of heaven to earth. Prayer still does all of this, and more, for those who will learn to live their lives immersed in God and study in its classroom.

I am frequently asked what I think is the greatest need in the Church today. Because of my work at the intersection of faith and culture, people presume to know how I will answer. They expect me to be what they perceive to be action oriented.  My answer is simple. "The greatest need in the Church today is people who pray", I respond.

One of my personal heroes, and one of the great treasures of the Church in our age, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, was a close friend and confidante of St. Josemaria Escriva. Like his friend, the Bishop was a man of true holiness, the kind only formed through living in an intimate communion with the Lord.

He once wrote: The so-called "practical people" are not really the most useful in the service of Christ's Church, nor are those who merely expound theories. Rather it is the true contemplatives who best serve her; those with the steady, generous and passionate desire of transfiguring and divinizing all creation with Christ and in Christ. It may sound paradoxical, but in the Church of Jesus Christ, the mystic is the only practical person.

Through prayer we can recover the capacity for an intimate communion of love with the living God and plunge ourselves into its embrace. Prayer is a process of Love exchanged for love. In its classroom we learn how to live in this communion throughout the day and in all circumstances.

Jesus was, in the words of the ancient Christian creed, true God and true man. Sometimes we think that He could pray and live this way because He was Divine. However, we need to remember that in his sacred humanity he prayed. He shows us the fullness of humanity and calls us to become what spiritual writers have long called sons (and daughters) in the Son. This is our divine filiation. We can pray like Him because we pray in Him.

Through prayer we can now cry out with Jesus, Abba Father. No longer alienated from God, we can actually participate in the very life of the Trinity, the inner life of God, beginning NOW and opening up into eternity and the life to come. God dwells in us and we dwell in Him through His Spirit. Coming to not only intellectually assent to this, but live it, is the heart of true prayer.

Prayer is not about doing or getting but rather about being, receiving, giving, and loving. Prayer is the path to communion through Jesus Christ with the Father, in Jesus Christ with one another, and in the Trinitarian God with the world which He created and is recreating and redeeming in Christ.

All of this is made possible through the Holy Spirit who invites us - right now - into to the very inner life of the Trinity, through prayer. The good Bishop was right; we need impractical people, who pray. Let us hear the invitation this morning and Come to Jesus.Let us take His yoke upon oursleves and find the meaning of His promise. Freedom and self surrender are not at odds.

St. Josemaria Escriva wrote in Friends of God:

I insist, and I would like to engrave this deep in your hearts, that freedom and self-surrender are not contradictory. They sustain one another. Freedom can only be given up for love; I cannot conceive any other reason for surrendering it. And I am not just playing with words or phrases. When people give themselves freely, at every moment of their self-surrender, freedom renews their love; to be renewed in that way is to be always young, generous, capable of high ideals and great sacrifices.

I remember how pleased I was when I was told that the Portuguese term for young people is os novos, the new ones. That is just what they are. I tell you this because, although I have been around a good many years, when I pray at the foot of the altar 'to God who gives joy to my youth', I feel young and I know that I will never consider myself old. If I keep true to my God, Love will constantly vivify me. My youth will be renewed like that of the eagle.

It's because we love freedom that we tie ourselves down. Only pride sees such bonds as a heavy chain. True humility, which is taught us by the One who is meek and humble of heart, shows that his yoke is easy and his burden light: his yoke is freedom and love and unity; his yoke is the Life which he won for us on the Cross.
(Friends of God Freedom #31)

-----

Deacon Keith A. Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. Both organizations are committed to the conversion of culture. An ordained Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and seven grandchildren, He is a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate who served as the first and founding Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice in the nineteen nineties. He has long been active at the intersection of faith, values and culture and serves as Special Counsel to Liberty Counsel. He is a contributing writer to THE STREAM. He writes regularly for Catholic News Agency and is the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online. This reflection on prayer is an excerpt from a book by Deacon Fournier which will be made available through Catholic Online and its faith partners next year.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may findeven within the huge cities of the worldopportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More U.S.

America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning Watch

Image of Our nation is in decline. Is there any wonder why?

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country! (Four Star General, George S. Patton, U.S. Army, 1885-1945)About three generations ago, our nation was not to be trifled with. The Japanese learned ... continue reading


Car accident reveals OBGYN's dark secret - Abortion drugs and human tissues discovered Watch

Image of Abortionist Michael Arthur Roth was caught with human tissue and Fentanyl in his vehicle after a car accident (FOX2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Michigan OBGYN Michael Arthur Roth was involved in a car accident last September. What police found in his trunk and glove box resulted in his immediate arrest with nine charges. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Roth was involved in a car accident in September ... continue reading


The Vindication of Governor Bob McDonnell, Persevering Faith and the Friends of Job Watch

Image of Former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell emerges victorious at the US Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In 2014, the former Governor of Virginia, a genuine Catholic Christian named Robert "Bob" McDonnell, was wrongfully convicted of committing a federal offense while in office. Both as his friend and as a constitutional lawyer, I paid very close attention to the ... continue reading


Can YOU find 'super racist' message on this Red Cross poster? Watch

Image of Woman realizes pool safety notice for children encourages racism (Margaret Sawyer).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Margaret Sawyer noticed a Red Cross safety poster at a public pool in Salida, CO. She took a moment to take a closer look then internally shook her head at what she thought was an outdated guide - until she spotted it again at across town. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


BREAKING: Supreme Court rules AGAINST women, still okay to kill girls, mothers in abortion mills Watch

Image of A abortion kills children. Why don't people understand this?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Supreme Court has ruled against the state of Texas, and women, deciding that abortionists do not need to follow common sense safety measures before killing babies, and sometimes their mothers. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A liberal, 5-3 vote by the ... continue reading


No more white majority? US will soon see no majority race Watch

Image of The United States will soon be a country without racial majority within the next few decades (Alamy).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Adorable little babies born in the United States have no idea they are reshaping the nation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to new population estimates from the Census Bureau, racial and ethnic minorities made up 50.2 percent of babies under 1-year-old ... continue reading


'Protests are a vital part of democracy': Freddie Gray case continues as another officer is found innocent Watch

Image of Freddie Gray was killed by police after they attempted to drag him into a police van (Gray family).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When 25-year-old Freddie Gray's spine was nearly severed as he was dragged into a police van last April, the city of Baltimore erupted - and it might just flare up again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On April 12, 2015, Gray ran from officers when they attempted ... continue reading


Gallup survey finds less than 4 percent identify as LGBT Watch

Image of Less than 4 percent of the population is LGBT, but they command substantial political clout.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Less than four percent of U.S. adults consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), a Gallup survey finds. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - According to a survey by Gallup, 3.9 percent of U.S. adults consider themselves LGBT. The number of ... continue reading


Supreme Court issues four rulings, do they affect you or someone you know? Watch

Image of The Supreme Court has issued rulings in four cases today.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Supreme Court has issued rulings on four cases today. Those cases involve affirmative action, immigration, drunk driving laws, and repeat offender laws. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Supreme Court has issued rulings in four cases. Here are their ... continue reading


Faith and the Future: Build on the Rock of Jesus and Become the Church Militant Watch

Image of The Church is the rock of refuge and a safe harbor in an age which is being shaken.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The use of the expression Church Militant as a description of the mission of the Church on earth used to be very common. However, for lots of reasons, including a possible misunderstanding of the term in this increasingly violent age, it has fallen out of use. It ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Prayer enables grace': Pope Francis encourages prayer
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, June 30, 2016
  • Fatima Morning Offering HD Video
  • 'It is so heartwarming': Thai Catholics exhibit extraordinary faith
  • First Martyrs of the See of Rome: Saint of the Day for Thursday, June ...
  • A Prayer for the Departed HD Video
  • 'I love you and I am crying so hard grandma': Woman honors grandmother

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 12:1-11
1 It was about this time that King Herod started persecuting certain ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 29th, 2016 Image

St. Peter
June 29: Peter, who was also known as Simon Peter of ... Read More