Generally speaking, people do pray. More so for us as Catholics, we pray, whether sporadically, as in once in a while, or every day. And when we come for Mass, we pray. So, we can say that at least we pray once a week, and hopefully we pray more than that. By and large, when we pray, we pray for our own needs and intentions. At least we begin somewhere in prayer.

How our prayer is answered that depends on God surely. But as much as prayer is a serious affair, there can be a humorous side to it. Not to say that prayer is a joke, but jokes about prayer can at times reveal how we are praying and what we are praying for. Here is one example:

Man: God how long is a million years to you?
God: Oh, it is just like a minute.
Man: God how much is a million dollars to you?
God: Oh, it is just like a cent to me
Man: God can I have a cent?
God: Ok, just wait a minute …

The readings entreat us to ask daily for our true needs from God who desires to fulfill them. Here are a few of the many thoughts of St. Francis de Sales on prayer:

Our good Master shows us very clearly in the Our Father that we must first ask that God be acknowledged and adored by all. Then we ask for what is most necessary for us, that God’s Kingdom come. The Kingdom is the beginning and end for which we live. We desire to be inhabitants of heaven. Next, we ask that God’s will be done. After these requests, Our Lord makes it very clear that we must ask for our daily bread every day.

In prayer God comes into the garden of our soul and plants divine love. In time, as we cultivate in prayer what God has planted in our hearts, we gain confidence in our growing friendship with God. So close does our friendship flower that we even ask God to give us what we desire. So, as well as praising God in prayer, we also ask God for all that is good. We can ask God for anything with the condition that what we ask for is in accord with God’s will and is for God’s greater glory.

In prayer God gives us all the good thoughts we need to become whole. Prayer shows us how to perform all our actions well. Every action of those who reverence God is a continual prayer. Those who give alms, visit the sick, and practice other good works, are praying. They are voices praising God with their good actions.

The end of prayer is to desire only God. Our Savior desires to plant in us an abundance of graces and blessings and even His heart, completely enflamed and burning with an incomparable love toward us. Let us pour out in His presence all our desires so that He may transform us entirely into Himself. How can we not open our heart in prayer to allow the Holy Spirit to flood it with divine love?

(Adapted from the Writings of St. Francis de Sales)

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