The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

7th Week of Easter

Date: 
Tue, 05/30/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I am concerned, this morning, about prayer.
More specifically, I am concerned about your prayer.
And by concerned I don’t mean worried.
By concerned I mean interested, curious.
I want to know about your experience of prayer.
I want to hear how you connect your faith and your prayer.
What do you pray for?  (every good gift that comes from God)
How do you pray?
Why do you think God should hear and answer your prayer?  (because I have been righteous, good, faithful, I have love in my heart, I am earnest.
Are you willing to confront God in prayer?
Do you think your prayer is effective?  Why or why not?
 
Prayer is an act of communication.
In our case between created and Creator; between servant and Master.
It is a dialogue, an interaction, an exchange.
Think of it as a bridge between earth and heaven with two-way traffic.
Prayer is both sending and receiving.
If we believe prayer is a conversation between God and human,
whose input in this dialogue is most important?
In our prayer with God, in all of its forms,
if we aren’t listening as much as we are speaking,
than something is out of balance.
If we are doing most of the talking, then we are cutting God off, cutting him out of the conversation.
And that’s rude.
 
Let’s look at Eucharist for a moment.  It is our greatest prayer as Catholics.
And I’m not talking about physically receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
I’m talking about the whole prayer.  It starts with “In the name of the Father..”
and ends with “Thanks be to God!”
And if you say “receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is enough”
I say No, it is not!”  And I say it emphatically.
 
Right away I see an imbalance in the prayer of the Eucharist.
Someone is always speaking…and this someone is not God.
Yes, we listen to the Word of God in the Scriptural readings.
And the words of God are interwoven into the ongoing dialogue between priest and people.
This can be and remain very external.
When we are speaking words we are not listening.
When is there time for us to listen to God in our hearts, in our souls?
 
“Sacred Silence” is that time when we are silent and God speaks.
How much Sacred Silence is provided for us in the Eucharist?  Not much.
So we should cherish this silence when it is offered.
But then what do priests and bishops do during the Eucharist? 
They add their own words to all the words that are already part of Eucharist.
Too many words.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Eucharist turns into political/theological soapbox:
priests and bishops on the stump:  “this is what I know that you should know…blah, blah, blah.
This is what I do that you should do…blah, blah, blah.”
 
 
And then there are the awards, just like Hollywood actors at the Grammys and Oscars and Emmys:
“I would like to thank….blah, blah, blah.”
Well, I have never heard any priest or bishop ever say “I would like to thank God!”
I call it “the feeding of the egos.”  To make people feel important is their reward.
If they don’t feel important, maybe they won’t come back.  It’s nothing more than gratuitous flattery.
If people come to celebrations of the Eucharist to feel important,
then they are coming to Eucharist for the wrong reasons.
When everything is important, nothing is important.
Put your “thank you’s” in the bulletin or diocesan newspaper.
 
What is important when we gather for Eucharist as God’s people?  to listen to God!
What is the greatest need for our world at this time in history?  to listen to God!
 
Our prayer today:  “O Lord, quiet our minds, our hearts, our souls that we might hear and understand Your voice.  Amen!”