|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XV: ”How We are to Regulate Ourselves, and What We are to Say in Every Desirable Thing” (first entry)
This chapter contains a dialogue between Christ and the disciple. The Lord implores him to seek to do His will only, and to have Him take away all desire to do that which is not in the mind of God. The words above succinctly summarize the disciple’s response.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Mt 6:7-15
The Lord’s Prayer, in the form familiar to us today, is given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount as an example of how one is to pray (as opposed to pagan babbling). This may have been prompted by the Lord’s hearers per Luke (11:1-4). Jesus has them calling God familiarly as Abba (that is, Papa) and asking seven petitions. The Father is a loving parent, close to them, desiring only what is good for His children.
God, our creator, knows what’s best for us. He has our “owner’s manual.” We find that “it is hard for you to kick against the goad” (that is, the divine influence) (Acts 26:14). When we do go our own way, contrary to the Lord, we only ask for trouble. May God be merciful to not permit us to wallow in sin but rather may we come to think clearly out of this stupor, repent, and return to God’s good graces.
Remember, we also pray in the Our Father, “thy Kingdom come.” God wants to build up His kingdom here and now. The Gospels tell us how to live and Jesus shows us the way to a better world in this life and eternal happiness in the next. When we turn away from Truth we get the culture that surrounds us today: degenerate, defiant, decadent, divisive. We are called to change the world not to have the world change us. Let us pray unceasingly for the courage and the fortitude to remain steadfast and make a difference against the forces of the lord of this world, the evil one, Satan.