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Daily Prayer - 2015-02-18

Presence

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.

Freedom

Lord you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
Through your love I exist in this world.
May I never take the gift of life for granted.
May I always respect the right to life of others.

Consciousness

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the cares of this world.
At times like these may I be aware
of the comfort of your Presence,
Your infinite love for me.

The Word of God

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

'And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • When Jesus addresses prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, he urges us to turn away from ourselves and see the wider picture. In this passage, Jesus is not criticising these practices, he is asking us to examine our motivation in doing them. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are only a means to an end. According to the Catholic Catechism "prayer, fasting, and almsgiving...express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others..." (CCC 1434).
  • How might I apply one or all of these practices today to approach God more nearly?

Conversation

Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Amen

Prayer for peace:

Following days of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Pope Francis called on Christians around the world to fast and pray for peace in Eastern Europe this coming Ash Wednesday.
“I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace, I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.” Pope Francis, 25/02/2022

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