Sunday, May 17, 2015

bearers of the poverty of mankind


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The Spiritual Motherhood you have been called to embrace means to bear in prayer the needs, the poverty, and the sufferings of others, especially priests.  This is can be no detached recitation of those needs before God or a detailed explanation of them.  As Spiritual Mothers you must not only stand before God with a tender love for his priests, but do so with a pure heart and boundless trust in the Father.  Furthermore, you must accept and bear before God that poverty, need and suffering as your own.

How is it that we are to pray for others - those who have asked for our prayers and are in need? After all, the list can get rather long at times and what is it exactly that we are to bring to God in that prayer? Well, as always we look to Christ for guidance: 'When you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.' (Matthew 6:7-8) So no heaping up of words. What then? This is how a Carthusian writer puts it: "In the eyes of the Lord, giving a detailed explanation to the Father of all the needs we have been asked to present to him is not what matters; what matters is that we should stand before him with a pure heart, and with boundless trust in his tender love for his children. This attitude is no easy way out; it is far more reassuring to rely on words or our activity than to have complete and blind trust in the love of the Father, known in faith. We should be the bearers of the poverty of mankind not by spelling it out, but by experiencing it, in the vivid awareness that we are in the presence of God with empty hands, and that we must count totally on him." A pure heart and and boundless trust . . . this is what we must bring to our prayer.