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Thursday, February 25, 1999

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Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138
Matthew 7:7-12

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praying on the edge

"When I called, You answered me; You built up strength within me." —Psalm 138:3

Queen Esther's whole race was scheduled to be exterminated. The Jewish people were so pitifully weak that they couldn't do anything politically or militantly to stop the genocide. They had "their backs to the wall." They were alone and had no help but God (Est C:14).  So Esther, on behalf of her people, prayed: "Save us by Your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but You, O Lord" (Est C:25).

This Lent, many of us are facing major tragedies and challenges. We wonder if we will even make it to the year 2000, the Great Jubilee. We don't know what to do. We are "crushed beyond our strength, even to the point of despairing of life" (2 Cor 1:8). The Lord is calling us to pray through our trials. He promises: "Ask, and you will receive.  Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7). He assures us: "If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to anyone who asks Him!" (Mt 7:11)

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves" (Ps 34:19). "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rm 10:13).  Jesus "is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He forever lives to make intercession for them" (Heb 7:25). "So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). Pray in pain. Pray through tragedies. Pray in glory.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness so I will pray as I ought (Rm 8:26).

Promise:  "Treat others the way you would have them treat you: this sums up the law and the prophets." —Mt 7:12

Praise:  Paula kept her faith even through the death of her husband. She claims Isaiah 54:5: "For He Who has become your husband is your Maker; His name is the Lord of hosts."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998