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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

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St. Katharine Drexel

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34
Matthew 6:7-15

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the ultimate prayer book

"This is how you are to pray." —Matthew 6:9

When we pray the "Our Father," we are praying part of the Bible (Mt 6:9-13). Consider extending this and make praying the Bible one of your principal Lenten practices. Pray it word for word as far as possible. Just change the words slightly to put them in the form of a prayer. For example, you can pray the end of today's first reading: "Father, may Your word that goes forth from Your mouth not return to You void but do Your will, achieving the end for which You sent it" (see Is 55:11). Also, try to personalize the prayer. For example, in the above prayer, you may pray: "Father, may Your word to me concerning repentance from unforgiveness not return to You void."

Sometimes you may not pray the Bible word for word, but it will inspire you to pray for intentions and pray in ways you would have never thought of otherwise. Furthermore, when you pray the Bible, you will be challenged to repent. God's ways are often not our ways (Is 55:8). We will have to deny ourselves, not do our will, and do God's will to pray the Bible. Finally, when we pray the Bible, we will see our prayers answered, for we will not be praying in our name but in Jesus' name (Jn 14:14). Pray the Bible.

Prayer:  Father, this Lent, may the Bible become my prayer book.

Promise:  "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves." —Ps 34:19

Praise:  St. Katharine Drexel, an abundantly wealthy heiress, gave not only her money, but spent her life in evangelizing and serving underprivileged American minorities.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, How to Pray the Bible, or our tape on audio AV 82-3 or video V-82.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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