The Eucharistic Celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer. In fact, this "knowing" and "being known" in Christ and, through him, in the Holy Trinity, is none other than the most true and deep reality of prayer. The disciple who prays much, and who prays well, is progressively drawn out of him or herself and is evermore united to Jesus the Good Shepherd, he who is the selfless servant of the brethren.
This is the joy of the Christian Faith: we are free. In the Resurrection of Jesus, love has been shown to be stronger than death. Love made Christ descend, and love is also the power by which He ascended.
Beloved, the darkness we see and hear all around us will not soon (if ever) dissipate, and yet there is a pure light shining into the darkness right now. At a time when the depths of depravity to which humanity can fall are so dramatically on display, the radiance of the grace filled humanity of Saint Mary the Virgin shines out even more magnificently, cutting through the darkness of sin and offering a beacon of hope.
As the Christian Church in America continues to slide into precipitous decline: It is no longer about your way or my way. It is about the LORD God Almighty’s way: God's “living stones,” interlocked, with love – God's love of us, our love of God, and our love of one another – binding us together with cords that cannot be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
When speaking in purely physical terms, we innately understand that serious threats require equally serious defenses. But what do we affirm about our adversary, the devil? He “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We would not dare fight a lion with our bare hands! Why then, do we not take the Scripture seriously?
Our collect for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, where we recognize the Baptism of our Lord, makes this petition of our Father in Heaven: “Grant that all who are baptized into Jesus’ Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior.” We would do well to pray this prayer earnestly, lest we take our Christian journey too lightly.