Praying without losing heart

Lk 18:1-8

And Jesus told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.  He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’  For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.  And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?  I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The last sentence of this Gospel is particularly poignant, and the heart aches to give an answer for these times: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

What could we say to the Lord, would we not have to lament that faith has often become weak? In quite a few countries of the world that have received the message of the Gospel, faith has almost completely disappeared. We must even speak of apostasy. New generations are growing up without the message of faith being passed on to them naturally. And often this message is already distorted by the errors of modernism. In many countries, the Church is diminishing in importance. And the Church, which used to be an immovable rock for her friends and enemies alike, seems to have been corroded by the spirit of the times and hardly radiates the security she once offered to her faithful. During the coronavirus crisis, it even appeared to be an instrument of the state, ready to sacrifice its own dignity for the sake of a false harmony with the powerful of this world.

Where, then, can we still find the faithful bride of Christ, serving her Lord without reserve? If she is sought, she will still be found in those who remain faithful. But we must not dwell on this sad record – thank God there are exceptions! In any case, we must not overlook the fact that the Lord is calling all people to repentance. All must know His love and respond to it. This is the goal, although we can certainly rejoice that there remains at least a “holy remnant” that does not allow itself to be absorbed by the spirit of the world.

If, like the wise virgins, we wish to await the Lord’s return and be prepared for His coming, we must have enough oil in our lamps (cf. Mt 25:1-13). What prevents us from persistently imploring the Lord, like the widow in today’s parable, to grant us strong faith? If we do so persistently and supplicantly, the Lord will surely respond to such a request with great joy. He wants us to be working in His vineyard!

In the message to Mother Eugenia, God the Father says

“If there is something that I desire, above all now, it is simply to see more fervour on the part of the just, a smooth path for the conversion of sinners, sincere and persevering conversion, and the return of the prodigal sons to their Father’s house. I am referring in particular to the Jews and to all others who are My creatures and children, such as the schismatics, the heretics, the freemasons, the poor infidels, the sacrilegious, and the various secret sects…”

This is a way to stay awake in faith and to help the fire of love to be kindled also in others as they find true faith. It would surely be a comfort to our beloved Lord!

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