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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Peace and Prayer

While contention in the media and among bishops marks the life of the Church today, it is easy to get caught up in all the battles and to forget to turn to prayer. Shrill accusation, vitriol and provocation beat at the doors of our hearts like barbarians before the gates, and we forget the Guest who has made His home within us. Perhaps this mirrors state of our households and parishes. Perhaps, our struggle to pray signifies even deeper discord that we suffer in our own souls.

Prayer is more powerful than ecclesial politics, theological rancor or personal failure. Big personalities cannot stop the mind attentive to God and the political gymnastics of the powerful are lost in a humble petition's shadow. The wings of a heart that relies on God rise above familial conflict and tense marital arguments. Pleading before the Lord baptizes humiliation in hope.

No abyss of pain can yawn between two hearts any further than the prayer of faith still can cross. With fasting and sacrifice, not even the powers of Hell can hold back that surge of heart that Christ joins to His own. A cry to the Lord can still even the restlessness and lack of interior peace that we suffer because of sin - our own and of those who Christ has given us to bear for His Body, the Church.

In fact, reverently repeating the name of Jesus is enough to bring us back to our senses. His Name helps our knees find the holy ground on which they were created kneel and our head the only glory before which it should bow. This is the only Name that ever brings unity to the Church or restoration to families. If divisions seem insurmountable, invincible floodgates of mercy are unleashed by the power of the Name of the Lord. No other name can heal one's own integrity or restore one's own dignity as can the invocation of Jesus.

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