Friends - There is a splendid, magnificent, grace-filled, experiment you might want to know about and possibly take up in the New Year. It is called a NOVENA, a nine-day exercise in prayer that just might change the trajectory of your spiritual life for the better in 2021.
Jesus drives out the people who are making money selling in the temple, saying, “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:45). In doing so, He removes the sinful activities that separate people from God and prevent them from growing in His love and sharing it with others. Then he stays there and teaches.
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Have you ever needed to think about two possibilities? Perhaps, it was whether you made the team or got a job or whether it was going to rain or snow.
When St. Paul tells us to put on the “armor of God … to stand firm against the tactics of the devil,” I thought about what it’s like wear ice hockey equipment: the helmet, shoulder and elbow pads, shin guards, and gloves. By the time you’re finished gearing up, you feel invincible!
Today’s gospel reminds me of what can happen in marathon-like times; times when we can’t be sure when things like the Master will return … or when this pandemic will end.
One of the most moving moments in PRAY, the beautiful film we have recently released on the life and Mission of Venerable Patrick Peyton, is when Peter and Patty MacEntee tell their Rosary story. They recall that a few years into their marriage, already with a couple of kids, their life got listless and their marriage hard. Peter admits that he didn’t want to let go of the supposed freedom of sports all the time and drinking with his buddies… Patty was feeling left alone… But then Peter says that from watching EWTN he heard of Father Peyton and the importance of praying the Rosary at home… So they decided to try. Peter talks of their first Rosary together… You can see the memory brings tears to his eyes … He said it was really awkward… yet a really intimate moment… They opened themselves to each other – AND, TOGETHER, TO GOD Beautiful. Powerful in a gentle way… They say then that their decision to pray the family Rosary every day saved their marriage and has been one of the most important decisions in their married life.