Today’s Gospel teaches us about perseverance in prayer. What a lesson to learn! No matter how far we go in prayer and faith we will always need to pray for our own needs and those of others. The more we pray the more we align ourselves with God and His will. Persistence in prayer leads us to obtaining our deepest desire. Our deepest desire is the treasure that awaits us. It is nothing other than God himself. So why must we wait?
A Carthusian Monk wrote: “Why does God, who is love, keep us waiting? Because He is love, and seeks love. Love that does not know how to wait is not love. To love is to give ourselves. Not only for a fraction of a lifetime, nor with a part of its strength: love is, and seeks, the total gift of self.”
Let’s break this quote down into three parts: waiting, lifetime, and total gift. Further quotes are from this same Carthusian, Dom Augustin Guillerand.
1. Waiting. We wait for the things and the people we love. The more we esteem something, the more we will wait, the more we will persevere. How could it be any other way? “It is a law that real treasures are deeply buried and carefully hidden; that serious acquisitions call for proportionate efforts”. Would the Olympic champion be happier just because he is handed the gold medal or because he has worked hard for it? Would the Grandmother be prouder of her family because everything came easy or because she has patiently loved and sacrificed for her loved ones?
2. Lifetime. We have ups and down, delays, long stretches that seem like lost time or that we are going backward in our life journey and in our relationship to God. Do not be discouraged! The time is now: “Delays in union are not time lost; far from it, God sees very far ahead; he makes wonderful use of what we call evil –of our wanderings, our hesitations and detours, although he does not love them or want them. It is at these moments, above all, that we need confidence and perseverance.”
3. Total gift. God is love and the nature of love is to give and God, being infinite, gives totally. What God desires for us is that we to learn how to give in the same way. This is what we are made for and this is what will make us completely fulfilled. We must wait but we can take steps every day. Prayer teaches us to ask for what we need, ask for the needs of others and to give the best of ourselves.
At the end of the gospel today Jesus asks “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?“ Faith and prayer go together, you cannot separate the two. Never give up on prayer and never give up on your faith in God. He is always with you and in you, let us turn to Him in confidence and prayer.