Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rogation Days

"Hitherto, you have not asked any thing in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full "(John 16:24).

What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? It means praying with confidence based on our Lord's infinite merits. Why we should pray in the name of Jesus? We pray to God asking for favours, blessings, graces and it is very good and right way to present our needs to Him, Who mercifully provide for all our needs and on Whom depends our very existence for He sustains all. Therefore we address our petitions to the Almighty and omnipotent God and needless to say we cannot even comprehend His real Power and Might. We are but dust. We can ever have enough confidence to ask for favours from all powerful God, offering Him in return our own good works and merits, even of the greatest value in our own eyes? It might happen that they are not enough to win His attention and compassion. God is our Benefactor, therefore, we need to make sure our petition might be pleasing to Him even when offered with the utmost humility of a beggar: "The prayer of him that humbleth himself, shall pierce the clouds" (Ecclesiasticus 35:21). Prayer of supplication offered with humility and supported by infinite merits of our Lord can be pleasing and acceptable to God. This is based on His own words referring to Christ: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt 3:17). In Old Testament tradition, prayers were always offered supported by the merits of Patriarchs and Prophets - Moses prayed for Israelites who had fallen into idolatry in this way: "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants" (Exodus 32:13). His petition was granted: "And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which he had spoken against his people" (Exodus 32:14). The merits of God's only Son are infinite and of much more value than all the merits of Prophets and Patriarch of Old Testament (Matt 3:17). For this reason the prayers of the Church are always offered "through Christ, Our Lord". This is the best way to pray to the Father (John 16:24) and again recommended by St Paul: "He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?" (Rom 8:32)