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Pursue goodness, truth, beauty. Pursue, pursue and never stop

by davesandel on October 7th, 2021

Thursday, October 7, 2021                             (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Pursue goodness, truth, beauty. Pursue, pursue and never stop

For you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

In 21st century America praying the Rosary matters more than ever. If you can count your steps, you can count your prayers, right? 10,000 steps, 1000 reps of the Jesus Prayer, the Divine Chaplet, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Glory Be’s, and …

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb: Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos), pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Pray for Margaret, Chris, Melissa, Jack, Aly, Marc, Andi, Aki, Miles and Jasper, now at the hours of their death.

Pray for me, now and at the hour of my death.

Pray for pray for pray for pray for. At the hours of our death.

Pray that prayer fifty times and come back tomorrow. Today will be focused on the “luminous mysteries,” and tomorrow will turn toward the sorrows. But Saturday we will rise up in joy, and Sunday pours us out in glory. Rinse and repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Pursue what is good. Never give up.

What the heck? You could pray your day away. And there are lots more prayers, like the ones listed above. You got anything better to do? I always think I have things that have to be done. This is sometimes called the “tyranny of the urgent.” Important as it may be, this kind of prayer is mostly left behind.

And even when I get started on these prayers (including centering prayer, which is a silent meditation that partners up with the wordy ones), I think about everything else except the prayer. I have miles to go, and promises to keep.

Blessed is the man who follows not the way of the wicked nor sits around with them, but instead delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it, day and night. He is like a tree, planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season and whose leaves never fade.

The Rosary is like needing bread and knocking on my friend’s door over and over, maybe even after midnight, until finally my friend gives me some bread. Jesus ends that story very well:

If he does not get up to give you the loaves because of your friendship, he will get up to give you whatever you needs because of your persistence.

Keep on asking, and you will receive.

Keep on seeking, and you will find.

Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

And Jesus is talking about knocking on heaven’s door as much or more than the door of your friend. A simpler way to say this is that God is the parent, and I’m the child. In all these repetitive prayers, God is the parent, and I am the child. I do the praying, God listens.

What father or mother among you would hand a son or daughter a snake when they ask for a fish? Or hand out a scorpion instead of an egg?

When God listens, things happen. But I have to open my mouth and say something, and often my words are better replaced by words written long ago, the same words that might be said by others just down the street, across the country, over the ocean, at all the places where these prayers are fit to print.

If even you, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?

Come, Holy Spirit. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour. Come, Holy Spirit. Oh, the water. Let it run all over me.

(Malachi 3, Psalm 1, Acts 16, Luke 11)          

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