Confident and persevering prayer



I call upon You because You answer me, my God; incline Your ear and hear my words. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, we read in the Entrance Antiphon of the Mass.


The texts of the liturgy focus on the power that persevering and faith-filled prayer has before God. St. Luke, before telling us, in the Gospel of the Mass, the parable of the widow and the wicked judge, indicates to us the end that Jesus proposes: He told them this parable to make them see that they should persevere in prayer without losing heart. In the supernatural life, there are actions that are performed only once: receiving Baptism, the sacrament of Orders.... Others, it is necessary to carry them out many times, such as forgiving, understanding, smiling? But there are actions and attitudes that are always, for which it will be necessary to overcome tiredness, routine, discouragement. Among these is prayer, a manifestation of faith and trust in our Father God, even when he seems to be silent. St. Augustine, commenting on this passage of the Gospel, highlights the relationship between faith and trusting prayer: "If faith fails, prayer perishes", teaches the Saint; for "faith is the source of prayer" and "the river cannot flow if the spring of water dries up ". Our prayer -so needy are we! - must be continuous and trusting, like that of Jesus, our Model: Father, I know that you always hear me. He always hears us.


The First Reading of the Mass presents us with the figure of Moses praying on the top of a mountain, while Joshua was facing the Amalekites at Raffidin. When Moses held up his hands in supplication, Israel was victorious; when he lowered them, Amalek was victorious. And to keep Moses praying, Aaron and Jir held up his arms, one on each side. Thus he held up his hands until the going down of the sun. Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the edge of the sword.


We must not grow weary of praying. And if at any time discouragement or fatigue begin to take their toll on us, we should ask those around us to help us to continue praying, knowing that already at that moment the Lord is granting us many other graces, perhaps even more necessary than the gifts we are asking for. The Lord wants to grant us graces, but he wants us to ask for them," says St. Alphonsus Liguori. One day he went so far as to say to his disciples: 'Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full (Jn 16:24). As if he were saying: Do not complain about me if you are not completely happy, but complain about yourselves for not having sought what you needed; ask me in future and you will receive what you asked for".6 St. Bernard comments that many complain that the Lord does not help them, and it is Jesus himself - the Saint affirms - who should be complaining that they do not ask him. Let us pray like Moses: with perseverance in the midst of weariness, with the help of others when necessary. The stakes are high. The battle is hard.


Let us examine today whether our prayer is persevering, trusting, insistent, without tiring. "Persevere in prayer, as the Master advises. This starting point will be the source of your peace, of your joy, of your serenity and, therefore, of your supernatural and human efficacy". Nothing can defeat persevering prayer.