Father José LaBoy, LC
Jesus said to his
disciples: "In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their
many words. Do not be like them. Your Father
knows what you need before you ask him. This
is how you are to pray: Our Father who art
in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and
forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who
trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil. If you forgive men their
transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if
you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I am
aware that you know what is best for me, and
that is why I believe in you. You are
more interested in my spiritual well-being than I am, and
that is why I trust in you. You always
give me your loving forgiveness in spite of my sins,
and that is why I love you.
Lord, teach me how to pray.
1. Prayer is the
Fruit of Silence: Some people like to talk. They
demand to be listened to, but they don’t have the
same interest in listening. However, you usually can’t listen
if you aren’t used to silence. St. Theresa of
Calcutta once wrote that prayer is the fruit of silence.
Jesus wants us to understand that prayer is more
about listening than about talking. When you are with
someone who knows much about a topic that interests you,
you limit yourself to asking questions and dedicate yourself
to listening. Jesus is the revealer of God the
Father. That means our main interest in prayer should be
asking Jesus, our Lord, about his Father and then
dedicating ourselves to listening.
2. God is Our Loving Father:
Jesus tells us that God the Father knows what
we need before we ask him. Still, we should
ask, because in asking we become aware that we have
needs that only God our Father can grant us.
We learn to ask God what we most need for
our salvation. That is why Jesus taught us the
“Our Father.” Praying the “Our Father” reminds us that
he is the father of all, and therefore every human
person is truly our brother. In praying the “Our
Father,” we essentially ask for three things: that God
have the first place in our lives, that he give
us our material and spiritual sustenance, and that he
grant us his forgiveness.
3. Forgive in Order to Be Forgiven:
Jesus emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. As the First
Letter of John reminds us, we are all sinners
(cf. 1:8). One of the essential characteristics of Christian life
is seeking to encounter Christ’s loving mercy. We can
really experience it only when we put it into
practice ourselves. We can admire a person who parachutes
off a plane, but we won’t understand the experience until
we skydive ourselves. We grasp the true meaning of
mercy when we forgive others. Our mercy will not
be the same as Christ’s: He never sinned, and therefore
he forgives us even though we don’t deserve it.
If Christ has forgiven us, how can we dare not
to forgive others?
Conversation with Christ: Lord,
I thank you for teaching me to pray to the
Father. I don’t always pray as much as I
should. Please help me to pray more and better. Please
help me to want with all my heart to
give God the first place in my life, preferring his
will to mine. Help me to treat others as
I would like them to treat me, forgiving them
when they offend me.
Resolution: I will
dedicate a specific time to prayer each day.