Pray persistently

Lk 18:1-8

‘Jesus then told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town,’ he said, ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for anyone. In the same town there was also a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Even though I have neither fear of God nor respect for any human person, I must give this widow her just rights since she keeps pestering me, or she will come and slap me in the face.” ‘And the Lord said, ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

It is especially the last sentence of this text that is very distressing and if we were to answer it for today, the heart can easily become heavy. “But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?”

What might we answer the Lord?

Would we not have to lament: faith has often become weak! In not a few countries of the earth that have known the message of the Gospel, it has even evaporated. We must speak of an apostasy. Generations are growing up who are no longer taught the message of the faith as a matter of course, and not infrequently it has already been defaced by modernist errors. The importance of the church is declining in many countries. The Church, which was once a rock for friend and foe, seems to be gnawed away by the spirit of the times and hardly radiates the confidence it used to give to its faithful! In the current Corona crisis, it even looks like a stooge of the state and seems to be abandoning its inherent dignity in favour of a false harmony with the powerful.

So where do we still find the faithful Bride of Christ who serves her Lord in faith without reservation? We have to look for her to discover her still in the faithful.

But we should not just leave it at the sad inventory. There are – thank God – also exceptions. But we must not overlook the fact that the Lord calls all people to repentance. All should come to know his love and respond to it. That is the standard, even if we can be glad that at least a “holy remnant” will not let itself be devoured by the spirit of this world.

So if we want to wait like the wise virgins for the return of the Lord, then it is necessary to have enough oil in the lamps to be ready for his coming. What is to prevent us, like the widow in today’s Gospel, from persistently asking for a strong faith, so persistent and pleading that the Lord will surely answer with great joy! He wants us to serve in his vineyard.

On 7 November, during the Father Meditation, I quoted the following text from the Father’s Message and asked our “Abba family” (those who have come forward to know God our Father more deeply and to collaborate with us in His work of love, and in this way also to represent their peoples) to take special care of this request for one month:

“If there is something that I desire, above all now, it is simply to see more fervour on the part of the just, a smooth path for the conversion of sinners, sincere and persevering conversion, and the return of the prodigal sons to their Father’s house. I am referring in particular to the Jews and to all others who are My creatures and children, such as the schismatics, the heretics, the freemasons, the poor infidels, the sacrilegious, and the various secret sects ….”

This is one way we can stay awake in the faith and help the embers of love to awaken in others and help them find the true faith. It would certainly be a comfort to the beloved Lord!

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