Wednesday, February 15, 2017
when we pray... and someone is mad at us
In A Year with the Church Fathers, we hear again from St. John Cassian. And once again, I both agree and disagree with him. I see where he's coming from, and it's a good point. But I'd point out something about prayer that SEEMS to be missing in his writing today.
So he says, rightly so, that we should be reconciled to others. If we go to pray, and remember that someone is mad at us or has something against us, we should go to them and get things right. So far, so good.
But St John Cassian says we should do this BEFORE we pray. In other words, we should NOT pray until we've gotten things right with everyone. Well, that's where I would point out that we should actually pray without ceasing. We shouldn't STOP praying because someone has something against us. We should pray ABOUT the person who is mad at us. We should ask God's blessings on them. We should ask that He help us to reconcile to the person. I would point out that the last thing we would want to do is STOP praying in this circumstance.
Now, the good saint might mean that we shouldn't pray ASKING for things from God, such as personal blessings, until we've gotten things right with our neighbor. And maybe he's got a point there.
So the takeaway today, I think, is that reconciliation is very important. Jesus taught us to pray "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We should try to live in peace with everyone, and love even our enemies.
But we should also pray without ceasing.
God, please help us to live in peace with others... and to find that peace in never ending prayer.