Don’t do it without God!

Friends in Christ,  
Hardly a day goes by, when I haven’t begun some task, whether it is hearing a Confession, or backing the car out of the garage, or calling a parishioner,  when it dawns on me: ‘Wait, I didn’t pray!’  
To pray before a task, even just a quick:  ‘O Holy Spirit, help me’ –  to glance one’s eyes to heaven,  or to ask the Blessed Virgin’s help –  this is to imbue the action with an effectiveness, a goodness, a success.   

In today’s world, especially we Americans,  there is a tendency to do our work without a supernatural tone.  In fact, sometimes the more daunting the task, the more that our concerns and intensity cause us  to forget to ask for God’s help.  

In the Gospel today, we see that a man had brought his child to the apostles, asking them to cure the child.  The boy was possessed by some sort of spirit, and he would fall on the ground and convulse and foam at the mouth – who knows if this was some kind of epilepsy or something else.  The father said: ‘I asked your disciples to cast it out but they could not.’ Our Lord is upset about this because he knows why. ‘O faithless generation!, he says. Then he cures the child.   

Later, his disciples asked him, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”  They had been trying to do it without praying, on their own!  

Jesus wants us, when we are faced with a task,  especially a difficult task, to HAVE FAITH, and call for his help.   Have you ever noticed how badly things often turn out if we forget to pray first, and how well things go if we’ve sent a glance to heaven?  You know, Psalm 127 is worth memorizing:

‘If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do the workmen labor;
If the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil;
in vain is your earlier rising,
you who labor for the bread you eat,  
while he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.’  

If we try to do anything without God, forget it! It will fall flat.  But if we ask the Lord’s help, we can be assured that come what may, the Lord will bless our work.  We should develop a habit of looking to heaven for help –  to Jesus, to the saints, to our Angel, Our Lady –  it is an act of humility to ask for help  and show dependence on God for all our actions. If we have this habit, then we won’t leave off calling for assistance when moments of crisis come or in fearful situations.  

As St. Paul says,  ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me.  

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