Discussion in 'Fr. Pfeiffer' started by Deus Vult, May 23, 2017.
“The Necessity of Prayer” – Fr Pfeiffer, May 22 2017
A few considerations on this day of the rogation, asking the Lord here the necessity of prayer. Prayer is the breath. We say that prayer is the breath of the supernatural life. In fact, it's part of being human. No man can be without prayer. Actually what a prayer is, we think of prayer as words, but a prayer is not necessarily words. In fact, the best words for what pray means; to beg. To lift the mind and heart to God. And all, every human being lifts his mind. Every human being moves his heart. And every human being has desires, and they beg for those desires to be fulfilled. When you see a little doggie come to the table, and you've got a little piece of meat on the table, and the dog looks up… he stares at you with his big brown eyes, he stares with his eyes, and he is praying. He's begging.
Begging is something which is natural to all living creatures who are able to eat food. All living creatures who have passions. So, the animals can beg, and they beg, they pray and they pray and he begs. Then there's the other kind of praying, which is the preying of the lion. The lion sees the gazelle and he has an empty stomach, and he preys. What does he do? He has a great desire that his stomach be filled, and he changes his action, he changes his deportment, he gets down in a very quiet way and he sneaks up quietly upon his prey. We even call it the prey. He sneaks up quietly upon his prey, and he has a great desire. The desire that his stomach be filled, his desire that he be healthy, his desires that he'd be strong. And in order for him to be healthy and to be strong, he must consume that gazelle. And there's a time when he jumps up and chases the gazelle, but before it, he desires. Before it, he contemplates. Before it, he prepares. And this is prayer.
And so, we pray when we want food, we pray when want anything that's important to us. No man ever prays for something that he does not want. No one ever prays for something that he does not believe that he needs. He prays for what he wants, he prays what he needs, he lifts his mind and heart, and there's a movement that happens on the inside. That thing is prayer. It is sometimes accompanied by words. It is not always accompanied by words, but prayer is always in us. No man is without prayer. No man is without contemplation.
I may have mentioned many times, one of my parishioners in the Philippines, he says, You know Father, I have a plan, have a plan.
What's your plan?
I'm going to be a millionaire.
Well that's a, that's a common plan. Well, what do you do?
He says, Well, every day I go into the SM and I go inside of a little Chinese tea shop, yeah same as that mall over there, I sit in the Chinese tea shop and I drink tea and I contemplate.... How am I gonna make a million bucks.... I contemplate.
He contemplates how he's going to get rich, he contemplates how is going to sell. No man can be without prayer. We all must pray, and we all will pray.
In fact, even the wicked man prays. It says for instance, in the Book of Wisdom that, when the damned are in Hell, they will pray. You know that they will pray for all eternity. We will not pray in Heaven, but the damned will pray in Hell, because they will desire that their lives cease, and they will pray that their lives cease. But their prayer will not be heard. They will desire and pray that their pain end. But their prayer will not be heard, but they will pray. And the prayer is recorded in the Book of Wisdom. Because in chapter four it says; The damned look upon the just, and they say behold look at the just man, we mocked him, we mocked that poor man. We mocked that man who lived according the gospel, but behold how he is in peace. And behold how we suffer. Behold how he is in calm and joy, and we are in emptiness. And so he prays. The emptiness shall not be taken away, the prayer should not be heard.
In the Book of Jeremiah, God says that Jeremiah, because Jeremiah saw some people in Hell. He saw some people who were not repentant and would never repent. And he began to think about, should I pray for them? Should my heart be lifted and desire that they be pulled out of the kingdom of Hell into the kingdom of Heaven? And God said, Pray not for this people, for I will not hear thee. Pray not for this people. If you pray for the damned, you commit a mortal sin. You know there are some heretics who say that, We want the souls in Hell to get out of Hell, we're praying for the souls in Hell to get out of Hell. And this is a lie, and this is a mockery of prayer. They pray that prayer for all eternity, and they shall never ever have their prayer answered.
Prayer is something which is something all of us must do. All of us must lift our minds and hearts. But what does it mean? One of the aspects of prayer is; When you pray for food, what does it mean? You pray for food when you're hungry. You don't pray for food when you're full, when you're totally stuffed and you're about ready to explode, and somebody says, You want another five pieces of steak? You say, No. In fact, you pray that the steak be taken away. You pray the ice cream be taken away, even though you like ice cream. Why? Because prayer means that I'm going to ask and beg for something that I do not have.
Hence, you will find the saints in Heaven do not pray.The saints in Heaven don't pray, they don't ask to be happy, because they are perfectly happy. They don't ask to receive Christ, because Christ is in them and with them in perpetual joy. And, all of their desires are fulfilled, and they have nothing to ask for, nothing to beg for. The only way in which we say the saints pray, is they pray for the souls on earth. They pray for us. They have nothing that they can be added to themselves, but they can pray for us. They can say, Lord please save... you know this man...Anthony for instance is always busy in Heaven.. he says, Oh Lord please help him get his keys. He lost his keys, and they're asking me for his keys again! It's the same stupid place he left them last time. Remind the idiot that the keys are in his work boots, and he never works in his life, he dropped them in his work boots. Tell him to actually look in his work boots and find the keys. His keys are where they've always been, where they were the last time. The idiot lost his keys in the same place and he forgot. Lord, please pray this man remembers where his keys are. Our Lord says, All right I'll help remember where his keys are. So Anthony and other saints can pray for those people on the earth, but they don't pray for themselves. They don't pray for themselves because there's nothing that they need. There's nothing that they lack. There's nothing that they want. They have all their desires fulfilled.
The souls in Hell however, all the desires are destroyed. All the desires are wiped out and none of them are fulfilled. And hence the fools in Hell, in eternity, pray. Their prayer is a curse, and their prayer is laughed at and mocked by God, because the time of prayer is here. The time of prayer is now. We must pray here on earth. We don't need to pray in Purgatory, we don't need to pray in Heaven. But we need to pray here on earth, and hence, the devil tries to kill our prayer.
Remember many, many times the devil has appeared to souls on earth and said, Those who pray, those who continue in prayer, they cannot be damned. That's what they say. They cannot be damned. We have many cases, people living in the state of mortal sin, going from sin to sin, and yet even though they go from sin to sin, they're sorry, they sin again and they keep praying. And they keep praying, and they keep praying. And they don't give up on their prayer. And then one day, God gives them the grace to step away from their sin. And God gives them the grace to repent, and they go to become Saints. So those who continue in prayer, will not be damned, in this life.
And then prayer, what is prayer for? We are begging for what we need. So when your stomach is hungry, Oh Lord I'm really hungry, can I please eat the gravel outside, a little bit of cyanide mixed with poop, pleeaase? Now the fact is, if you pray for cyanide mixed with poop and gravel, you have mental problems. If you receive those things, you will also have physical problems. You will no longer have only mental problems, you will also get sick and die. Minimum problem of eating rocks is, you'll have tooth problems. But the fact is, that we're going to have problems, because what we pray for is what we need. What we pray for is what fulfills us. What we pray for is what makes us happy. And man's heart can only be filled by God. Man's mind can only be filled by truth.
You know that what happens to liars, for example, the mind. People that lie, they're always miserable. They're always miserable, because the mind is meant to be filled with truth. The mind is satisfied with truth. The mind rests in truth. But when you tell a lie, you're always worried that someone's going to find out, and you have to cover the lie. Then you have to cover with another lie. Then you have to cover with another lie. And the time comes when you no longer know what's a lie and what's the truth. Then you begin to believe your own lies, and your mind becomes totally corrupt and you live in perpetual fear, a perpetual wretchedness, a perpetual misery. There's no happiness, because the truth is what the mind is made for. Love is what the heart is made for. Food is what the stomach is made for. Health, good health is what the body is made for. So, if you drink all kinds of beer and do all kinds of drugs, it destroys you. And the more you do these things, the more they destroy.
And hence, what is prayer? Prayer is a desire. The lifting of the mind and heart towards God, to get the things we need to make us happy. To give the things we need to fulfill us. That's what prayer is. And then also prayer, we lift the mind, the heart to God and we give thanks to God because he's already taking care of these things for us. And we lift the mind and heart to God, to bring others to God. And this is Elias.
We have an example, the great prayer of Elias, in the scripture today in the epistle. What are the things that we pray for? So, what did Elias pray for, the first thing he mentions... then from the book of James; Dearly beloved, Confess your sins one to another and pray one for another. You will be saved. So, confess your sins one to another, the confessor says of the priest, Pray one for another that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much. Elias was a man passable, (means he was a man who suffered) he was a man that knows hunger and starvation, a man that could have headaches. A man that could suffer. Elias was a man passable like unto us, and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain. So, you know that sometimes we pray for rain, there's a Mass praying for rain. And Sometimes you pray that it not rain. Elias was a man of prayer, and he prayed that it not rain. And it did not rain for three years and six months.
Why did he say such a prayer? You know that one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man, one of the greatest answers to prayer, is suffering. Because here's one of the mysteries of man. Whenever things are going well; you know I just made $100,000 raised yesterday, and I just got praise of the greatest guy in my company, and I just won the football game, and I won the basketball game, and you know I just won my game of tic-tac-toe, and I just won the lottery, and I'm coming home today to share it with all you losers. Now what happens when we succeed at everything we do? We become proud, obnoxious and unbearable to live with. This is one of the mysteries of man. When everything goes our way, we become horrible.
Therefore, the wise man like Elias, he often prayed that it not rain. He didn't only pray that it rained, he prayed that it not rain. And why did he pray that not rain? Because Ahab, and because the Jewish people turned away from God. They turned to Baal, a false God. They turned to Satan, they turned away from the truth and so therefore they were given over to a drought.
And why was that drought an answer to prayer? Because in the drought, when the people were starving and when they were dying of thirst they said, We are dying of thirst and we are starving because of our sins. You know that the leading cause of suffering is sin. And often time the just man will pray; all right let's all fall off his horse, let him become blind, let the man fall into a pit, let him be abandoned by his friends, let him experience the agony of almost dying because of a life of drunkenness, let him go to the very closeness of death and what will happen? At that moment, he may have the wisdom of the prodigal son. And the prodigal son when he was starving, and the prodigal son when he was about to die, what did he do? He remembered his father’s house. That's one of the aspects of prayer to remember. He remembered the father's house. He said that, You know my father's house was not such a bad house. My father, whom I treated so badly, he was always` kind to me. And the servants whom I despised they are well fed, but I am starving and therefore I will rise up... (and this is prayer).... and I will return all the way to my father's house, and I will go to my father and I will say, Father I am not worthy to be called thy son, but let me be is one of thy hired servants.
God sometimes prays through the saints. The saints pray, and bad things happen. And why does God allow these bad things happen? That souls might repent. And if they repent, then they can go to Heaven. And if they do not repent, they will be eternally damned. And hence, God allows depression to enter into the soul that lives in sin. He allows sadness to enter the soul that lives in sin. Many souls today.... we see in our world today, here in Pocatello, and all over Idaho, and here also all over the United States, and all over the world, we have great suffering of heart, great suffering of minds, everywhere in the world. Because people in the world have turned against God. They are living in sin, they have broken up their marriages, they have aborted their children, they're living in great sin and wickedness. And because of the wickedness which they live, they live with a perpetual sadness in their hearts. They're sad and they're sorrowful, and they want someone to take it away.
And the only one that can take it away is our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. The only way the sorrow can be taken away, is by receiving the true faith. Which why we say in the Athanasian Creed; It is infallibly certain and absolutely certain that no man on earth, unless he believes the Catholic faith whole and entire, he cannot be saved. No man can have salvation, peace, no man can have happiness, no man can have joy, unless he has the faith. And in a world in which the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, a true Catholic faith, is taken away, is a world of no joy, a world of no security, a world of great misery. And that's our world. And as we realise our world is more miserable, we get locks and put them on our doors, get good security systems, we always want to be protected - make sure you have a car which has like an airbag thing in it, so that if you get into an accident you're going to be safe, make sure you go to the doctor get checked up all the time, because you're worried about a heart attack, you're worried about a car accident, you're worried about someone stealing your things. Why are you worried? Because you're miserable. If you're not miserable, you don't worry.
Little boys for instance, whatever toy they have - if they lose it, they figure they'll get another one tomorrow. They don't worry. And they don't worry because they're happy with whatever they have. They're happy whatever is given to them by their father. But we, when we are in the state of sin, we're not happy with what the father gives us. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that you must be his little child. What does a little child do? He asked her what he needs right now.... I'm hungry, give me breakfast. He doesn't worry about breakfast ten days from now, he doesn't worry about breakfast next year. What if you save an egg, you're going to have an egg, I'm going to save this egg so ten years from now I'll be able to eat it. If you save this egg for ten years from now, and you eat it ten years from now, you will be dead. You're going to need, you're going to hope that God still produces chickens ten years from now. You're going to hope that there’s still eggs ten years from now. God will provide a fresh egg. He will provide a fresh piece of bread. He will provide what we need. That's what Our Lord says; Give us this day, (in the prayer that he taught us), Give us this day, Our daily bread. Don't worry about the bread tomorrow.
Now the devil will come into prayer. What does he do? He'll try to twist it. For instance, Our Lord said, Give us this day our daily bread - the devil will come in and say, Prepare your retirement plan, the devil will come in and say, Prepare for the bread tomorrow, prepare for the bread next week, prepare for the bread next year, make sure you are ready for the bread of the future and don't worry about the bread of today, only worry about the bread of the future. And then by this worry, he then gets us to give up our faith. He gets us to give up our thoughts of God. He gets us a turn away,.. such is one of the tricks of Satan.
Our Lord will provide all those, for all those that love him. And he will sometimes pray for rain. He prayed for rain Elias, and the rain came. He prayed that it not rain, and the rain did not come. And why didn't Elias pray for it not to rain? Because the souls of Israel had turned against God. Why did he pray for it to rain? Because when the rain would come after three and a half years, the souls would return to God. What made him pray for there to be no rain? The love of souls. What made him pray for there to be rain? The same love of souls. What made him pray that there be no rain? The love of God. What made him pray that there be rain again? That love of God.
So, the same thing that says I want to be healthy, says I want to eat breakfast. And the same thing that says I want to eat breakfast says, I don't want to eat between meals, I want to save up energy so that I have a really good lunch, and then I want to have a really good dinner, and so on. So, the same desire that says, I want to eat, is the same desire that says, I don't want to eat. And so likewise, when we pray, our minds are begging for those things we need to get to our goal, which is God. We're begging for those things we need. We need food, we need love, we need the divine truth, we need warmth from the sun, we need shelter, we need all kinds of things, and God knows more what we need than what we do. We don't know the names of all the little creatures that live inside of us that keep us alive. We don't know how many blood molecules and how many bone molecules we have. We don't know how it all works, but God knows every bit how it works. He makes sure the stem cells are doing their work, he makes sure that our toes obey our commands. He's always taking care of us and he knows what we need.
That's why it’s wise for us to say, Lord give us whatever we need. Give us this day our daily bread, and we have confidence you're going to give us our daily bread tomorrow, and to give us our daily bread the day after that, and hence we need not worry about those things. And therefore, Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, Seek ye therefore the Kingdom of God and his justice. That's what we have to seek. Seek his justice, And all other things shall be added unto you besides.
One of the great tragedies in the world today,- we don't seek the justice of God. We don't seek the spreading of his kingdom, we don't seek that souls know and love him and return thanks to him. There's going to be a great punishment to all modern scientists and all modern economists, and all modern rulers of government, because they don't refer to God. And they don't think to God for the prosperity of our nation, they don't realise that all the good that comes to us, comes from God. They don't know that. Therefore, they shall receive a special punishment, and we must recognise that all good comes from God. And only those who are the household of the true faith, are able to pray for that good. There are so few souls that have the true faith now, so few souls. And we need many souls who have the true faith. Without that faith, we cannot have happiness. Without that faith, we cannot have peace.
So, let's persevere the true faith. Say your rosaries, love the Holy Mass and as the great saint of this week, Saint Gregory VII, he said when he died, Saint Gregory VII, we mentioned yesterday in the sermons. He said, I have loved justice and I have hated iniquity. For this reason, I died in exile. He loved justice, he hated iniquity and he defended the rights of the church. And he defended the freedom of the church, and he defended the church against heretics, and he asked of God to take these things out of the church. And God heard his prayer, and he saved the church of Saint Gregory VII, one thousand years ago. And he wants to hear our prayers. We are the ones that must pray in our time.
We must pray. The priests, of course has more of an obligation to pray than you do. I must pray, but you must also pray. All of us must pray. And praying does not mean simply reading words, though we must read them. It means something in the heart. What is that in the heart that God wants to see in us, that we beg for his kingdom to be spread. We beg for sin to be wiped away, we beg for the victory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we beg for the Holy Father to obey the Blessed Virgin Mary and consecrate Russia, in union with all the bishops throughout the world. We beg to receive the food that we need for our salvation, which is the love of God, the faith in our minds and hearts. And we beg for the physical food we need to survive from day to day, and we have complete confidence he will provide for us. And this is the virtue of hope. And we hope to obtain pardon of our sins in life and all the things we need in life everlasting. The pardon of our sins for life everlasting, the prayer of hope. The pardon of our sins, the help of thy grace and life everlasting. These three things we ask for in the virtue of hope, in the prayer for the Act of Hope. We want pardon of our sins, we want all the means necessary to save our souls, and we want life everlasting. And we must have the great confidence that our Lord will provide for us, and if we look with confidence into the face of Christ, he will give to us.
And remember what our Lord says in the gospel today; go to your wicked neighbour and ask for bread, he'll give it to you just to get rid of you. What about your Heavenly father, who loves you with all his heart, who wants to give you the greatest of gifts. Ask with importunity, beg with importunity, and he will hear your prayer. And this has been done many times by the saints. Beg with importunity, beg without stopping, and Christ will hear our prayer.
This is the crisis of the church today. There are not enough souls. We're really, really begging of Christ that his kingdom and his glory be spread throughout this earth, and his kingdom of Satan be wiped out, and Mary's victory comes soon.
Let's pray, for the confidence and with importunity, we will be sure that our prayer is heard.