Praying with Right Intention – Feb 20 – Homily – Fr John Lawrence

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Fr John Lawrence gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Feb 20, 2024, on the significance of right intention in religious acts and the comprehensive spiritual guidance provided by the Lord's Prayer, including a Franciscan connection.

The homily revisits the Gospel missed on Ash Wednesday, focusing on the importance of right intention in our acts of religion: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. He emphasizes that these acts should be done to please God rather than to gain human admiration. He particularly delves into the Lord's Prayer, explaining that it encompasses all we should ask of God in its seven petitions, a concept echoed by Saint Augustine. Father explains that the Lord's Prayer is a model for all prayer, containing everything necessary for our spiritual life, and that any prayer not aligning with its intentions may be unspiritual.

The homily moves on to discuss the Franciscan practice of prayer, especially the Our Father, as recommended by Saint Bonaventure. It's highlighted that this prayer encapsulates the intentions expressed in the Psalms but in a more concise form. Father outlines the structure of the Our Father, detailing how the first part prepares us to pray with confidence, affection for others, and a focus on heavenly things. The petitions of the Our Father are then broken down: the first three concerning God's honor and the last four concerning our benefit, ranging from provision for our daily needs to forgiveness, guidance away from temptation, and deliverance from evil.

00:00 - Introduction to the Context of Today's Gospel
00:28 - The Importance of Right Intention in Acts of Religion
01:28 - Jesus' Prayer Intentions: The Lord's Prayer Explained
02:22 - Saint Bonaventure's Commentary on the Our Father
03:15 - Preparation of the Soul for Prayer
04:43 - The Seven Petitions of the Lord's Prayer: Honor to God and Our Benefit
06:34 - Daily Bread: A Lesson in Trust and Avarice
07:28 - Removing Past, Present, and Future Evils Through Prayer

Ave Maria!

Mass: Tuesday 1st Week of Lent - Wkdy
Readings:  -
1st: isa 55:10-11
Resp: psa 34:4-7, 16-19
Gsp: mat 6:7-15

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