Praying, the life of the Trinity – Br. Todd Blackham

Malachi 3:13-4:2
Luke 11:5-13

For all the mysteriousness of prayer, Jesus, by word and example, teaches us simply to keep at it.  I’m sure his disciples couldn’t help but notice the way he would slip away to pray, often.  Occasionally he brought a few of them with him on these extended prayer times.  His prayer must of have been of such a quality that it inspired the request to “Teach us to pray” that opened this dialogue.  Aside from the Lord’s Prayer, there is precious little about the form and substance of these prayers aside from Jesus’ own persistence at it.

He goes on to assure them that they will receive, they will find, and doors will be opened to them.  It seems evident that they need reassuring, anyone who has attempted to pray for something will quickly run into the uncomfortable truth that it’s not as simple as putting in your quarters and selecting which soda you want.  Nor is it even like filing the correct paperwork for a zoning variance and navigating layers of bureaucracy until getting approval.

God is not a vending machine.  God is not a bureaucrat.  God is not a trickster.  Jesus tells us he is our heavenly Father, capable of giving good gifts like we would give our own children.  God is our good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.  God is the great physician in the business of healing the sick. Read More

Seek, and You Shall Find (And Be "Disturbed") – Br. Nicholas Bartoli

Br. Nicholas BartoliLuke 11:5–13

Jesus said ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Be persistent, and you will receive the Holy Spirit from our Father in Heaven. That sounds simple and wonderful, but sometimes, it can seem so much harder than that. When our relationship with God seems distant, and our spiritual life feels dry, when life seems more like a burden and less like a gift, it’s easy to believe that all our seeking is going nowhere. Something gets in the way, and the version of this saying found in the Gospel of Thomas gives one suggestion on what that might be. Read More