PIOUS, alias HOLY, NEW YEAR!
A new year! Will you and I take advantage
of this New Year to become saints? That is
2005 starts in the morning of the first of
January 2005. The famous British writer C.
S. Lewis was right when he wrote, "The
moment you wake up each morning, all your
wishes and hopes for the day rush at you
like wild animals. And the first job each
morning consists in shoving it all back;
in listening to that other voice, taking
that other point of view, letting that other,
larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing
He is right. He who runs from God in the
morning will scarcely find Him the rest of
And finding God is what 2005 is all about.
Ivan endured all the horrors of a Soviet
prison camp. One day he was praying with
his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner noticed
him and said with ridicule, "Prayers
won't help you get out of here any faster."
Opening his eyes, Ivan answered, "Perhaps
not, but they help me to do the will of God
Prayer opens a contact with the real Helper
in life. And believe it or not, prayer can
also be fun! A friend of mine took his small
son with him to town one day to run some
errands. When lunch time arrived, the two
of them went to a fast food place for a burger.
The father sat down on one of the stools
at the counter and lifted the boy up to the
seat beside him. They ordered lunch, and
when the waiter brought the food, the father
said, "Son, we'll just have a silent
prayer." Dad got through praying first
and waited for the boy to finish his prayer,
but the boy just sat with his head bowed
for an unusually long time. When he finally
looked up, his father asked him, "What
in the world were you praying about all that
time?" With the innocence and honesty
of a child, he replied, "How do I know?
It was a silent prayer."
Do not worry! God can understand even a silent
prayer! He can even pick sense out of an
A small boy was sent to his room because
he had been naughty. A short time later he
came out and said to his mother, "I've
been thinking about what I did and I said
a prayer." "That's fine,"
she said, "if you ask God to make you
good, He will help you." "Oh, I
didn't ask Him to help me be good,"
replied the boy. "I asked Him to help
me put up with you." The cheek! God
must grin a lot at our prayers!
Frantic cries however are always the best
prayers! "Recently, in Kentucky, we
watched an especially verbal and boisterous
child being hurried out, slung under his
irate father's arm. No one in the congregation
so much as raised an eyebrow - until the
child captured everyone's attention by crying
out in a charming Southern accent, "Ya'll
pray for me now!"
A real deep hearted "please, prayer".
"When our children were small and we
were trying to teach them to pray, we had
three kinds of prayer: "Please prayers,"
"Thank you prayers," and "Sorry
prayers" a mother wrote in her book
Getting Into God.
So, this year let us pray! My old Carmelite
spiritual director always reminded me every
time that, "the love of God only wants
the best for me; the wisdom of God always
knows what is best for me and the power of
God can accomplish this best for me!"
Two tricks, however! One, keep going at all
costs! Early African converts to Christianity
were earnest and regular in private devotions.
Each one reportedly had a separate spot in
the thicket where he would pour out his heart
to God. Over time the paths to these places
became well worn. As a result, if one of
these believers began to neglect prayer,
it was soon apparent to the others. They
would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother,
the grass grows on your path."
Two, believe that He will do it! A story
is told about a small town that had historically
been "dry" (no alcohol shops) but
then a local businessman decided to build
a tavern. A group of Christians from a local
church were concerned and planned an all-night
prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It
just so happened that shortly thereafter
lightning struck the bar and it burned to
the ground. The owner of the bar sued the
church, claiming that the prayers of the
congregation were responsible, but the church
hired a lawyer to argue in court that they
were not responsible. The presiding judge,
after his initial review of the case, stated
that "no matter how this case comes
out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner
believes in prayer and the Christians do
This new year 2005, I wish you flexibility
and tenacity as you pursue an exciting quest
towards maturity in Jesus Christ! I wish
myself the same!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright