by Rev. Joseph Adhunga, A.J., Pastor at Holy Spirit & St. Mary Magdalen

This is “Year of Grace.” Let the grace of God dwell in our hearts and in our families. Prayer is one of the means among others to make grace a reality in our lives. Prayer is a desire of those who believe and have faith in God, while the power of prayers are the effects of our love and faith one has in God.  Every human action is driven by “desire” and longing for something. Every human longs for something. It may be something good or evil. That I leave for the conscience to judge. Often, one may be unaware of which desire is in control at a given moment. For example, one may spontaneously react to people or to events in times of frustrations or great excitement. Such reactions may only remind one about what St. Paul said in his Letter to the Romans:

I cannot even understand my own actions. I do not do what I want to do but what I hate …..What happens is that I do, not the good I will to do, but the evil I do not intend. (Roman, 7:15, 19).

A positive experience of desire gives one energy to search for meaningful solution at the times of difficulties in life. Desire motivates one into action; desires are like fuel in the engine of a car that moves human hearts to live fully for God. However, there is also negative experience that drains away the desire for prayer and love of God from the heart of man. It is with great concern that sometimes people are in the Church, their heads covered with hoods and earphones in listening to something! It may be good music but in the wrong place. It may be fighting pressure from homework, but one cannot do the homework all day. Or one may say that the celebration of the Mass is boring, but boredom is created within the empty heart of an individual. Let us turn to the Holy Family of Nazareth and ask them to pray for us.

The Holy Family of Nazareth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, is the perfect model of a human family. A family should share faith, love, and obedience to the will of God. The Church wishes to dedicate the last Sunday of the year for all the families as a gift for all her faithful who believe in the traditional family. Reflecting on the

family, Pope Benedict XVI once said that:

The family is the privileged setting where every person learns to give and receive love. The family is an intermediate institution between individuals and society, and nothing can take its place. The family is a necessary good for peoples, an indispensable foundation for society and a great and lifelong treasure for couples. It is a unique good for children, who are meant to be the fruit of the love, of the total and generous self-giving of

parents. The family is also a school that enables men and women to grow to the full measure of humanity.

Emphasizing natural positive desires that do not pose danger to moral difficulties, such us to sleep, to rest, to eat, to play, to have a conversation, and to work among others. I bring this discussion about the power of prayer and the need to pray, in an attempt to expose the desires that dominant human soul and command the will to remove human freedom and love for God. Negative desires can enslave the will of human to a greater degree.