Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/11/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Prayer is a process of Love exchanged for love. In its classroom we learn how to live in this communion throughout the day and in all circumstances

Our Gospel today is short, but profoundly important:  Jesus said: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt. 11:28-30) I need to hear these words often these days. Life can certainly become burdensome at times. We all know this is true. However, those of us who bear the name Christian know the One to whom we can always turn, the Lord Jesus.he says to each of us this morning, "Come to Me". We need to surrender our burdens and freely take up His Yoke.

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/11/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Daily Homilies

Keywords: take up my yoke, surrender, discipleship, Advent, prayer, communion, Josemaria Escriva, contemplation, contemplative, Deacon Keith Fournier


My Yoke is Easy: Freedom and Self Surrender are Not at Odds

CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - Our Gospel today is short, but profoundly important:  Jesus said: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt. 11:28-30)

I need to hear these words often these days. Life can certainly become burdensome at times. We all know this is true. However, those of us who bear the name Christian know the One to whom we can always turn, the Lord Jesus.he says to each of us this morning, "Come to Me". We need to surrender our burdens and freely take up His Yoke.

Throughout the biblical accounts of the earthly ministry and life of Jesus we discover, in his Sacred Humanity, the path to finding true rest. He was regularly in prayer. He lived in a continual communion with the Father. He now gives us the grace we need to live in the same way. 

His prayer opened the heavens, brought provision to the hungry, gave Him clarity for making decisions and brought the glory of heaven to earth. Prayer still does all of this, and more, for those who will learn to live their lives immersed in God and study in its classroom.

I am frequently asked what I think is the greatest need in the Church today. Because of my work at the intersection of faith and culture, people presume to know how I will answer. They expect me to be what they perceive to be action oriented.  My answer is simple. "The greatest need in the Church today is people who pray", I respond.

One of my personal heroes, and one of the great treasures of the Church in our age, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, was a close friend and confidante of St. Josemaria Escriva. Like his friend, the Bishop was a man of true holiness, the kind only formed through living in an intimate communion with the Lord.

He once wrote: The so-called "practical people" are not really the most useful in the service of Christ's Church, nor are those who merely expound theories. Rather it is the true contemplatives who best serve her; those with the steady, generous and passionate desire of transfiguring and divinizing all creation with Christ and in Christ. It may sound paradoxical, but in the Church of Jesus Christ, the mystic is the only practical person.

Through prayer we can recover the capacity for an intimate communion of love with the living God and plunge ourselves into its embrace. Prayer is a process of Love exchanged for love. In its classroom we learn how to live in this communion throughout the day and in all circumstances.

Jesus was, in the words of the ancient creed, true God and true man. Sometimes we think that He could pray and live this way because He was Divine. However, we need to remember that in his sacred humanity he prayed. He shows us the fullness of humanity and calls us to become what spiritual writers have long called sons (and daughters) in the Son."

Through prayer we can now cry out with Jesus, Abba Father. No longer alienated from God, we can actually participate in the very life of the Trinity, the inner life of God. God dwells in us and we dwell in Him through His Spirit. This is the heart of true prayer.

Prayer is not about doing or getting but rather about being, receiving, giving, and loving. Prayer is the path to communion through Jesus Christ with the Father, in Jesus Christ with one another, and in the Trinitarian God with the world which He created and is recreating and redeeming in Christ.

All of this is made possible through the Holy Spirit who invites us - right now - into to the very inner life of the Trinity, through prayer. The good Bishop was right; we need impractical people, who pray. Let us hear the invitation this morning and Come to Jesus.Let us take His yoke upon oursleves and find the meaning of His promise. Freedom and self surrender are not at odds.

St. Josemaria Escriva wrote in Friends of God:

I insist, and I would like to engrave this deep in your hearts, that freedom and self-surrender are not contradictory. They sustain one another. Freedom can only be given up for love; I cannot conceive any other reason for surrendering it. And I am not just playing with words or phrases. When people give themselves freely, at every moment of their self-surrender, freedom renews their love; to be renewed in that way is to be always young, generous, capable of high ideals and great sacrifices.

I remember how pleased I was when I was told that the Portuguese term for young people is os novos, the new ones. That is just what they are. I tell you this because, although I have been around a good many years, when I pray at the foot of the altar 'to God who gives joy to my youth', I feel young and I know that I will never consider myself old. If I keep true to my God, Love will constantly vivify me. My youth will be renewed like that of the eagle.

It's because we love freedom that we tie ourselves down. Only pride sees such bonds as a heavy chain. True humility, which is taught us by the One who is meek and humble of heart, shows that his yoke is easy and his burden light: his yoke is freedom and love and unity; his yoke is the Life which he won for us on the Cross.
(Friends of God Freedom #31)

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Daily Homilies

Third Sunday of Lent: Come to the Well of Jesus and Drink Living Water

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

On this Third Sunday of Lent the first reading from Exodus (17:3-7) recalls Israel's journey through the desert. In many ways, the journey of Israel toward the Promised Land is presently our own journey. The question for your lenten journey today is twofold: First, do ... continue reading


Walk the Way of Downward Mobility in the Shadow of the Cross Watch

Image of Simon of Cyrene and Jesus

By Deacon Keith Fournier

God became the least of these in the Incarnation of His Son. Will we be emptied of ourselves, in order to become men and women for others, conformed to the One who emptied Himself for us? When we do learn to empty ourselves, He comes and takes up His residence ... continue reading


Jesus Does Not Issue Impossible Demands, But Rather Commands Us to Love as He Loved and to Become Like God

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

To be perfect is both a command and a promise. We become perfect in becoming like God.  Such a sublime gift is made possible by the Son of God who became man, that we may be justified before God, that we may receive the Spirit of God, that we may share in the ... continue reading


Fr. James Farfaglia: How to Carry Your Cross Watch

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Too many of our contemporaries seek an easy life without suffering, without sacrifice, without renunciation, without mortification.  Many people would like to stand under the cross of Jesus and cry out "Come down from the cross."  Contemporary society ... continue reading


Homily: Becoming Light and Leaven for the World Watch

Image of Leavened Bread

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The late Blessed John XXIII wrote, "Every believer, in this, our world, must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment in the dough: He will be so to the degree that, in his innermost being, he lives in communion with God. In fact, there can be ... continue reading


Touching the Tassel on His Cloak on the Memorial of St. Scholastica Watch

Image of Benedict and Scholastica, brother and sister in both the natural and the supernatural order, invite us to learn the way of prayer.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

At every Holy Mass we encounter the same Lord, the same Living Word, the same Incarnate One who has been raised from the dead. Healing still flows from Him, through His Holy Word and in His Holy Body and Blood which we receive from the Altar at every Mass. When ... continue reading


Solemnity of the Lord's Presentation: Thanksgiving for Nuns Who Taught Me

Image of

By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph D, STD, Executive Director Catholic Education Foundation

This Feast of the Lord's Presentation in the Temple, has been observed for many years now as an occasion to acknowledge the contributions of Religious to the life of the Church.  That day was chosen by Pope John Paul precisely because on that day the Infant ... continue reading


Deacon Bartels: Repent, For the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

The immediate response to the gaze of Jesus Christ by Peter, Andrew, James and John signals the fact that a radical change took place within their hearts. That moment, there on the shore of the sea, was no ordinary moment. The fishermen were not simply willing to let ... continue reading


On the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, Are We Growing Bitter or Better? Watch

Image of The conversion of St Paul

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Today we commemorate the Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul. At my confirmation I took his name as my own. I wish I could say I did so at that early age because I was inspired by his example - but it would not be true. I had to write a report on the ... continue reading


I Have Come to Do Your Will: Choosing to Do the Will of God in our Lives Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

As our conversation ensued I detected in her an understandable concern for the resources, emotional, spiritual, relational and financial, which one choice they might make could entail. I told the wife and mother of the family to let go and do what God asks, not ... continue reading


All Daily Homilies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter