Attitudes and Predispositions

by Sr. Juliemarie Mcdonald, SND. on 10/21/2016

in Ordinary Time

Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“For everyone who exults himself  will be humbled,and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk 18: 14b)

This Sunday presents for our reflection the parable of the Pharisee and a Tax Collector. Basically,Jesus wants us to think about our attitudes as we pray. Reflect upon the way we pray when speaking to God. Look at the why, or what, or how we pray.

Attitudes and Predispositions

The Tax Collector

Kneeling in the last pew, as some of do, humbly beating his breast with head bowed he whispered, “0 God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Here is a penitent who really knows himself.
I can picture him each night before he sleeps kneeling by his bed with head bowed low, asking
God to show him at day’s end, how he offended his long time friend. Humble and true he saw quite clearly human failures he needed to transform. The tax collector shows us a true attitude essential in growing closer to God. “Know thyself.” He teaches us a number of.commendable attitudes.
1. Accept ourselves. Accept our good deeds, but also our failures.
2. We should pray, empty our souls, and ask God to fill it with virtues.
3. Humbly, we need to come to God, as a sinner, not as a braggart.

The Pharisee

“The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘0 God I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…” I wonder what his predispositions were like as he lived his daily life. Yet, the Pharisee also teaches us a lesson. When the Pharisee began his list of
good deeds, no real conversation took place. Notice in your reflection he uses I six times! The humble tax collector used I only once. When we pray ifthe focus is mostly on ourselves, we lose our connection with God. Prayer is a relationship, not a boasting contest!
1. Be a good listener.
2. Don’t brag and focus on yourself.
3. Don’t judge people and call them names.

 

For Reflection and Sharing:

  1. How are your attitudes and predisposition before your prayer?
  2. Do you take time to listen when you pray? Be ready to hear and act upon his response.
  3. Why is it so important to really know ourselves?
  4. Why, or what, or when do you pray?

Hello God, it’s me one of your sinners. I’m heartily sorry for losing my cool and throwing an anger fit. My judgmental self was at it again. Only you can grace me and strengthen me to live more humbly. Who am I to judge others? That’s your department. I hope the next time I
talk to you I won’t have to admit, “I did it again!”

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