July 24 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The movie might be a bit dated, but the quote continues to pierce my heart. The movie is Gravity with the protagonist played by Sandra Bullock trying to get back to earth after being stranded in space.  Towards the end of the movie, as Sandra enters into Russian spaceship with an icon picture of St. Christopher and the Child Jesus on his shoulder, Sandra’s character comes to a vulnerable moment; “Will you say a prayer for me? Or is it too late…ah, I mean I’d say one for myself but I’ve never prayed in my life.  Nobody ever taught me how…nobody ever taught me how.”

My heart aches because of multiple reasons. First, I know this is not only true for the character in the movie, but represents many people today.  As a spiritual father and priest, my heart aches for those who desire to come to the Lord, but don’t know how.  This is why the mission of the Church is so important, people are aching to know the Lord, they just need someone to offer a guiding hand!

The second reason why this quote hits my heart is because it’s something I have felt personally.  I know where I am with my relationship with God. I also know where I want to be with God, and the two do not align.  What brings some peace to those moments is today’s Gospel.  The early disciples of Christ had that same longing when they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  Christ’s response should not be easily brushed over. It is at this point Jesus teaches them (and us) the beautiful prayer, the Our Father.

There is a tremendous depth to such a simple prayer and I know I can’t do it justice in a short P.I.T article.  So I would like to encourage/suggest you to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  If you don’t have this book, you can access it free online.  The last section of the Catechism is dedicated to prayer and within that section it ends breaking down the Our Father line by line specifically CCC 2759-2865.

So, if you happen to know someone wanting to learn how to pray, or you have a longing in your own heart for a greater relationship with God, I suggest praying the Our Father.

Father Michael