Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ECCCLC Talk 2 (Prayer & Penance)

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The 2nd Talk is on Prayer & Penance

In order to be saved we need to keep the Commandments,

In order to keep the Commandments we need the Actual Grace of God,

In order to obtain Actual Grace we need to Pray.

Hence, Prayer is Necessity for Salvation!!!

4 Conditions for our prayers to be infallible according to St. Thomas Aquinas:

1. We pray for ourselves

2. We pray things needed for our Salvation

3. We pray piously

4. We pray persistently

The PATH of good prayer:

P = Perseverance

A = Attention

T = Trust

H = Humility

  • God sometimes delay answering our prayer, so that we can grow in desire through prayer, and thus stretch the capacity of the heart to receive the grace of God.
  • We should have regular time of prayer & stick to it (some people can pray more in morning, some @ night)
  • Attention to the Person you are praying to (use holy images & pictures to help us pray)
  • Attention to the content of prayer (meditation on Mysteries & pay attention to meanings of words)
  • The more we trust, the more we are capable to obtain grace
  • God might not give us what we desire, but He gives what is best for us
  • The more we pray, the more we learn to trust in God & distrust ourselves
  • We listen to God and learn from Him in prayer
  • The Our Father is the pattern & model of all prayers. In it, we are daily reminded of the goals of our life (i.e. to love God & souls), the positive means to achieve our goals (i.e. to do the Will of God, and to obtain strength to do the Will of God through physical & spiritual food) & the negative means to achieve our goals (i.e. to remove sin & whatever leads to sin: temptation & evil)

The second part of the talk is on Penance

Mortification: Focus more on present & future --- we exercise self-control to do good & avoid sin

Penance: Focus more on the past --- we do penance to make up for past sins

Young people need to exercise self-discipline in order to avoid sin. St. Thomas points out that some temptations should be resisted indirectly. Temptation against chastity is the kind of temptation that we should overcome indirectly by turning our mind away from it, and by keeping a distance of occasions of sin (i.e. things, places, or people that can lead us to sin). The effective way to avoid sin is to do good.

We should do Penance for sinners, and for the peace & salvation of the world. We are instruments of God to apply the saving grace of Christ to mankind.


Active PenanceWe take on penance voluntarily (e.g. to give up candy, ice-cream or T.V. during Lent)
Passive PenanceWe accept and offer up to God the sufferings of daily life & the hardships from daily duties

The Children of Fatima set wonderful examples of Prayer & Penance for us

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Ways to deal with Suffering

  • Do not increase suffering unnecessary by too much negative thinking
  • Positive thinking generates calmness & negative thinking generates anxiety
  • The thing we worry about might not happen at all. Even if it is going to happen, we will have grace to deal with it when the time comes. We only have to grace to deal with present's troubles
  • See suffering as light for the intellect: to teach us the emptiness of creatures
  • See suffering as power for the will: the reaction caused by suffering, help us to grow in determination to do good
  • See suffering as source of merit: We offer up suffering to atone for sins & for the salvation of sinners
  • The greater our suffering, the greater hope we need to help us through. The Martyrs are good examples for this.

At the end of the talk, I shared the story of St. Gemma Galgani (1903) with the campers. I blessed them with her relic. She suffered a great deal for Christ both in body & in soul. She suffered sickness and had the stigmata. She lost her father & had to take care her younger brothers & sisters. She was misunderstood by others. She offered up her sufferings to Christ for the Salvation of souls.

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We had camp fire on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning I shared my vocation story. I got quite emotional when I shared my story......

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Later on, we had Sunday Mass with the Archbishop of Toronto, and had group picture & lunch with him.......

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