Let us Ask These Things that God May Grant us a Pure Charity, Sincere Faith, & Certain Hope
Fr. Samuel Waters | Sermon | The Daily Knight
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus
while before Your face I humbly kneel and,
with burning soul,
pray and beseech You
to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments
of Faith, Hope, and Charity;
true contrition for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment.
While I contemplate,
with great love and tender pity,
Your five most Precious Wounds,
pondering over them within me
and calling to mind the words which David,
Your prophet, said to You, my Jesus:
“They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”
Christ, who desires us to arrive at the Joys of the Heavenly Kingdom, taught us to ask Him for them. He promised to give them to us if we asked Him. We must ponder His words: "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you," because the Kingdom of Heaven is not given to, found by, or opened to those who are idle and unoccupied. It will be given to those who ask for it, seek after it, and knock at its Gates.
The Gate of the Kingdom must be asked for by praying. It must be sought after by living properly. It must be knocked at by persevering. It is not sufficient to ask in words only, if you don't also seek diligently how we ought to be living so that we may be worthy to obtain it. It is of no purpose to begin to live the Catholic life to the fullest if you do not strive to bring it to a firm conclusion.
We must ask painstakingly and pray without stopping, in order that we may become worthy to be listened to. We must eagerly see how He wants us to live and what He has ordered us to do. Seek the Lord and be strengthened; seek His Face continually; so that we may deserve to find Him and see Him. We must cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). Only those with a chaste body are capable of being raised up to Heaven on the Day of the Final Resurrection. And only those with a pure Heart are capable of looking at the Glory of the Divine Majesty. We should not become weary in our desire for Heaven nor falter in what we have begun seeking - the Gates of Heaven.
It is important that all Catholics seek pardon after they have reflected on the nature and number of their sins. Christ has come, taken our infirmities upon Himself and carried our sorrows, in order to take them away. These facts should give us great confidence that we can be healed. His Death is for our Life. He showed us the Great Remedy for sins is Repentance.
Christ, the Truth who made the promise, cannot mislead us. We must have no doubts that those who ask, receive; those of us who seek, find; and to those who knock, it will be opened.
However, there are those among the faithful who ask wrongly. In James 4:3 it says, "You ask and you will not receive, because you ask wrongly." They ask wrongly who persevere in sin and do not forgive others. They ask wrongly who refuse to hear the Voice of the Lord when He orders something and they do not obey but ask Mercy from Him. "Why do you call me, and not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)" They ask wrongly who pray for long periods of time like the Pharisees, for the sake of human praise. They ask wrongly who demand earthly rather than Heavenly goods. To ask only for the purpose of living an earthly life at the neglect of living a life in God, also is to ask wrongly.
For all petitions of this type are not worthy to receive, because they ask wrongly, we should strive both to ask well and to be worthy to obtain what we ask. This will happen if we seek in our prayers what God has ordered and proceed with our prayers, as the kind of persons He has taught us to be, and if we devote ourselves to our prayers until we obtain what we ask. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His Justice, and all these things shall be given you as well (Matthew 6:33)." This means desiring the Gifts of the Heavenly Kingdom.
God wants to give us His Heavenly Gifts. If we are willing to give the good things which we possess to the people God loves, much more will Our Father lavish the good things of Heaven, which do not perish upon those who ask Him and who have Fear and Love for Him.
St. Bede says that Charity is the Chief Virtue and that no other spiritual Virtues can be present without it. Whatever good thing is done is made perfect only by Charity. True Charity is what commands us to love God with our entire heart, soul, strength, and our neighbor as oneself.
After the Virtue of Charity comes Faith. This is Faith in God which seeks the Joys of the other Life. It is begotten invisibly in the heart, it is consecrated by the invisible Grace of the Spirit through the Water of Baptism. It works for invisible rewards which are eternal.
The faithful do not yet look upon the Glory of Heaven in which they believe, but they await its coming in Hope. These are the good things we are to ask for from God. This is the Justice of the Kingdom of God which we ought to seek above all things: Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The just person lives by Faith (Galatians 3:11) but Mercy will surround those who Hope in the Lord (Psalm 32:10/31:10) and the fullness of the law is Love (Romans 13:10).
If we seek the Gift of Charity from God, He will permit our hearts to be narrowed by the rigidity of hatred.
If we ask the Lord for the Hope of Heavenly Goods, through which we are able to abhor adversity and prosperity now, we must believe; He will not turn away His ears from us.
Let us ask these things that He may grant us a pure Charity, sincere Faith, and certain Hope; so that He may take away from us:
1 - the hardness of hatred,
2 - the poison of faithlessness, and
3 - the sting of despair.
Without any doubt we will receive what we ask for!! Eternal life with God!!!
~Reflection taken from St. Bede.