- Faith and Worship
- How Do I...
Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: April 10, 2020
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily at the Diocese of Little Rock House of Formation in Little Rock on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Whenever we pray, it is important to begin by collecting our thoughts and consciously placing ourself in God’s presence. Otherwise, prayer can degenerate into a mere pious routine. For quite some time my method has been to begin my daily holy hour with an extended — say, five minute — meditation on the Lord’s Prayer.
After all, when Jesus’ disciples asked how to pray — not what to pray, but rather how to pray — this was his answer. Recently, the phrase “hallowed be thy name” keeps surfacing as kind of pivot around which the rest of my prayer revolves — especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and today as we accompany Jesus to Calvary.
Years ago, I was told that it was okay, even healthy, to get angry with God sometimes. Angry about unanswered prayers. Angry about adversity. Angry about loss. More recently the Lord has revealed to me that this was very bad advice. Anger implies that God owes us something, which he has not delivered. Anger exalts our will over God’s will and certainly does not “hallow” his name.
He is the master; we are servants whose only role and source of greatest blessing is to do God’s will as best we know it. That is why when people ask me about future plans, I frequently add the phrase “God willing,” which is a small reminder that whatever God wills — even difficult things — comes first.
On Good Friday we discover that the cross is salvific, including the crosses in our own lives, what cause is there for anger there? If Jesus, who is without sin, embraced the cross with sacrificial love, who are we to resent the adversities with which God sees fit to bless us — and indeed, save us? How could resentment possibly hallow God’s name?
We ask for our daily bread — everything we need, which is not everything we desire. We ask to be delivered from evil, yet only God knows what is truly best for us, and so we resent it when at times God uses adversity to discipline us and/or open our eyes to see things from a different perspective, all for our own ultimate good even if it doesn’t much feel like it at the time.
Even illness and death become a blessing when embraced with an attitude that hallows God’s name. He is the master; we are servants whose only role and source of greatest blessing is to do God’s will as best we know it.
That is why when people ask me about future plans, I frequently add the phrase “God willing,” which is a small reminder that whatever God wills — even difficult things — comes first. Jesus models for us today what it really means to hallow God’s name.