Pray because Jesus prayed, bishop explains at service for our country
We pray because Jesus prayed, Bishop Carl A. Kemme explained at a Prayer for Our Country service Saturday morning, Oct. 24, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
“We see that through all the gospels. He was a man of abiding prayer – always in communion with the Father.”
Jesus modeled prayer for the apostles, Bishop Kemme said to about 100 in attendance. Several hundred more watched the live stream and the recording available at YouTube.com/DioceseOfWichita.
Jesus went off into the desert or a mountain to pray, the bishop said to the socially-distanced faithful scattered in the cathedral. “When momentous things were about to happen, like the calling of the apostles or his own Pascal mystery or when he was tempted by Satan in the desert, he was to be found and deep prayer.”
Live as Jesus lived
Our lives should reflect what Jesus did, he said, adding that our activities should be preceded with constant, continual prayer.
“Whenever we have a simple thought of God or a simple aspiration or plea or a request, we are constantly in communion with God,” Bishop Kemme said. “God help us. Lord save us. Jesus, have mercy on us. These are constant prayers and they should be frequently, if not regularly, in our minds and often on our lips.”
Prayer is not something we do because we have nothing else to do, he said. “It’s absolutely essential for our lives as Christians, our lives as disciples.”
The Lord invites all to a life of prayer to beseech the Lord for what we need to live our lives of discipleship, he said.
Ask Jesus for help
We live in a difficult time, Bishop Kemme said, and we must ask the Lord for his divine assistance.
Referring to the Liturgy of the Hours, he said when it is prayed we ask God to come to our assistance.
“Maybe that’s all we need to say – and God does. We don’t always see it, we don’t always recognize it, or sense it. God truly does come to our assistance, and he will if we simply ask him.”
Jesus will walk with us when we ask for his assistance in his name, Bishop Kemme said.
“So we ask in the name of Jesus, who’s here to come to our assistance to walk with us in this journey of life, to be with us in our divisive and contentious times, to inspire us with courage to vote with well formed consciences with Catholic understanding of our moral principles to vote, not only with our own needs in mind but with the needs of the most vulnerable the unborn, the poor, the immigrant, the marginalized, and those who suffer from racism and discrimination rejection.”
Prayer is not an option
Prayer is necessary because our elected officials are not perfect, he said, adding that the pandemic is also a topic for prayer.
“The Lord will grant us the grace of healing in this turbulent and anxious time for those who are sick, for those who are caring for them, and for those who have tragically died because of this virus. We pray for strength to continue and to persevere in this time of great sickness and distress.”
He asked the faithful to pray for the healing of families and communities, for stronger marriages and holier families, and for our priests, our bishops, and the Holy Father.
“Jesus is here, powerfully present in the Blessed Sacrament. And he’s calling us into his heart is inviting us into that intimate communion with him and to give our lives to him, who gave his life to us,” he said.
“We offer our prayers, whatever we’re praying for today personally and collectively, we pray and we give this to the Father, we give this in the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And today through the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as we pray her holy Rrosary uniting our minds our hearts our lips with hers.”
The service included an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a rosary, a Eucharist procession around the Cathedral, a benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and ended with the recitation of the Divine Praises.