Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Climb THIS mountain.

Today's gospel speaks of Jesus' prayer practice of retreating to the mountains (Luke 6:12):

In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night
in prayer to God.

Those were the days when Christ was getting ready to appoint his chosen Apostles, in the days BEFORE he turned his face to Jerusalem to die and take us with Himself to God. Before he did those courageous things, he took time to turn to the Father.

Saint Ambrose (c. 340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church, speaks of this turning to God. This mountain-climbing prayer belongs not only to Christ but to all of His true followers.

Which mountains are you facing today?

Mountains of decision?
Mountains of work?
Mountains of dispair?

There's another mountain which you need to climb BEFORE dealing with these other mountains. It's the mountain of prayer to the Lord.

(SC 45)

Not all those who pray climb the mountain…, but those who pray well, who rise up above the goods of earth to higher goods, climb onto the summit of watchfulness and love from on high.

Those who worry about worldly riches or honours do not climb the mountain; no one who covets another’s lands climbs the mountain. Those who seek God go up it and those who go up beg the Lord’s aid for their journey.

All great and noble souls climb the mountain for it is not to the first comer alone that the prophet says: “Go up onto a high mountain, you who announce glad tidings to Sion. Cry out at the top of your voice, you who bring good news to Jerusalem,” (Is 40,9).

Not by physical exploits but by high-minded actions will you scale this mountain. Follow Christ…; search the Gospel: you will find that only his disciples climbed up the mountain with the Lord.

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