Phil 2: 1-5

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Pep Talks in Prayer

My mother said she would like a prayer journal for her birthday this year. I asked if she imagined something to write in, or a spiritual diary by some holy person or saint? She wasn’t sure. She has just been looking for something more lately. What did I suggest?

My guess is she would like more of the spiritual nourishment we all miss during a global pandemic that has separated so many of us. In the absence of assembling for Mass and other faith gatherings, we are all searching for new ways to imitate and draw near to the Lord.

A sure boost to prayer is Scripture. Paul’s letter to his friends in Philippi is a real pep talk! With just a few words, Paul reminds us of the consolations of Christ, the comfort we find in his love, and the fellowship that strengthens us in the Spirit and our friendships with each other. These are real gifts that we should appreciate and also share with others.

The Psalms are a special fire around which to warm our hands for spiritual comfort. Today the Church gives us parts of Psalm 25, where David prays so sincerely for deliverance and help. Let’s join our voices to his and ask for God’s guidance in the places we need it most!

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently in his second year of Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.