Wednesday - September 23
Today’s first reading from the Book of Proverbs present two requests from the author: 1) put falsehood and lying far from me; and 2) provide me only with the food I need.
The second request sounds unusual. It recognizes one’s own limitations and weaknesses, and at the same time, to ask God for the desire to be faithful in all things. The situation of being “full” (which could be the food I want, not necessarily the food I need), may make us forgetful of our dependence on God, and become “full” not just with food, but with pride and self-sufficiency. The wise person knows that all s/he is and has comes ultimately as a gift from God, and so a heart full of gratitude is the proper response to such dependence on God.
At the beginning of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, he writes that people are created “to praise, reverence, and serve God. With this aim in mind, we ought not “to seek health rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor.” Instead, our one desire should be for the freedom to choose whatever best allows us to fulfill the purpose for which we are created.
That freedom is the earnest desire at the heart of the reading today from Proverbs. Without any pretense, the prayer cuts right to the reality of the author’s need and desire. True prayer does as well, speaking with honesty to the God we long to know, serve, and love more freely.
When we pray like that, we are freed to do what we were created to do in the way God has chosen for us. When we trust that call and let it lay claim to our hearts, God can work wonders. We then see that we need nothing for the journey. All is gift; ours is to receive, realize, share with those is need, and, ultimately, return to the Creator, whose love and grace are all we could ever need.