Thursday in the First Week of Lent

[Scripture Readings: Est C:12-16, 23-25; Mt 7:7-12]

When I was a young monk I asked Br. Kevin why he spent so much time praying before the Blessed Sacrament. He replied, “Because prayer is never wasted. 'Ask and you will receive … For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'” This includes our petitions, adorations, thanksgivings, and acts of compunction.

Years later I read in the Catholic Encyclopedia that theologians call this “Our Lord's promise of infallible efficacy.”1 It doesn't mean we infallibly receive exactly what we ask for, but we will always be given something good for us or others.

I'm reminded of the TV quiz show, “You Bet Your Life,” starring Groucho Marx. He felt compassion for contestants who didn't answered any questions correctly. So, to insure that they would also receive a prize he would ask them an easy question, like, “Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?” or, “What color is the White House?” If we who are sinners know how to give good gifts how much more will our heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him! Time spent in prayer is never wasted.