February 23, 2007

Letters to the Editor

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Where prayer is concerned, Jesus is looking for what is in our hearts

This is in response to the letter writer’s comments in the Jan. 26 issue of The Criterion concerning Jack Fink’s column, “Does kneeling during prayers really matter?”

The letter writer says, “Yes, Mr. Fink, it really does matter. It mattered to Jesus …” The letter writer cites several times when Jesus knelt or fell prostrate during prayer to prove his point.

We can speculate whether or not it mattered to Jesus. When he taught the Apostles to pray (Lk 11:2), he did not tell them to kneel, sit or stand.

While Jesus knelt at times to pray, he also sat and stood. He sat during the most important act of his ministry—at the Last Supper when he instituted the Eucharist.

According to Lk 22:14, “When the hour had arrived, he took his place at table and the Apostles with him. … Taking a cup, he offered a blessing in thanks. … Then taking bread and giving thanks. …”

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, according to Jn 11:41, “Jesus approached the tomb. … Jesus looked upward and said: ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. …’ ” Obviously, he was still upright. There was no mention that he was kneeling.

According to the letter writer, some people feel more devout kneeling while praying. We should respect their decision. However, it is safe to assume that Jesus is more concerned with what is in our hearts than the position we are in while praying. What is important is that we pray with reverence and humility.

St. Paul tells us to pray always. To accomplish this, in part, we can pray while sitting with the telephone in hand after punching numbers and waiting to speak to a person. There may actually be time for a mystery of the rosary.

When walking those 30 minutes suggested for our health, we can pray a whole rosary. Again, on sleepless nights while in bed, instead of counting sheep, we can pray the rosary.

If one waited to be in a more devout position while praying, many fervent prayers would not be rising heavenward.

Does kneeling during prayers really matter to Jesus?

-Hilda L. Buck, Greendale

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