A Parable About Prayer
A LENTEN MOMENT
At the beginning of Lent, I had set a short daily blog entry as my "something extra" for Lent. As you have, no doubt, noticed, the last week saw me coming skidding to a stop. Today, I am making an attempt to start again.
The gospel parable today is about the tax collector and the Pharisee at prayer in the temple. St. Bernard of Clairvaux once wrote about this parable:
What happens when we confront our neighbor, ourselves and our God in prayer. When we confront the reality of our neighbor, we should arrive in the land of charity. When we confront ourselves in prayer, we should arrive in the land of humility. When we confront the reality of God in prayer, we should arrive in the land of mercy. Of course the Pharisee makes none of these journeys. His prayer does not characterize him as a man of charity, humility or mercy. The tax collector, on the other hand, by admitting who he is in relationship with God and his neighbor, reaches all three destinations.