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Three Chaplains

Then He told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart
Exodus 17:8-13; Psalm 121:1-8; II Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8

Sermon Week Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 18:1

In Eugene O'Neil's story "Days Without End," John Loving, a Roman Catholic boy, prays that his parents, who have been injured, might not die. But their lives were not saved by the kind of miracle he had expected, and he loses his faith. Outwardly, at least, he becomes a skeptic and a cynic. Inwardly, however, John Loving keeps searching deeply for some answer. He tries Eastern religions. He tries philosophical cults. He joins secular meditation groups. He even becomes a member of an atheist club for a while. A friend of his -- a priest -- stands by him through it all.

One evening, when John Loving and his priest friend are discussing the situation, John says, "A new savior must be born who will reveal to us how we can be safe from ourselves." The priest replies quietly, "You forget that men have such a Savior, Jack. All they need is to remember Him." But John Loving is not to remember Him until much later. The setting was a small chapel silhouetted against the sky at dawn. John has been out walking. God is on his mind, yet he is still in a state of rebellion. And so, it is partly against his will that John opens the door of the Chapel and walks in. Then, almost before he knows what he is doing, he kneels before a cross and, for the first time since his parents' death, he feels peace within himself, and he offers this simple prayer: "Thou has conquered, Lord. Forgive the tortured soul of John Loving."

Again and again, the New Testament writers make the point that praying to the Father was part of Jesus' lifestyle.

Again and again, the New Testament writers make the point that Jesus taught His disciples to make formal prayer to the Father part of their lifestyles.

He said to them, "When you pray, say, 'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come'" (Lk. 11:2).

"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret" [...]

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