There were “big doings” in Rome last Sunday as the pope canonized 5 new saints. There were 3 nuns, a lay woman, and Cardinal John Henry Newman. Born in England in 1801, he became a priest of the Church of England. After doing some research on the early church, he decided to become Catholic. This decision cost him dearly as he lost many friends and family members. One sister never spoke to him again. He became a Catholic priest several years later and finally a cardinal many years later. He was a brilliant theologian, poet, and writer of hymns. Our opening hymn the last two Sundays was written by him. A modest and quiet man, but one of great integrity, he followed his conscience and not the voice of popular opinion or culture. He serves as an excellent role model amidst our troubled times.
In today’s Scripture readings (Ex 17:8-13; 2 Tm 3:14–4:2; Lk 18:1-8), persistent prayer is the primary theme. Moses’ continual prayer atop a hill allows Joshua to win the battle over Amalek. In St. Luke’s gospel, the widow’s persistence and determination results in a just decision from the unjust judge. Good Christian stewards recognize the importance of daily and persistent conversation with God. Faith-filled disciples seek and accept God’s response and always remember to express gratitude for his abundant blessings. As St. Padre Pio said, “Prayer is the oxygen for the soul.” October is the month of the rosary. Learn the great prayer and pray it daily. It only takes 15 minutes. The Virgin Mary is a powerful intercessor.
P.S. The pope prays 4 rosaries a day!