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For the Second Sunday in Lent: Augustine of Hippo on perseverance in prayer

February 22, 2016

Another reading from Faith and Life for the Second Sunday in Lent is this excerpt from Augustine of Hippo:

So long as we are here, let us ask this of God, that He will not “remove from us our prayer, and His own mercy;” that is, that we may perseveringly pray, and He may perseveringly pity. For many grow languid in praying; and in the freshness of their conversion they pray fervently, afterwards languidly, afterwards coldly, afterwards negligently; they become, as it were, careless. The enemy is awake; you are sleeping. Our Lord Himself, in the Gospel, gave us the precept, “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” and He gives us an illustration from the unjust judge. Therefore let us not faint in prayer. Although He delays that which He is going to grant, He does not take it from us •; since we may be confident of His promise, let us not faint in praying; and even this not fainting comes of His own bounty. Therefore he said, “Blessed be my God, who has not removed my prayer, and His mercy from me.” When you see that your prayer is not removed from you, be of good heart; for His mercy is not removed from you.

–St. Augustine on Psalm lxv. (our Ps. lxvi.)

Indeed, let us not faint in prayer, for we can trust Him that His mercy will not falter.

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