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Sunday 19 May |
The Solemnity of Pentecost
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True prayer is confident prayer, not prayer trying to convince


Jeffrey Bruno | Aleteia

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 10/06/22

And the basis of prayer is love, not fear.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

What is the greatest fear that assails us when we pray? Thinking that we will not be heard, that we will find ourselves disappointed and alone, that we won’t get what seems to be good for us. When this fear takes over, then our prayer becomes hesitant, anxious, and intermittent. Indeed, in order not to experience any disappointment, we prefer not even to ask, not to pray anymore. 

Here then, in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus confronts head-on this fear that can radically ruin our prayer:

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

And to convince us to do what he says, he uses a very strong argument,

“What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

This is an exercise we should do constantly: If we desire something good for ourselves or for those we love, shouldn’t we – who are only good every other day – be reassured when we ask for what matters from Him who is always good, and who for this very reason is called “faithful God”?

Does not God surpass us in love and goodness? True prayer is confident prayer, not prayer trying to convince. The basis of prayer is love, not fear.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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