“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”

The gospel reading at my Monday mass was Luke 7:1-10, the story of the centurion whose servant is healed by Jesus without setting foot in his house. A line that the centurion says has become a key part of the weekly Eucharistic liturgy: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” There is something essential about that posture of humility for us to be able to encounter Christ authentically and receive the transformation that He wants to instill in us. I worry sometimes that Christians like me define ourselves so much against the overemphasis on human wickedness in fundamentalist Christianity that we end up having a blithe presumptuousness about Jesus’ grace in our lives which turns our prayer and worship life into a farce.

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Helplessness: the foundation of prayer

My prayer life sucks! There, I admitted it. I don’t pray nearly enough. I even forget to pray for the people who I say I’m going to pray for. Some days I’ll be walking along and remember that I told somebody I was going to pray for them, so I kind of think about their situation for a moment and say “Lord, have mercy,” in my head, which doesn’t seem like it “counts” because I didn’t sit down and talk to God out loud. Anyway, I started doing this small group on prayer and the book we’re reading called Prayer by Ole Hallesby is awesome so far. Continue reading