Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s Gospel, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“By the example of the importunate widow who prevailed with the pitiless and cruel ruler by persevering in her requests, we are shown how to pray. We hear the insistent voice of the friend who came late at night and roused the sleeper from his bed, not for friendship’s sake but out of his urgent need. By these examples Jesus called us continually to make earnest supplication to the Father. He did not ask us to compose a prayer of ten thousand phrases and so come to him and merely repeat it. He warned against those who “think that they shall be heard for their loquacity.” “For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” But if he already knows what we need, why do we pray? Not to inform God or instruct him but to beseech him closely, to be made intimate with him, by continuance in supplication; to be humbled; to be reminded of our sins.” (The Gospel of Matthew Homily, 19.)

O God,
giver of heavenly gifts,
who in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
joined penitence
to a wonderful innocence of life,
grant, through his merits and intercession,
that, though we have failed
to follow him in innocence,
we may imitate him in penitence
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen