Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Today’s readings remind us that we should petition our Heavenly Father for what we need. Of course, such an invitation would appear ripe for abuse, an opportunity to load the wish list with cars, vacations, and non-stick pans. The underling understanding of Jesus’ admonition is that we should be praying for what we truly need, not so much for what we may think we need or, more frequently, what the media tells us we should have. A proper understanding of petitionary prayer is rooted in the Our Father when Jesus reminds us to pray for daily bread. This type of prayer, recognizing what we truly need, finds its counterpart in the first point of Ignatius’ five point examination of conscience where he identifies thanksgiving as the best place to start in our conversation with God. In thanksgiving we identify those things for which we truly need and for which we are truly thankful.