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Bishop Speaks
March 27, 2003 Edition

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Artículo escrito por el Obispo Bullock

Bishops' Schedules:
Schedule of Bishop William H. Bullock

Thursday, March 27, 2003
3:00 p.m. -- Preside at Midday Prayer for Vocations, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison

Wednesday, April 2, 2003
7:00 p.m. -- Preside at Evening Prayer, Madison Downtown Catholic Parishes Lenten Series, St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison

Thursday, April 3, 2003
6:30 p.m. -- Guest Speaker, Father Marquette Lecture Series, Father Marquette Spiritual Life Center, Montello

Schedule of Bishop George O. Wirz

Thursday, March 27, 2003
3:00 p.m. -- Attend Midday Prayer for Vocations, Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, Madison

Lord, teach us to pray

photo of Bishop William H. Bullock
The Bishop:
A Herald of Faith

William H. Bullock

The Apostles begged Jesus to teach them to pray. They wanted to be men of prayer, alive and in constant contact with the Father in the same measure as Jesus.

Jesus' immediate response to the Apostles' request was that He taught them a prayer to say. It is called the Lord's Prayer. It contains all aspects of true prayer: 1) adoration; 2) thanksgiving; 3) petition; and 4) contrition.

"The finest hour of prayer in the life of Jesus was when, in prayer, he begged the Father to deliver him from the chalice of suffering adding, 'not as I will but thy will be done.'"

The essential disposition in the heart of Christ in prayer was to do the will of the Father. Jesus rested always in the Father's will for him. "My meat, my food, is to do the will of the Father," he told the disciples at the well. "Father, let this chalice of suffering pass me by; nevertheless not as I will but thy will be done," he spoke in the Garden of Gethsemane.

God's will in prayer

We must become people of true prayer, folding every utterance of our prayer into doing God's will in our lives. We live in an age of violence, weak economy, amid threats from terrorism and a disastrous war for humankind.

The signs of violence, weak economy, terrorism, and war are paraded before us hour-by-hour, day-by-day on T.V. and radio. We also see many signs of protest against the war. We witness peace marches that sometimes end up as violent outbursts of anger and name-calling.

Lord teach us to pray

Lord Jesus, place us in the Father's will so that resting there we will know how and for what to pray . . . we pray not to bend God's will to our own but our will to God's plan, to His will for us, His people.

There was a prayer song popular in the 1960's called "Lord Teach Us to Pray." It went something like this: "Lord, teach us to pray, it's been a long and cold December kind of day, with our hearts and hands all busy in our private little wars . . . (at home, in relationships, at work), Lord, teach us to pray."

The art of prayer

The ancient art of prayer teaches us submission to God's will in all we do. Doing it God's way makes us people of prayer. I think, in some measure, we have stopped praying. Notice I did not say stopped saying prayers, but perhaps we are no longer honestly blending adoration, thanks, contrition, and petition into our act of prayer.

The war in Iraq is brought into our living rooms, our homes. We live in an age of conflict and civil disturbance, and in the midst of this God calls us to be people of prayer.

While we can creatively use our own personal words in prayer, often it is helpful to be prompted in prayer by good theology and prayer form. Let me share several forms from the Mass for Peace and Mass in the Time of War.

1) "God of perfect peace, violence and cruelty can have no part with you. May those at peace with one another hold fast to the good will that unites them; may those who are enemies forget their hatred and be healed."

2) "God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters."

3) "Protect us from people of violence and keep us safe from weapons of harm. Banish the violence and evil within us and restore tranquility and peace."

4) "May all nations seek a way of peace together."

Unless our prayer life is wrapped in the desire to do God's will in all things, it is not true prayer. The finest hour of prayer in the life of Jesus was when, in prayer, he begged the Father to deliver him from the chalice of suffering adding, "not as I will but thy will be done." Lord teach us, truly teach us, to pray.

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Bishop's Letter

American Bishops' Overseas Appeal

Dear Friends in Christ:

The annual American Bishops' Overseas Appeal special collection will be taken on March 29 and 30. Through this appeal we express our compassion and commitment to those around the world who do not share the blessings we in the United States do.

The Bishops document Called to Global Solidarity beautifully summarizes the theme of this year's collection. Through the eyes of faith, the starving child, the believer in jail, and the woman without clean water or health care are not issues but Jesus in disguise.

Your contributions help fund the work of Catholic Relief Services, the Holy Father's Relief Fund and the Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services, as well as international justice and peace initiatives. Catholic Relief Services provides essential immediate relief to victims of natural disasters and war efficiently and in ways consistent with Catholic social teaching. CRS works in 80 countries providing other relief for the poor and continuing development projects. The other programs provide resettlement assistance and advocacy for the poor, the migrant, and others on the move.

While our country is experiencing some down economic times, those served by this appeal have basic needs all the time. Please pray for world peace and justice, that there be no new victims of war who need such assistance. Mother Teresa asked us to see Jesus in the poor. This collection is one way to do so. Your generosity will respond to the needs of "Jesus in disguise."

Grace, Mercy, and Peace,

Most Reverend William H. Bullock
Bishop of Madison

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