Saturday, April 2, 2016

Call on Him in Truth

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

The Lᴏʀᴅ is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
    he also hears their cry and saves them.  (Ps 145:18-19)

But we must look attentively at this—that not everyone who seems to pray before other people is proven to ask or to seek or to knock at the entrance of the heavenly kingdom in the sight of the searcher of heaven.  The prophet would not have said, “The Lord is near to all who call on him in truth,” unless he recognized that there are some who call on the name of the Lord, but not in truth.  They do indeed call upon the Lord in truth who do not contradict in their lives what they say in their prayers.  They call on the Lord in truth who, as they are about to offer their petitions, first busy themselves with carrying out His orders.  Those who, as they are about to say to Him in prayer, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” have fulfilled that mandate of His that says, “And whenever you stand to pray, grant pardon if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father too, who is in heaven, may forgive you your sins.”  Hence about such persons the prophet appropriately says, “He will fulfill the will of those who fear him, and will hearken to their prayers and will save them.”  Accordingly, they call on the Lord in truth who are acknowledged to fear Him.  He listens to their prayers when they cry out.  He grants their pious desires when they long for Him.  He raises them up to eternal salvation when they have passed from this life.

Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 2.14

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