The Friend at Midnight

Father Girardey discusses a twelfth narrative, The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-10): Jesus said, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet, because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Father Girardey comments: “In this parable also our divine Saviour insists on our persevering in prayer until it is granted, for God wishes to be, as it were, importuned and compelled by us to grant us what we pray for; unless we do this, He will not consider us as deserving or sufficiently appreciative of what we pray for. He who ceases praying after praying a few times for a favor without obtaining it, shows that he is not very anxious to get it, or that he does not consider it worth being much prayed for. Moreover, he shows also a great want of humility, since he will not act as a beggar who is in great need. . . . He lacks faith and confidence in God as the best of fathers, infinitely good and merciful, who constantly bestows His gifts upon us, who has given even His own beloved Son to the death of the cross in order to save us.”

“We should persevere in praying for the divine benefits, of which we stand in need, until we obtain them; that we should so weary God by our prayers that He would seem to be compelled by our importunity, by our persistency, to grant us all we ask. . . . He loves to be importuned, as it were, by our prayers, in order to render us more worthy of being heard, and of receiving even more than we actually pray for.”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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