Whenever it's difficult to pray, I simply say, "Lord, show me my sins."
That statement opens an avalanche of conversation between the Lord and myself, which I find freeing. In the past, I have tried to justify my sinful attitudes without finding peace. Why? My attitudes flowed from my sinfulness rather than from the word of God, which measures my behavior in the light of God's truth.
On the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Lord opens our eyes, ears, sense of touch and sense of taste to what cannot be perceived. Yes, in the Eucharistic bread and wine, we can touch, taste and eat the Body of Christ; but on the purely human level, our senses can't access the divinity these elements conceal.
Humanity is flawed by the sin of Adam. In the first reading for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, even the great prophet Elijah is grumbling and discouraged. He had just given witness to the one true God on Mount Carmel, and now Jezebel is hunting him down in the desert.
Angry with God and on the verge of despair, he says: "This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers."
What does the Lord think? I believe the Lord thinks to Himself: "Elijah, stop feeling sorry for yourself. I have a lot of work for you to do."
The readings for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time tell us much about who we are. We're a temporal body and an eternal soul. Therein lies the challenge: to which do we listen? The desires of the flesh or those of the spirit? Or both? Our body is passing away, and it cries out with fleshly desires in every way.
St. Paul expresses this conflict in Galatians 5: "For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want."