Commentary on the Gospel of
Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Remember the saying, “I just want to crawl into a deep dark hole and die”? Maybe you have even felt so bad that you whispered it to yourself or said it to a trusted friend. Maybe even to God. Was the reason because of some terrible, embarrassing remark you made, intentional or inadvertent, and the hurt your statement inflicted on someone else? Or, was it the hurt you inflicted upon yourself because you could not control your urges and impulses and let your own personal Asmodeus and bad habits take control of your life? Tobit and Sarah were certainly at the point in their lives. Filled with immense grief and anguish they both felt death would be a preferred option to living. Sarah wanted to hang herself and Tobit asked for his “life breath” to be taken from him, “for it is better for me to die than to endure such misery in life…”
How do we avoid feeling so despondent that we too want to crawl into a deep, dark hole and just die? How do we escape our own living hell on earth? Tobit and Sarah show us the way out; for it is through their continued prayer that their terrible burdens were lifted.
But for many of us, deepening our prayer life is easier said than done. Much like our intentions to follow a new diet or exercise program, it is easy to talk about but often so very hard to implement and follow. That you have taken the time to read today’s readings and this reflection are certainly signs of your good intentions. So in the days ahead I challenge you to be more purposeful in your prayer life and to let God’s presence be known to you, in your thoughts, word and deeds. Try to be more conscious of God, imagine God sitting next to you as you pray and thank God for being with you. For it is through strengthening our prayer life that we will have a deeper relationship with God and the power to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that will surely someday befall us.