What does it mean to be steadfast in prayer?
The word steadfast means constant or determined. Jesus was an example of this, as He even brought the Gospel message on His descent into hell as part of His salvific plan.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “the descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption” (CCC 634).
St. Paul also was steadfast in his prayer after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, which led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to follow Jesus. We celebrate the feast of St. Paul’s conversion on Jan. 25.
Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are being called to remain steadfast in prayer as we enter into a major strategic pastoral planning effort here. All Things New is an effort that will evaluate the effectiveness of the Church in St. Louis in proclaiming the Gospel, and identify opportunities for improvement and renewal within all parishes, schools and curia offices and agencies. More will be announced in January 2022.
Prayers of thanksgiving and praise are one of the essential forms of Christian prayer. Every prayer can be an opportunity to offer thanks to God. In St. Paul’s letters, he often began and ended by giving thanks to the Lord. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Without the Lord’s plan of salvation, there would be no hope of eternal life in His Kingdom after death. We must give thanks to Jesus for His gift to the Church — the mission and power to forgive sins through the apostles’ ministry and their successors.