And he spoke also
a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, Saying:
There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man.
And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying:
Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not for a long time. But afterwards
he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, Yet because
this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming
she weary me.
And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. And will not God revenge
his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their
regard? I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son
of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?
from the Catholic Encyclopedia
The friend at
midnight and the unjust judge need no explanation. With a certain strength
of language both dwell on the power of continued prayer. Importunity wins,
"the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away"
(Matthew 11:12). Dante has beautifully expressed the Divine law which these
parables teach (Paradiso, xx, 94-100).