Did you know that prayer has ebb and a flow? There are times when our prayers are fruitful, fulfilling and awesome. But there are also times when our prayers are dry, dusty and seem non-existent. Sometimes we walk on water, and sometimes we sink like a stone! Some of the greatest saints and holy people experienced this regularly. I know in my own prayer life I have dry periods and fruitful periods! We all have a tendency to believe that our prayers should always be interesting and warm; that they always give us spiritual insight; that we have the sense that we are praying and someone is speaking with us. This is true of our early spirituality, but as we grow closer to the Lord, it is not necessarily so. But if we continue to pray faithfully, day in and day out, year after year, an intimacy with the Lord will be growing within us. I love what Soren Kierkegaard said: “Praying does not mean listening to yourself speak; praying means calming down and being still and waiting until
you hear from God.” There are many ways to pray. We can use learned prayers like the rosary to lead us to Jesus. The repetition of the prayers will take us to a deeper place if we truly concentrate on the prayer, and not what is happening around us. Then there is prayer using our own words. David pleaded with God, praised God, thanked God and asked God for help. My favorite Psalm is Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” We go to the Lord with everything that is on our hearts. Then there is contemplation and meditation. In using this form of prayer, I will put some soft music in my CD player, light a candle and darken the room. I will repeat a phrase over and over until I am totally at peace and can spend some time listening to the still, small voice inside of me. Then I can have a conversation with the Lord. Then there are some deeper forms of prayer such as St. Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle.” She saw mental prayer as being a castle with many, many rooms. Inspired by her vision of the soul as a crystal globe in the shape of a castle containing seven mansions, she interpreted this as the journey of faith through seven stages, ending with union with God. Each mansion has many rooms, and in each room the person praying deals with imperfections in their lives, or situations, which cause pain and need to be healed. It is a lifelong process, but it is deep way of healing and getting to know the Lord. The Liturgy is a communal prayer that we need to support each other and to receive Jesus in our body in a very physical way. There are many ways to pray, but they all lead to the same place: Jesus Christ, Our Lord! Our October Friday Night at the Movies will be on October 17
at 6:30 pm. The Movie will be “Heaven is For Real.” Hope to see you there!
See you soon! Karen