Prayer is the lifting up of one’s mind and heart to God

Prayer is the lifting up of one’s mind and heart to God
By Jerome Placido

I’ve heard many times before from a very holy priest “Prayer is the strength of men and the weakness of God.” So let’s assess ourselves. How strong are we? Juggling school, work, family, relationships, friendships, going out and staying in, where does prayer fall in?

Let’s recap first. What is prayer? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), prayer is the lifting up of one’s mind and heart to God.

Sounds simple enough right? What are some of the difficulties why we can’t pray? Common responses would be:

“I don’t know how to pray” “I don’t have time” “Prayer is boring” “I don’t need to pray” “Prayer is for old people”

And the list goes on and on. But these aren’t reasons to not pray but in fact they’re excuses. Why? Because prayer is, simply put, communicating with God. It is something that, when we try, will come naturally to us.

So when you’re asked by someone, “How is your prayer life?” In reality you’re being asked, “How is your relationship with God?” Because communication is essential to any relationship, and so prayer is essential to our relationship with God. It should be our second nature and our first resort for all things that happen to us.

But what’s the reality? We more than often resort to calling or texting a friend, posting a newsfeed on facebook or writing a blog rather than prayer. But then why should it be, after all these things that we first turn to are more tangible, more real, they can offer at least some consolation… right?

Maybe these things are tangible, real and offer some consolation, but if we grow more in our spirituality through prayer we’ll come to learn how REAL God is, and those consolations he sends us are far greater than anything we can receive from anything this world can offer.

The saints can attest to this and that’s why some would spend hours in prayer becoming so absorbed in it that those hours seem like seconds. St. Dominic Savio, a patron saint of the youth, would spend whole school days lost in prayer in the chapel. Of course this was unintentional and when the teachers found that he was missing, they would send a student to the oratory chapel and there he would be engrossed in prayer without any knowledge that he was already late for class.

But let’s not use prayer as an excuse to be late for class; rather let us follow his example of love for prayer to draw us to a closer union with God.

We should also be aware of the common pitfall of praying out of routine or out of obligation. Our motivation should boil down to love of God and if it does not, we lose the efficacy of prayer. We should pray with more than just our lips. Anyone can say pretty words, but it takes a soul in love to produce beautiful prayers.

Our lips should speak what our heart contains. And when we pray it should be a union of hearts, ours connecting so perfectly the Sacred Heart of our Lord that we lose ourselves in His love. Actually our lips may not even move. In the spirituality of St. Therese, she points out that all things can be offered to God as a prayer provided that we do it with great love.

Prayer really then is no problem, it’s actually the solution to all our problems. Don’t be confused about what to say or what to do. Instead do all things with and for the love of God offering all things to Him.

et us then make our whole days a prayer to God, offering all things to Him who first loved us.

No comments:

Post a Comment