This past month we celebrated a number of the Church’s great people of prayer: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Therese of Lisieux, and Blessed Timothy Giaccardo. They were all masters not only of liturgical prayer, but of personal prayer. What does that mean? Very simply put, it means they prayed from within their own lives. They prayed who they were, so to speak.
Would we put ourselves in that category? Do you and I pray, as St Therese did, “our own little way?” Let’s sit ourselves down and ask: What makes me who I am? What is my work, who do I live and work with? What difficulties do I face; what are my joys? All of this that makes me “me” also makes up my prayer. I am my prayer. Although today we could find an electronic device that would read our prayers to God, we know that God wants to hear my heart, my soul speaking to him.
Sometimes folks say they don’t pray outside of Mass on Sunday because they can’t figure out how or when to do it. I get distracted or fall asleep, things happen, people need attention, and well, there’s my defects, my faults, my sins. But, isn’t this what we are to pray about? This is me and where I’m at: if this isn’t my prayer, what is? God loves to hear us pray together as Church and to repeat the common prayers and devotions, after all, we are part of a great family of faith, however, God is waiting for the little private conversations that can only come from me or you.
If you can’t seem to get started, try reading a paragraph or two from the Gospels. Then just sit down and talk it over with Jesus. Ask what he meant then and what he wants you to hear now. Soon enough you may find you can’t spend a day without this little rendezvous with the Word of God.
It is true that God’s Word is living and active. When we read the Gospel Jesus speaks to us as he did to the people of his time. This should be a great source of joy for us. And it is a secret we will want to share with others.
Perhaps you don’t know how best to do this. Here is a suggestion. This week we, the Daughters of St. Paul, are conducting a Webathon. It is a way for you to join with us in making God’s Word known by more people. Become a missionary by collaborating with us. You can do this by your prayer and your offerings. Our specific mission in the Church is to create and publish God’s Word by printing, recording, or electronic transmission. To do this effectively and well, we need your assistance. During our Webathon consider making a gift or a pledge that will assist us in multiplying the reach of God’s Word. Imagine the encouragement this will be for many people, and the joy it will bring to your own heart, the true joy of the Gospel.
Sr. Mary Lea Hill, FSP
Click here to invest in the Pauline Mission and bring the joy of the Gospel to the world with us.
This past year I wrote a book entitled Prayer and You: Wit and Wisdom From a Crabby Mystic. It’s kind of a funny title for a book by a religious, you might think. However, it is a meant to be a gentle reminder of our need to pray and an encouragement to find ways to talk with God in all the whatevers and wherevers of our daily life. It is my hope and my prayer that Prayer and You will come into the hands of those who have forgotten how to pray. Learning to pray will open hearts to the joy of God’s Word. This is the type of project we need your help with.