Welcome to the Online Lenten Book Club!
During these six weeks of Lent, we are reading and reflecting on the classic on prayer, Pray To Your Father in Secret by Jean Lafrance. For more information about the book club, visit this blog post. You can find Pray To Your Father in Secret at www.PaulineStore.com .
Week 5, Chapter 4 - The Dialogue with God
Your real center of gravity is in adoration, in reaching ever upward. Too many people fall into the habit of talking about God rather than experiencing him. Adoration is not a duty, but the highest form of human life. Saving people comes as a result of adoring God, not the other way around.
It is easy in prayer to feel your nothingness, your sinfulness. But through Christ you will participate in the holiness and closeness of God. Fr. Lafrance cautions against reaching out to God: open yourself to him, rather, and he will come to dwell in you. The only way that you will achieve closeness with God is through his reaching out to you. Other religions are the story of humanity reaching for God; Christianity is the story of God reaching for humanity.
But his presence is often a silent one that requires us to keep still, to pray, to hope, to believe. It is not easy; but if you persevere, then you will receive an outpouring of grace that is palpable in your daily life. Opening your heart to God and to God’s grace constitutes true prayer. And this prayer not only helps you move deeper into God, but it also helps you discover your own unexpected depths and allows you to feel joy and fulfillment.
When you pray the Our Father, don’t try and understand the words, but try to make the words have fulfillment in your own heart. “When you pray, try to reunite with this prayer of Jesus, which lives within you by faith.” And that is when your prayer continues through every aspect of your life.
For Reflection & Discussion
- Fr. Lafrance says that much prayer should be silent, rather than “telling him what he knows already.” How do you achieve this silent awareness of God’s love? Isn’t it easier to speak the words of prayers?
- It’s easy to have doubts in the modern world. How can you transcend its daily demands to maintain closeness with God?
- “Go into your room and pray.” What inner room could Jesus be referring to? What rooms are in your life where you can open yourself up to God and be filled with his grace?
- Why is praying the Our Father such an important experience? How can you pray it now, in your daily life, in such a way to be even closer to God?
We invite you to share your insights and answers to these questions
in the comments area below.
You can purchase your copy of this classic book on prayer here.
Lenten reading plan:
Week 1 Introduction and Preface
Week 2 The God of Dialogue
Week 3 The Way of Salvation
Week 4 The Working Out of Salvation
Week 5 The Dialogue with God
Week 6 Conclusion
Study Guide written by Jeannette de Beauvoir. © 2017 Daughters of St. Paul. All rights reserved.
Pauline Books and Media. 50 Saint Paul’s Ave., Boston, MA 02130. www.pauline.org Online store: www.paulinestore.org