Wednesday, February 20, 2013

prayer. it's what's for dinner.

Well, spiritually speaking, anyway. Unless you're doing some hardcore penances this Lent. If so,  may the Holy Spirit be with you.  I am not at the point where I am a Big Food Giver-Upper, although I am doing small food-related things.

  Mainly I am just trying to bust through that wall of bricks otherwise known as My Thick Skull, that keeps me from being dedicated to prayer and daily mass. That and my friend Epstein-Barr, who keeps coming for tea when I haven't invited him. If I can't shake him, maybe I can just ignore him until he goes away. Or start wearing disguises.

Anyway, about prayer -- I read this passage on the blog of a friend:

We do not pray in order to improve our talents, to develop more clearly an intellectual synthesis, or widen our culture, religious or otherwise.  We pray in order to tell God once again that we love him and know that he loves us, and to relate ourselves to the plan of mercy that is his.
We run still greater risks in the realm of sensibility, and in believing that our prayer has value only when we have “felt” something.  The modern world takes special interest in “experiences,” descriptions, states of the soul; there is a kind of cult for everything that can yield some kind of “interior witness.”  We delight in working out a projection of ourselves that arises from the senses…
Saint Paul speaks of “groanings” (Rom 8:26) or of a “cry” (Gal 4:6).  What is important is not our experience but the gift we make of ourselves.  We should enter into prayer, not to receive, but to give, to give ourselves and lose ourselves.  And if friendship with God is to remain pre-eminent in our prayer, we must enter into prayer in order to give ourselves as a free gift, with the knowledge that we may not always really give what we are giving, and yet without being concerned about what we are giving.  – Father Bernard Bro, OP

Even though that sounds hard, there is a certain relief. Thank God I don't have to feel something to know my prayers are being heard, and are reaching His ears.

As a good priest and friend often says, we don't merit more by "thinking real hard" about everything. I am guilty of going to far into my head -- not that I am an intellectual, far from it -- but I get lost on the merry-go-round of my thoughts about Him, rather than just presenting my sorry self before Him and simply saying my prayers. Well, I am practicing that this Lent. Just showing up, giving what little I have, and casting myself upon Him, because He cares for me. (1 Pet. 5:5‐7)


  1. Well, I'm failing in my food giving up. Had snacks today and have broken down and had cookies here and there. At least my abstaining from alcohol has held up, but why oh why couldn't I fail at that? LOL, kidding on the last one. I have increased my prayer and doing pretty good there. What I need is a good journey on foot that will last forty days. Once I start there would be no turning back. ;)

    I have to say, prayer is so soothing. I guess that is not praying to give but to receive. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

    1. If you are praying, you are doing nothing wrong! It is lovely to feel the benefits of prayer. I often do, and thank God for it! But it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that unless you are _always_ feeling something, that something must be wrong. Some days, it is simply a chore, like taking vitamins. You know it is good for you, so you do it, and trust that the result will be good. There's the key -- trust.
      I think it's great we are doing Joyce's rosary group. :)

  2. I have a spiritual directee who needs that quote from Father Bro. Thanks for sharing it, and for the best painting I've ever seen of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.