Archive for the ‘Prayer’ category

How’s your prayer life?

August 2, 2012

He who prays is saved.  He who prays not is damned!
.                                                   ~St Alphonsus Liguori

Pope Benedict taught on it yesterday, in ‘class’ #37 of his School of Prayer.


Hearing the Word

November 26, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI devotes Section Nos. 86 & 87 of his recently released Verbum Domini to the topic of lectio divina, usually translated “divine reading” or “sacred reading.”  In “The Love of Learning and the Desire for God,” Dom Jean LeClercq OSB teaches a bit about the history of the lectio part of lectio divina:

What does this consist of?  How is this reading done?….in the Middle Ages, as in antiquity, they read usually, not as today, principally with the eyes, but with the lips, pronouncing what they saw, and with the ears, listening to the words pronounced, hearing what is called the “voices of the pages.”  It is a real acoustical reading….When Peter the Venerable was suffering from catarrh, not only was he no longer able to speak in public, but he could no longer perform his lectio….This proves how true it was that the act of verbalizing was not divorced from the visual.  The latter was accompanied spontaneously by the movement of the lips, and the lectio divina was necessarily an active reading.

More recently, this was taught by Fr Mark Kirby in his instructions for lectio divina:

Lectio…is the sacred text read aloud in order to become the Word heard.
Read the appointed text audibly.  Text becomes Word when you hear it.

I suppose that the next best thing to reading the Scriptures yourself would be having them read to you by someone else.  When I facilitated a parish bible study, rather than having one of the participants read the chapter aloud, I would have us listen to it read eloquently by Alexander Scourby, employing my 25-year-old cassette tape set of him reading the Scripture.   Now, I have the opportunity to upgrade from my old tapes to this recently released CD set:

RSV-CE !  And dramatized by famous actors!  Can’t wait!!

A faith-building answer to prayer

October 17, 2010

The newsworthiness of the ordeal and rescue of the Chilean miners will subside all too quickly.  This article will help us to remember what a tremendous example it was of an answer to persistent prayer, about which we were taught by today’s Mass readings.  Also, it’s a great testament to the efficaciousness of the Rosary as a prayer of intercession, especially in the month of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Fathers are examples of prayer

June 20, 2010

In February 1935, St Faustina received permission to make a trip home [from her convent] to visit her dying mother.  The section of her diary that describes that visit [nn. 395 -407] includes these comments about her father:

After greeting each other, we knelt down to thank God for the grace of being able to be together once again in this life.  When I saw how my father prayed, I was very much ashamed that, after so many years in the convent, I was not able to pray with such sincerity and fervor. And so I never cease thanking God for such parents.

Fathers:  We should strive to be such models of heartfelt prayer for our children!!

This is precisely how screwed up my prayer life is.

June 14, 2010

Of late I thought I had been doing pretty good with a prayer life.  I try and give one of the first half hours or so to God in dedicated prayer, wheter it is Liturgy of the Hours, Magnifact Mag, Rosary, Meditation, Lectio Divnia — what have you.  Oftentimes in the morning it is a challenge to keep out impending thoughts of what I need to do during the balance of the day.  Then, later on arond noon I like to say a standard prayers, and read a bit out of the NT.

I have been fairly convicted by recent experience, including a talk by Fr. Larry Richards  and C.S Lewis ‘The problem of Pain.’  I thought I was doing pretty good until I heard these two guys.

Fr. Larry:

YOu gotta have daily commited prayer.  You don’t TRY to fit God into your day;  you build your day around God…do you TRY to eat every day?  Do you TRY to read the paper every day?  How about if your relationship with your wife was like that?  Every day in the morning after you wake up and do your stuff, you go to see your wife with your book of poems.  And you read her a beautiful poem.  And then you say “Shhhh!”  And then you go about the rest of your day, and you’re one of these real good husbands becausae you pick up the phone, call her and say, “Thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me: SHhhhhh.”  and then you hang up.  You go home from work and your wife has made you a beautiful dinner, and every day you say the same words, “Thank you for this wonderful dinner.”  And then you shove it down your throat and never talk to her during your dinner time.  After that, you show that you’re in that 1% of great huysbands by sayin “Thanks for that dinner, it was really great.”  Next its off to read the paper or watch TV, and right before you go to bed, you walk in to see your spouse with your book of poems, and you read her the same poem every night… or the same 5 poems… or ‘let’s try something different tonite’ and you try a dfifferent poem.  And after you do this for 50 years, what kind of relationship would that be gentlemen?  It would STINK.  And that’s our relationship with God.  We say our prayers, but we don’t enter into a relationship.

C.S. Lewis:

“We try, when we wake, to lay the new day at God’s feet; but before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God’s share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of ‘our own’ paocket, a deduction from the time which ought, we feel, to be ‘our own’.


The Passion of Jesus

April 1, 2010

Jesus said to St Faustina:

There are few souls who contemplate My Passion with true feeling; I give great graces to souls who meditate devoutly on my Passion. (Diary, n. 737)

Crucifix in Chapel crypt at Mount Saviour Monastery

Leaving it all on the field

February 4, 2010

All the hype and analysis leading up to this Sunday’s Super Bowl has me comparing my life as a follower of Jesus to playing football.  So evenly matched are the Colts and the Saints that, ‘on paper,’ it seems that this year’s game has the potential to be one of the truly great Super Bowl games.  When history does produce one of those rare games that results in an epic battle between well-matched opponents**, you sometimes hear the phrase “he left it all on the field” to describe to a player’s performance.  This refers to a player exhausting every ounce of his mental and physical energy in his desire to win the championship.  He attempts to make every stride his fastest, every jump his highest, every block his hardest and most effective.  He maintains his concentration despite late-game fatigue, and focuses like a laser on the football.  At the end of the game, he is totally drained, completely spent physically and emotionally.

And so I ask myself:

When was the last time that I entered into a time of personal prayer with that level of earnest desire to deepen my relationship with God?

When was the last time I “left it all on the field” in my effort to seek personal intimacy with my Lord?

When was the last time I left a period of prayer drained emotionally?

When was the last time I left a period of prayer totally spent physically?

**I’m old enough to remember vividly such an effort in 1981 by San Diego’s Tight End Kellen Winslow in the Chargers 41-38 overtime playoff victory over Miami, when he caught 13 passes for 166 yards and blocked a field goal with four seconds to play to send the game into overtime.