Monday, October 10, 2016

What is prayer

So what of prayer? We are getting the grateful thing going. But what about prayer? How do I get that going? What is prayer?

I'm going to make this simple. Prayer is talking to God. Prayer is an essential part of our relationship with Christ, because without it, we would not communicate with Him. In any relationship, we have to communicate. You all know what happens when there is little to no communication in a relationship, it's goes down the tubes. So, it's the same for God.

St. Mother Teresa had a great saying. She called it the simple path: “The fruits of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service; and the fruit of service is peace.”

So essentially prayer brings peace. Peace comes from Christ alone. God is the source of all peace and so we have to go to the source. The way to that source is through prayer. Communication. And the only way to communicate with God, with Jesus, is through silence. Unlike our communication with others, such as family and friends, we need silence to listen and pray to God. Of course there are other types of prayer, but I am just going to focus on personal, silent prayer here.

Silence allows us to be in that place where we can listen to God.  St. Mother Teresa also said: “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

Yes, of course there is prayer of petition. God wants us to come to him as children and ask for the things we need. But principally, prayer must be a place where we can come together with God and just "be". Spending time with God is what we should strive for.

As Catholics we believe that God is truly present in the Eucharist. His body, blood, soul and divinity is actually present in the consecrated host. “This is my body, which will be given for you." Lk 22:19. It is the presence of the most blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, that we can be in the presence of God himself.  We refer to this as Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. There we can come to the source of all peace, of all love, of all goodness and beauty. Before the God of the Universe who is truly present in this Sacrament, we can pray and be one with Him.

It is in His presence too that God can work in our hearts. Spending time with others, and spending enough time with others we can see that their influence begins to change us, whether it be for good or bad. The same is true for the time we spend with God, with Jesus. Spending time with Him, quality time, time of silence will inevitably change us. It is there, through His grace that He can increase our faith.

Remember how faith is a gift? It is only in being with God that we can receive the gifts He wants to give us. The gifts of grace, faith, peace, mercy. The list goes on.

Take time today in the silence and just be with God. Take time to just listen to Him today. Have a heart to heart with Him. If you can, visit a chapel of "Perpetual Adoration" and just gaze at Him. It is in His presence that you will know Him more and in turn, the faith you long for will be given to you.

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