Posted by: Thomas Richard | November 30, 2015

Let Us Pray! Really.

It seems a long while since my last blog post.  I apologize – There is much to write about, these days, much going on in the world and much in the Church.  I find myself drawn to focus on what seems foundational – fundamental – to that which is foundational for the life of us all.  The Church is sent to be light, His light, in this dark and darkening world!  Yet the Church today also seems confused, weak in focus and direction.  If the Church – sent to be light in the world is herself confused and unfocused – then confusion and misdirection is only added to the darkness in the world.  The Lord’s words seem appropriate here:

Mt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light;
Mt 6:23 but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

My main concern then, these days, is for the foundations of the foundation: our individual, personal, person-to-Person relationship with God the Holy Trinity.  In other words, I find myself looking within – and wanting to help others in the Church to look within, personally, to find and to renew that life of prayer which defines the relationship we have or do not have with God.

The Catechism teaches, beautifully, that prayer is “a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.” (Catechism 2558)  Again, “Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ.” (Catechism 2564)  And again, “… the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him. … Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body. Its dimensions are those of Christ’s love. (Catechism 2565)

I wrote two articles for Homiletic and Pastoral Review on-line , the first of which was just published today.  The opening paragraph of the article is:

The Our Father is simple, easy to memorize and recite, and is thus, easily and often, very poorly prayed. I would say it is abused, is misused, and even is, shamefully, to the point of dishonoring the Lord, who personally gave this prayer to us. The prayer itself, in itself, is so beautiful! It is profound even in its simplicity, immense even in its brevity, luminous even in a most quiet and humble way. The Our Father—as the Lord who gave it to us—deserves better than it gets.

The article title is Overlooked and Under-Prayed: The Our Father.  I hope that you who read this blog will look at and read the article (just click on the title).  I hope you will feel free to comment there under the article or here on the blog.  I’m always glad to hear comments.  My hope is that the article will urge and encourage many to deepen in the life of prayer – to pray more often, and with a greater and growing sense of a dialog of prayer, and communion in prayer with our Lord and God.  A follow-up article is scheduled to be published next month, which goes a bit deeper into the prayer.

Meanwhile, as we frequently hear at Mass, “Let us pray.”  Yes, let us pray.  We need prayer, and the world needs a praying Church, and the Church needs praying members.  Blessings to you all.

Thomas

 

 


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks so much for this sorely needed encouragement to pray — really — as Jesus taught us to pray. May there be many clergy, religious and lay persons who will read your articles (in this issue and next) in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review online and really take it to heart.

    Certainly over the years, since you have begun to share with me and others how beautifully Jesus teaches us to pray and to live, it has blessed my life and has helped me to pray more deeply each word of the Our Father. I’ve also been led to ponder how our Blessed Mother heard and lived those words. How Good God is in giving His Holy Spirit without measure! (cf John 3:34)


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