We Must Pray More Often Thank We Draw Breath !

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“We must pray more often than we draw breath” ( St. Gregory of NazianzusOra.- Theo -27,1,4 : Pg36, ccc#2697)

Prayer is such a very intricate and integral part of who we are and what we are as Children of God that we just can not live a life of faith without it.  It is impossible for us to ” love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength without it.

In the Catechism it shares this ” THe acts of faith, hope and charity enjoined by the first commandment are accomplished in prayer.  Lifting up the mind toward God is an expression of our adoration of God : prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God’s commandments.  ” We ought to always pray and not loose heart” ( Luke 18:1) – CCC: 2098.
We need to be observant of life or students of the world around us.  As you might be aware, in recent years there is a certain amount of reclusion that has occured due to the advent of the “electronic age”. This causes people to retreat into their electronic devices for several reasons.   Sometimes, to is entertain the mind while they are waiting for time to pass to go from one place and another, or one event and another.  Many retreat into these devices purely for social interaction with others who they find some accord.   There are still more who retreat into their electronic coccoon in order to avoid others, to feel safe and  unchallenged, or unafraid.

All you have to do to see this phenominon, is to take public transportation across town.   It is interesting to watch people who either enter with headphones already plugged in and are blissfully unaware of what is going on around them.  No one has the opportunity to interact with them, short of physically tapping them on the shoulder or if they happen to be looking in that direction, waving them down.   Even within an initial interaction, they again retreat, reconnecting to that world in which they do not wish to partake in.  They can then fill their heads, their consciousness with the “white noise” of their choice, successfully avoiding the rest of the world.
Before we become too awefully judgemental of these brothers and sisters let us take a moment to consider “the plank” in our own eye, particularly in the area of prayer.

While watching this phenominon while taking a bus trip, I pondered how much our prayer life mimics this sort of behavior.  How it is that possibly you might go get on the church “bus”. You plan on going, you walk in, you do all the obligatory social interactions during the trip in, you arrive just in time to page through the missalette and find the appropriate hymns and readings and responsory etc. just before the celebration begins.

There it is !  The “white noise” of the entrance, and that follows with the “show” of the Mass. You know what to say, the gestures to make, and if someone waves you down, if you happen to be looking that way during the Sign of peace, you might interact for a second or two, and then get plugged back in.  More of the “noise”.

There comes that uncomfortable silence after communion, but not too long… the last bit of music and then your done.. and you can “get off the bus” and plug into the next bit of noise in the world that takes you away.  The big game.. the chores… meals.. what ever it is.. that is the next focus and the rest of the world creeps in and take over until you get back in this “bus” again next week ? !

IN the coming week or so, I am going to take a look into our prayer lives.. where we start, where we are and where we should or at least could be heading.   As a Franciscan, we have a rather unique perspective on prayer and its branches and practices.  I look forward to sharing some of these with you all.

May God give you the gift of His Peace !

 

 

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