Showing posts with label how to pray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to pray. Show all posts

17 Jun 2017

A Prayer for Wisdom

For More Visit Allison Gingras

How Often Do We Think to Turn to God for Wisdom?

There are things in this world that clearly perplex me.
Illness, Death, Poverty
Just to name a few.

There are things to surprise and delight me as well.
There I need your guidance
on which you have for me and to know my limits.

Generous are your ways, it is clear you hold nothing back
except for that which is not for my best.
For YOU know the plans you have alone for me.

1 Dec 2013

Aspiration Practice

It is Advent.  Time to slow down, settle in for hours of prayer, and wait in hushed anticipation. 

What?  It isn't that way in your world? 

It isn't that way in mine, either.  

Which makes it an ideal time for aspirations:  those brief prayers that we can lift to God inwardly, wherever we are and whatever we may be doing.  They are an ancient monastic practice, but they can be particularly practical for those of us striving to keep our hearts fixed on God in the midst of a bustling world.  Even as we join crowds of shoppers in the mall, wrap gifts, gather with friends and family, we can lift our hearts to God.  I find the doing of this hard to remember, but it seems the more I practice, the more it becomes habitual.

We are entering the busiest time of the year.  If we can remember to offer little prayers even in this kind of hubbub, maybe doing so while we fold laundry on a quiet February morning won't turn out to be so tough. 

Aspiration practice.  I think I'm ready.  Let it begin. 

"These brief ascents of the soul heavenward, these liftings of the mind and heart to God, briefly but frequently: this is what enables the monk… to live a life of prayer and intimate union with God.  As (he) goes about his daily duties, he… gives himself to this practice of terse but frequent prayer.” (Wilfrid Tunink OSB, Vision of Peace, pp. 277-278) 

'My God and my all!' 

'Lord, have mercy on us.' 

'My God, I adore You.' 

'Jesus, I trust in You.'

(from The Cloistered Heart)

Painting:  Morning News by Francis Luis Mora, San Diego Museum of Art

9 Oct 2013

Jesus loves us MOST when we are weak.

At the Secular Carmelite retreat I went to last weekend, I heard a message I didn't expect and it has changed the way I'm hearing scripture, liturgy and homilies. I have different ears somehow.

The topic of our retreat was, "Rediscovering the Riches of Divine Intimacy," with retreat master Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. I had been wondering how to grow in intimacy with God, pondering how it was that I had been feeling stuck for so long and even having a hard time following through on my prayer commitments. 

Father Robert said that Jesus loves us MOST where we are weak. He doesn't love us DESPITE when  we're weak, but loves us MOST when we are weak. It's his preference. Whenever Jesus picks a place of encounter, it is in a place where life is messy, shameful or overwhelming for us.

Where did Jesus choose to encounter mankind, face to face, in the flesh, for the first time? In a dank, smelly stable, in the middle of the night. He could have chosen any other place to meet us, but he chose there, a messy, unpleasant, uncomfortable place. When we follow Jesus through the scriptures, where does He meet us? He goes to where the tax collectors and prostitutes are. He is right there when the adulterous woman is to be stoned to death. He's there with the sick, hungry and grieving. He doesn't seek out places where He isn't needed or where people don't realize that they need Him, but He is, as Father Robert said, "a magnet for our affliction." He wants with all His heart to love us there.

The enemy also zones in on affliction. Like a shark smelling blood, he moves quickly for a kill. The greatest spiritual battles of our lives are around our wounded places and our weak places. The enemy will try to make you run from God in shame, but where do you go when you feel ashamed? Into the arms of the enemy instead.
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God, Love and Clouds

Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10 , describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions,...