“If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.” – St Francis de Sales
I love to pray.
I love to talk about prayer.
I love to talk about praying.
You might say it is a passion of mine. Why, you ask.
Because, if we want a personal relationship with God, prayer is where it is at.
I remember my first appointment with Fr. Tom, my spiritual director of about 9 years. He said he required only two things from me.
1. That I always speak the truth. No faking. No lying.
2. That I pray.
If I don’t pray, there is no sense in having a spiritual director. In order to be serious about our spiritual journey, about our personal relationship with God, we need to be serious about prayer.
Prayer is God’s work but we have to cooperate in that work. We have to say yes.
“My spiritual director often told me that 90% of prayer is just showing up.
If prayer is God’s work and God always succeeds, then we do not need to worry about whether or not we are doing it right. We just need to surrender to it. Submit to it.
Sounds simple. It is. And yet it isn’t. It isn’t because it often means letting go and trusting. And it means that we need to stop over-thinking prayer and making it too complicated. We need to get out of our heads and into our hearts.” – from my ecourse, Bringing Our Hearts into Prayer
There is too much discussion these days about what way we should be praying.
We should be praying the rosary. Or not.
We should be doing centering prayer. Or not.
We should be praying the Divine Mercy chaplet or other kinds of rote prayers.
In order to know how God is calling us to pray, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit. And if we want to know if we are praying the way God is calling us to?
Look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our life. It is the best way we can judge our prayer. (Galatians 5:22 – the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.)
And… we need to listen to those who can teach us. Like St. Francis de Sales and another Francis, our Holy Father.
“The Lord tells us: ‘the first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord,” said Pope Francis, during his Oct. 8 daily homily.
See my free email course – Bringing Our Hearts into Prayer.