Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are you praying?

This is a pretty common question of mine around the Newman Center and parish.  It often catches people off guard as they try to put their finger on what is missing in their life.  They are struggling with sin or anxiety or minor depression and can't understand why.  When I ask them, "are you praying?", they give me a look of embarrasment if they haven't been praying and also relief because the light just went on in their mind.  After saying "duh!" to themselves, they launch into an all-out explanation of agreement with me that prayer is what is missing in their lives.  Sure, they say grace before meals and do their prayers as they go to bed...but they aren't really praying...I mean, really praying. 

Of course, there are many GW Catholics who pray and pray hard.  They are really coming to know Jesus Christ through a daily conversation with Him.  They are speaking to Him from their hearts each and every day and this is changing their life.  They have an academic life, a social life, and a prayer life.  The more their prayer life grows (like the mustard seed), the more it begins to shape the rest of their life. 

So, wherever you were this past school year in your prayer life, are you praying this summer?  I know that some of our biggest pray-ers don't have the opportunity for daily Mass as they do at GW.  I know that many of you are much more isolated in living out your faith now at home.  And, it's much more difficult to be outward as a devout Catholic at home than it is here for many of you (I know that some are hiding their devotionals from even their parents!). 

In whatever situation you find yourself right now, you can and should pray every day.  Don't worry about for how long you pray: quality is more important than quantity to God.  Sure, holy hours have a special significance in our faith and more time with God brings more fruits, but it's more important right now to have consistent prayer. Of course, be as generous with God as you can, but even that's aonly five minutes a day, that will be enough.  "If but a pin is given in homage, and given with a good heart, it would be enough for Jesus, who loves only the good will" (St. Louis de Montfort).

Go to your "Catholic bunkers" (chapel, bedroom, nature) and pray for at least five minutes every day. If you can do more than that, great.  But, this will be your starting point if you don't already do this.  You can pray the rosary or at least portions of the rosary (you should be praying at least a decade a day), read the Psalms or Gospels, go to usccb.org/nab for today's Mass readings, spend a few minutes in Adoration if possible, or just enter into a silent conversation with the Lord (God speaks to us in silence).  Do one of these each day this summer, and the next thing you know... you have a prayer life.


Matt Shoemaker said...


Christina said...