Prayer is indeed indispensable. It is simple communication with God; none of us can be without God. We speak to Him, and He speaks to us. But sometimes the pressures of life can be so daunting that we get distracted from prayer. That is really OK. We need to work through these conditions in life, and Our Lord, with His supreme love guides us through these phases.

The best prayer is always that of the Holy Mass. If you are Catholic, the Mass is it. The pinacle of one's prayer life.

You intended to pray the Rosary, but all sorts of things happen, the doorbell rings, the telephone, someone knocks on the backdoor, you fall asleep in your chair, and then you realize you've said only one decade. That is alright! You had the intention to pray the whole things, and God knows this. So there is nothing to worry about.

A professed member of any Order of the Church, be it a religious or a lay Order, as long as you are satisfying the charism of the Order, the work you do is for Our Lord and for our sisters and brothers. And it is good work, and that work also, becomes a form of prayer. But be careful. If you overdo the apostolate, and use it to manipulate the prayer time, then it is not meritorious. Prayer done of your own free will, when incomplete, or, work done at the request of the Superior, or God, if left undone, for a good reason is meritorious and Our Lord understands that.

How do we pray to God? Some pray the established prayers, the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and such, maybe an Act of Contrition or Hope.

Some pray in a conversational way. They sit down with Our Lord, as if He were physically there. And such people will tell Jesus all about their experiences that morning, or that evening. Once, Br. Craig Driscoll, of the Monks of Adoration, when still in New England, asked me to accompany him on a running path through a wooded area. I was to run alongside of him, recording his prayer as he prayed (he always prayed!) said half out loud to God. Br. Craig believed that Jesus was there present when he ran the 5-6 miles he ran every day. Apart from the fact that I was unable to keep up while holding a portable recorder chest-high, it was hard to understand the prayer because Br. Craig was breathing heavily as he ran. The path had a lot of ups and downs. He did pray, but to make a coherent tape out of it, just wasn't possible.

Such prayers are best said in silence, and it is in silence that our Lord really hears us. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for Our Lord to hear us in this cacaphony of beseeching people - and yet, miraculously, He hears us individually.

Everyone knows that Our Lord is in Heaven and doesn't feel pain anymore ... this is a tough thing to explain, but here it is ... Our Lord is alive, not in earthly terms, but in Divine terms. He lives in a timeless environment, that has no beginning and no end, and no middle. So in God's time, He is in Heaven, but He is also still on the Cross, and all the earthly activity in between. That's why Our Lady can come to us via apperitions and tell us her Son is suffering immensely by the terrible ways of the world!

So our prayerlife is important. We are repairing (as in "reparation") for the sins of the world, and for our own shortcomings, actions which causes great pain to Jesus. Let us hope that we will be admitted to Heaven when our time comes.

Keep praying, and may God bless you. Next time I'll reflect on: 2. Time and Space for Prayer


Fred Schaeffer, SFO
14 January, 2009