For all of us who call ourselves Catholics and followers of Christ, prayer has to be the most important and essential part of our lives. When a Catholic prays every day, it shows in the way they think, speak, behave and relate to others. Jesus spent hours and hours during the night, talking with his Heavenly Father, every night after his day’s work. One of his disciples tells Jesus to teach them to pray because they saw the result and the importance of praying every day.
Prayer calms us, and gives us peace and serenity in the most crucial and important moments in our daily lives. If we carefully read the four Gospels, we will realize that Jesus, before choosing his disciples, spent the whole night in prayer so that his Heavenly Father would inspire and enlighten him. We also see Jesus in the Garden of Olives praying before his Heavenly Father before being arrested. How many of us pray before making an important decision in our lives? And when we pray and ask for God’s illumination in our lives and decisions, do we do it honestly and sincerely? The prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples is the Our Father. This has to be the perfect prayer for every Catholic Christian.
Unfortunately, many of us are unable to understand its content or its meaning. It is a prayer that has become very repetitive and monotonous. The next time we pray this beautiful prayer of the Our Father, I invite you to pray it slowly and let us pay close attention to what we are saying. The Our Father prayer is a prayer of petition, recognition, thanks, adoration and reconciliation with God and with our brothers and sisters. Let us never forget to pray the Our Father when we wake up and before going to sleep. Let us say this prayer every day in silence, fully trusting what we are saying; and God, in due time, will give us what we need. May the Holy Spirit inspire and enlighten us every day to turn with great love to our Heavenly Father, who is closer than we imagine and think. Amen!
With love and respect,
Father Alberto Villafan, OFM
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