What is Prayer?

Faith Formation

From the Pastor’s Desk

This Sunday Jesus wants to teach us the need to pray always and without faint as he taught his disciples.

But what is PRAYER?
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. (St. Therese of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r. [Paris 1992] p. 389-390).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that prayer is a gift from God and that it helps us to enliven our relationship/communion with God.

Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. (Cf. St. Augustine De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus 64, 4: PL 40, 56. ) CCC 2560.

If we have received prayer as a gift from our God, this means that God is taking the initiative to seek us out and to establish communication with each one of us. And this communion has its core, the pure, infinite and unconditional love that God has with each one of us. Throughout the history of salvation and the salvific plan that God has carried out, it has always been made clear that our God is not a mute God, nor is he a judging God. He has manifested himself as a Father of love and mercy, who is always ready to go out to meet his children.

He communicates this plan of salvation to us through the Living Word, which is Christ; a continuous communication which seeks to establish a communion of love between his Son and each one of us, in order to glorify the Father in union with Christ and lead us to Him.

Part of our Catholic tradition is to pray by reciting pre-written prayers, novenas, rosaries, etc. And every one of these resources are very good. But this has to lead us toward opening our hearts, so that at the center of that very heart, we can enter into an intimate relationship with our beloved Jesus, establishing a dialogue (prayer) in which we remain silent in order to listen to the sweet and merciful voice of our God. That living and true voice that will transform our existence and our reality. In this way no longer we will use prayer as a means to ask and to ask, again and again, only for our problems and needs or for our frailties and sins.

If we practice prayer as a gift of God and as a communion with him, then we will experience an integral conversion and transformation, where we will have total trust in our God; trust that he knows us and knows our needs. So that it is no longer necessary to use prayer time to ask, but rather it be a time when we allow our beloved Jesus to pour himself out in love for us and to be consumed by the flames of his love.

Peace and good,
Br. Salvador Mejia, OFM

(En Español)

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