Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prayer- Then and Now

As a Southern Baptist kid, I learned to pray by just talking to God. We practiced the art of conversational prayer. So, that is the way I like to pray as an adult. Conversational prayer is only one of the ways Catholics engage in prayer. Some Catholics are comfortable with conversational prayer, and others prefer to use the rich collection of prayers that has developed over the last 2000 years- with the very first being the one Jesus himself taught us- The Our Father. This rich collection of prayers is fascinating to me. I love to see how others talk to God. By studying these prayers, I have gained a better understanding of how to pray and how to listen. I feel like I know my God better. These words shared by other Christians give me insight and allow God to speak to me in ways I didn't know how to ask. I can't soak up enough of these prayers.

One prayer that has had an impact on me lately is the rosary. Before I became Catholic, Gerry and I used to go to adoration for an hour in the middle of the night on Sundays. And I always prayed the rosary. Because I was so new at this whole Catholic thing, I didn't really get it. I said the words and I meant them, but I didn't feel like I was communicating well with God. After the rosary, I always fell back on my conversational prayer. Then, after a while, I didn't pray the rosary as often.

Lately, I have been drawn back to the rosary. And all of a sudden, it is such a powerful way for me to pray. I am not sure what has changed, but I am blown away by the communication I have with God during the rosary. I have been especially drawn to the sorrowful mysteries. Every time I pray through the sorrowful mysteries, I gain a deeper understanding of His passion. I see a new glimpse of the love He has for me. While in prayer, my mind will start to wander to something I need to do or fix or someone I need to talk to or pray for. Thoughts will pop into my head that either have meaning at that moment or meaning I discover at a later time. And there have been moments when I think I hear Jesus talking to me. My humanity would like to label those moments as crazy but my spirit wants to label them as real. My most vivid experiences with the rosary have been in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I am really looking forward to the end of football season so I can go to first Friday adoration, pray the rosary and listen for Jesus to whisper in my ear.

How to Pray the Rosary

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thought of the Day

Under the influence of fear, we bear the cross of Christ with patience. Under the more inspiring influence of hope, we carry the cross with a firm and valiant heart. But under the consuming power of love, we embrace the cross with ardor.

~St. Bernard of Clairvaux