“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. . . .Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

St. Theresa of Calcutta
In the Heart of the World:  Thoughts, Stories and Prayers

Into a time that has been named by one author* the Age of Noise, Mother Theresa spoke these words, reminding us of the power of silence.  Silence is a hard thing to come by for most Americans.  We are surrounded by both external and internal noise.  Even when we turn off the t.v., radio, phone, etc., the noise inside of us in the form of racing thoughts, to-do lists, worries and anxieties ring loudly and threaten to drown out the small, still voice of God.  Do you suppose Mother Theresa struggled as we do?

I suspect she did, at least at one time and in some way.  It is part of the human condition.  Distraction is a universal human experience.  But there are things we can do to cultivate a silent, listening heart.  Our present situation of closures and cancellations provides us with both an opportunity to practice some much needed silence, but also presents the challenge of the distraction of ever-changing circumstances and urgent “news flashes”.

This week I would like to offer all of us some encouragement to heed the advice of Mother Theresa and a few of our best resources on prayer.

 

TIPS

  1. Put prayer time on your calendar and stick to the appointment with God!  Better yet, make it the first item in your day.  Sacrifice some sleep if you need to.  It’s the most important appointment of our day, and the Lord is eagerly waiting for us.
  2. As Matthew Kelly wisely says, pray at the same time, in the same place and with a set plan each day.  Commit to giving him a set amount of time and stick to it!
  3. Spend the first minute or two of your prayer time either looking at an image of Jesus or imagining his face.  Focus on the reality that His gaze is on you.  Take a deep breath and receive His great love for you.
  4. Then, give him all of your distractions.  Share your anxieties, your fears, your worries, your to-do list… everything, He wants to hear it all.
  5. Ask Him for the grace to listen to His words
  6. Reflect on Scripture.  Perhaps the Gospel of the day.
  7. Pay attention to anything that stands out to you.
  8. Talk to God about what stands out.
  9. Be quiet and listen to his response.
  10. Thank Him for the gift of this time with him, for His love, for the salvation he has won for you.
  11. Close with a prayer you know.

 

IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Local parishioner Anthony Flores shares how he developed a habit of prayer.  I am so grateful for his honest sharing.  He inspired me, I hope he inspires you as well.

A PRACTICAL AND VERY SUCCESSFUL PLAN FOR PRAYER

Last August, Fr. Scott Woods, conducted the annual retreat for our seminarians.  While he was here, he agreed to share with us how he teaches hundreds of high school and college students to develop a habit of prayer.  I highly recommend this video to anyone wanting to develop this firm and life-changing habit!

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