Today’s readings at mass have “Prayer” as their main theme. Do you pray for or about, in praise and thanksgiving or asking, with hope or hardly thinking about what you say? The Cure of Ars (St John Vianney) said that he thought people prayed as though they were throwing a few crumbs in God’s direction and thinking/saying “that should satisfy you”.
Are your prayers crumbs thrown in God’s direction? Did you teach your children to pray like that? Were you taught crumby prayer?
The way we pray now is our own choice, we can’t blame anyone else. It is always disheartening to hear people say “Well, that’s how we were taught.” The blame does not lie with poor or inadequate teaching but with our own laziness, our not thinking for ourselves, not bothering.
If we are ignorant of history, geography, politics we cannot blame school: “I wasn’t taught that.” We are adult now and can read for ourselves. Libraries and bookshops are wide open for us. If we settle for never reading anything serious that is our decision.
Blaming others for our inadequacies is running away. Do something about it. Blaming others is a cop-out and no one takes us seriously, just as we can easily see through the laziness and inadequacy of others when we hear them blaming others for their failures.
Do you want to pray? Do you want simply to say prayers? There are many books of beautiful prayers and I would willingly help you choose some (see our parish library). But if you want to pray you are on your own . . . you have to surrender to God. You find your own words or your own full silence.
You may feel self-conscious, feel that you are just talking to yourself. How do you talk to a sleeping baby? Could you pray like that? You don’t ask a baby anything but to accept your love. You could talk to God like that. Ask God to accept your love. What happens then? Find out, gently and with understanding.
God bless us,
(24th July 2016)