with a visit to The Vatican Today’s website. On the right hand side is the Pope’s twitter feed (if you don’t follow @Pontifex you should.) As I went to read the landing page, this tweet from yesterday caught my eye: “Do we truly pray? Without an abiding relationship with God, it is difficult to live an authentic and consistent Christian life.”
I kept scrolling and looked up other news stories to share with you, but could NOT shake this tweet. Never thought I’d say that in a sentence. I took it as a personal question directed at me, which I think is how the Pope intended it – a personal question directed at whoever happened to read it – which at the time I wrote this, the Pope is at 3,064,970 followers.
I have been thinking about my prayer life and how I pray and if it’s meaningful or intimate enough to get closer to God. Then I read this tweet and thought, ok, here we go.
1. I pray the Rosary every day for all of you. Whenever I have a prayer request or speak to someone and they relay a situation that I think could be helped by being lifted up in prayer, I almost partition my rosary praying. As I listen to the mystery, I think and mentally gloss over all of the names, all of the faces and lift them up to Mary and God. I almost pray through the beads and imagine these people that I pray for leaving them at the feet of our Blessed Lady and Her Son. I rarely use the rosary to pray for my intentions.
2. I pray the Liturgy of the Hours Morning Prayer on my way to work every morning – during the week. I am being honest. Sometimes, I don’t get to pray the Morning Prayer on the weekends. I don’t have a good excuse or reason other than I am not perfect. I also try to pray the Night Prayer every night as well. When I pray these psalms and readings, I feel like I am getting an education on how to live my life. For example, today the Responsory was:
In the depths of his heart, the law of God is his guide. – In the depths of his heart, the law of God is his guide.
He will never lose his way; – the law of God is his guide.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, – In the depths of his heart, the law of God is his guide.
It made me reflect on the life I lived before I came home. I had an internal compass (it wasn’t always perfect) but for the most part, I found my way without much help from the sidelines so to speak. Sin was all around me and I was floating in it. Truly. But, as the responsory says, I never lost my way because (without knowing it) the law of God was my guide.
I have also been able to memorize these Scripture verses because they are said daily in Morning Prayer:
Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. (my favorite part)
In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
3. I try to use B.A.K.E.R. when I shower in the evening, because I like the physical representation of washing the day away as well as making a healthy examination of my day and asking the Lord’s forgiveness with the grace to try again the next day. I have gotten away from this of late and I suffer for it truly. As I mentioned in my post on the Daily Examen, this format is great to cover all bases: blessings, petitions, sins, forgiveness and reconciliation.
4. Here’s where I think I am missing out on my prayer time. Am I listening? I feel like I talk at God as I pray for others. I talk at God when I pray the Morning Prayer out loud, but do I make time to wait and discern what the Holy Spirit wants me to hear. I can remember the last time I did that. The 21st of September. Wow, Cristina. How can you remember that, you ask? I was putting up decorations for my sons’ birthday party and I was finished early, the boys were getting haircuts and I was alone in the house. Instead of cleaning or catching up on the 4 books I have in rotation at the moment, (yes 4) I just sat in the corner of my living room, where I rarely spend any time and just sat. I said some impromptu prayers and waited. Nothing came to me, but boy, did I enjoy being in the embrace of our Lord in His quiet for those few moments. I feel, that that for me is true prayer. that is a relationship; when you listen to your beloved and your beloved listens to you. I know it’s been said here and in many other places on the web, in books and blogs, but I need to emphasize it for me, again. Cristina, just listen. He misses the silence of your lips.