Dear Parish Family,
Have you ever been told you pray well?
By that, I mean: have you ever had someone comment that a particular prayer you said was powerful or inspiring to them? Have you ever made someone’s day better by offering a prayer for that person?
When was the last time you prayed aloud publicly? And I don’t mean simply the responses at Mass or even something like the Rosary or grace before meals, but a prayer that you prayed spontaneously. How long has it been?
I’m certainly not suggesting that praying the Rosary is not meritorious — certainly it is, and I encourage everyone to pray it daily. And, certainly, we should pray before meals… and before going to bed… and upon waking in the morning. These all have great merit and are absolutely necessary in the spiritual life.
Now, the goal of prayer is not to show off; it’s not to show how eloquent or spiritual you are. But there is nothing wrong with being eloquent and demonstrating a deep spirituality with your prayer.
The purpose of prayer is to communicate with God… to give Him thanks, to ask for His intercession, to make petition, and so on. St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote that, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”
We should always be ready to offer public prayer at any time and for any reason. Being hesitant to pray or being afraid for others to hear you pray indicates a weakness in the spiritual life. When we enjoy the friendship with God to which we are called, there is no reason to fear prayer.
Let us pray that God will show us how to pray; that He will lead us toward a more perfect life of prayer so that when we are called upon to offer praise and thanksgiving to God, we can do so confident in our prayer and confident in our ability to pray well.