This past Advent, I spent a lot of time in prayer and contemplation, focusing on my relationship with God. This was one specific prayer I recited, fifteen times a day:
There is a saying, “Confession is good for the soul.”
Let me confess something:
Sometimes, praying is hard!
Sometimes, I don’t want to pray!
Sometimes, I feel like chasing children, cooking, blogging, or anything, rather than praying!
Praying, oftentimes feels like a one-way street. Jesus doesn’t come right out and audibly say, “Anni, here’s what I’m thinking…” It would be so much nicer, and much more convenient if He did say something so blatantly.
But, He doesn’t.
He speaks to the quiet of the soul, which, while my soul might be at rest, is a mother’s soul, so the quiet is hard to come by.
A lot of non-Catholics feel as though Catholics rely on rote prayer – in fact, many accuse Catholics of eschewing a “personal relationship” with God by not talking with Him, but instead, talking to Him in memorized prayer fashion.
And, while I know I’ve stated before that simply isn’t the case, let me just say:
This past Advent, I realized the benefit of the “memorized” prayer.
When a person doesn’t feel like praying, it can be so difficult to sit down and have some time with the Lord. Instead of relying on inadequate words, or relying on myself to come up with something to say when I just don’t want to talk to God, that precise moment is when I am able to lean on the other forms of prayer – the ones written down by holy men and women throughout the centuries.
But, just like my previous post about Mass attendance isn’t all about me, in which I tried to encourage my readers to reconsider “what” they get out of Mass, I feel as though this needs to be said – prayer is not all about us.
Prayer is about relationship – with Our God and Creator.
Prayer is the lifeline to the One who makes all things possible.
It’s not always easy, and it isn’t all sunshine and roses. But, it is the most important way for us to talk with, and listen to, the will of God.
On the days it was is difficult to find the right words, that is when I need to rely on the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Divine Mercy, or the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. That is the beauty of my Faith – it supplies me with words when mine falter and fail.
Other days, the sporadic prayer rolls right off my brain, and sometimes right off the tongue.
But, I realized something important this past Advent:
In regard to the relationship between God and myself, I am finding the Nike “swoosh” symbol more than appropriate.
Just DO it!
Because ultimately, prayer does a soul good.