For the past several years, I have been offering an occasional series in the parish called the 30-Minute School of Prayer. This is the second post in the series. I will reflect on occasion about one particular aspect of prayer. There is no one place to begin nor is there a particular sequence of reflections that must be read in order. I simply invite you to rest in God as you have come to experience God. I invite you to reflect on practical matters and issues or ideas from the gospels. Take time to reflect on the text here then be still, calm your life and be quiet for 20- 30 minutes. So we begin.
“Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money and let no one take a second tunic.” Luke: 9
As you begin your silent prayer, remember God has first called you to prayer. This is real grace. God initiates our desire to come before Divine grace as we are and not how we perceive we should be. God calls us into action first by receiving our hearts in love, consolation and purpose.
There are often many obstacles that we place before God that keep us from silence, from sincere recollection and even the joy that God desires of us. We cling to many things. We hold on to our illusions of wealth, education and even our opinions. We want to be ‘correct’ in all of our relationships, we hold on to notions of always being right. Our bloated egos carry many things that keep us from the simplicity of silence, of true daily prayer. Jesus invites us to let go of even the things that seem essential, walking sticks, food, money and luggage. We carry only the love that God has for us in our daily prayer.
I invite you to ponder the emotional objects you hold on to that seem to keep you from prayer. Selfishness, greed, pride, slander, or whatever holds you back from the choice to offer your complete life to God. You may cling to food, sex or alcohol addiction. You may hold back because you think you do not believe enough to follow Christ. Look again at the Twelve who were told they could cure diseases and even heal the sick. We can respond to God’s call today, in silent prayer and who knows what will happen!
Today, I am reluctant to offer my life and silence to God because…
Jesus, you are calling me to follow you and I …
So now I invite you into silence. Let us begin.