According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “prayer is a vital necessity.” [CCC 2744] Prayer is communion with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That should be incentive enough to devote ourselves to daily prayer, right?
I confess, at times I consider praying the way I consider eating right and exercising regularly. I realize maintaining good health is important, but that does not mean I want to do it every day. Sometimes eating a piece of chocolate cake is more satisfying. There’s the rub!
How often do we say: “I pray, but I don’t get anything out of it”? I hear that particularly when it comes to praying the Rosary. The repetition of prayers tends to become mechanical. Meaning gets lost in the mind of distractions.
So what are we doing?
My problem is I get impatient, particularly when I do not see answers to my prayers. Might as well just kick back with my chocolate cake, park my brain in neutral, and watch some television instead. Of course that does not do my body, mind, heart, and soul any good either.
If we think we are not getting satisfaction out of prayer, perhaps we should ask ourselves: What are we putting into it? Do we ask God for a lot but give little in return? I don’t think God would be pleased with my answer, and frankly, neither am I. Therefore, what can be done to improve?
I know now there is more to prayer than finding satisfaction. Whether or not we receive answers for our personal needs, prayer maintains the bond between Heaven and Earth. That bond is for our salvation and the salvation of the whole world.
If we don’t pray, we fall prey to temptation and sin which is not good for us or our world. Is it possible that the problems of humanity seem to be worsening because fewer people are praying? Therefore, the more we pray—not only in words, but also in our deeds, thoughts, and heart—the greater our bond with Heaven.
To help us with prayer, the Word became flesh in Jesus Christ through Mary, the Blessed Virgin. And through Jesus comes unity with God the Father. Christ is in the Father and the Father is in him doing his works. In this work, we receive the loving gift of the Holy Spirit--“the interior Teacher of Christian prayer” [CCC 2681].
To sustain this holy union, Jesus gives his entire self to us—his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—in the Holy Eucharist. The gift of the Holy Eucharist increases the gift of the Holy Spirit within us. By following the internal promptings of the Holy Spirit, we too can sustain this union in our petitions, penance, thanks, and praise.
In prayer we have a loving and living relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the sake of healing, protecting, and preparing us for eternal life. By prayerfully offering up ourselves through our joys, our works, and our sorrows, we develop the habit of praying without ceasing. As result, we are never alone in whatever challenges we face. And while we may not always find satisfaction on earth, we should not stop praying because prayer will help us all find glory with God in Heaven. Amen.