“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” Ste. Therese of Lisieux
Prayer really does work. We do not see the results of prayer often but, we really need to persevere. Once, I visited Lisieux and it was amazing. The simplicity of the town and the shrine dedicated to Ste. Therese and her family left an amazing impression on me. During the pandemic, we had an online rosary group and my parents participated in it. I found it quite helpful and consoling to maintain some sort of prayer life despite the churches being closed in my area. It was quite difficult.
“Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limits and our dependence: we come from God, we are of God, and to God we return.” St. John Paul II
There is nowhere else to turn. It is time for quiet and prayer in society that does not seem to understand the Church and Catholicism. I get afraid sometimes and I worry about the future. I look at the past and wonder about many things, but I am confident in prayer that God really does know what we need before we ask. Today at mass, Christ taught his apostles how to pray and the Our Father was His answer. What else is more important than spending time with the Lord. He loves us so much. When I visit my friends in the Carmelite Monastery, I see how their life of prayer brings them closer to God and that love emanates in their work and daily life. It is in their faces.
“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.” St. Alphonsus Ligouri
I have read often about the Martyrs of Otranto. The tailor, Antonio Primaldi is said to have proclaimed, “Now is the time for us to fight to save our souls for the Lord. And since he died on the cross for us, it is fitting that we should die for Him.” The captives with him cheered him on. The town was recaptured, and history might have been much different had it not been retaken by Alfonso of Aragon, Ferdinand the Catholic and King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. The remains of those slain were placed in a reliquary in the city’s cathedral. They remain there today. How would these martyrs have had such a determination and zeal for Christ had they not had a prayer life.
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness. St. John Chrysostom
I get discouraged sometimes when I pray. I try very hard to maintain a strong prayer life. If I did not have one, I am not sure where I would be. My work, leisure, relationships are all reverted to prayer. Every saint had a prayer life. Each one of us needs a prayer life and we need to work at it. Of course, it is a work. Anything worthwhile is a work. From the readings of today, Christ asks us who would get a stone if we asked for bread. Only Christ can heal our wounds, overcome our fears and clear our thoughts. This happens in prayer.
“If you are not a man of prayer, I don’t believe in the sincerity of your intentions when you say that you work for Christ.” St. Josemaria Escriva