Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Teach us how to pray"

Great post from Rob over at Crunchy Cons about a Christian prayer life, how it evolves, and how we pray. Definitely worth checking out.

From the beginning:
Marshall McLuhan once said that he came into the Catholic Church "on my knees." He meant that the only way to truly become a Catholic (or, I think it's fair to say, a serious Christian of any sort) is through prayer. I think he's right; rather, I know from my personal experience that he's right. As I've indicated before in my writing, it was the neglect of regular prayer that set me up for a brittleness that was finally broken under the serious stresses of my spiritual life with regard to my relationship to the Church. I had made the error of thinking that as long as I had the intellectual side worked out, and fulfilled my sacramental duties, that I would be fine. But it's not true. As I look back over my life as an adult Christian, it's plain to me that the times of the greatest spiritual fruitfulness have been times when I followed a regular rule of prayer. And not just petitionary prayer, but prayer in the sense of disciplining the mind to be still in the presence of the Holy, and to seek to be filled up with God. That's so difficult for me, because my mind is always racing, always seeking stimulation. I lose focus, I get nervous, I break my rule. The rule of prayer is the one thing that will keep me on the right path, yet it is the hardest thing for me to stick to, because it requires ... stillness. I can spend hours reading books about prayer, but actually praying, well, that's the hard thing.>

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