Prayer Habits

02-19-2023The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Pope Saint John XXIII often reminded people, "Do not forget your prayers. These may be as short as you wish if you find long prayers too hard, but do not forget them. Even a sign can be a prayer."

We all have our routine and we don't always want to change it. Never-the-less we can find more time for prayer, if we just look at our daily routine.

What is your mind doing during the "morning ritual" when you are getting ready to leave the house? Do you spend time reading? Why not spiritual reading or a psalm? Do you sing in the shower? Why not a hymn? Do you think about the day? Why not do that while asking for guidance on the day? Do you drive to work, or drive as part of your work? Why not listen to a CD or DVD on spirituality, or the bible? Take the train? Again, you could listen to tapes or do spiritual reading. Addicted to the morning news on TV, or the paper? There are abundant opportunities to pray for the people you hear about who are victims of crime or misfortune. Add to that a prayer asking God to protect you and your family. While at work, what do you do, or what do you think about while on break, or at lunch? You could read a psalm, a short bit of spiritual reading, or just talk to God.

The habit of prayer is no burden to any one, for we can pray worthily at any time, in any place, and any posture. Even the motion of the lips is not necessary; the mind and heart can be engaged in it when we read or converse or go about our daily work. Moreover, prayer produces a delicious feeling of hope and rest in God; and this feeling is worth more than the happiness that wealth can purchase or the world give.

God respects not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how elegant they are; nor the music of our prayers, how melodious they are; nor the logic of our prayers, how methodical they are; but the sincerity of our prayers, how heart-sprung they are.

Pray well during Lent, and let us pray for each other and never loose heart.