Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prayer

Was going through my Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church e-mails just now, and I thought I would share a couple of little bits about prayer.  Sometimes, it's good to be reminded of things we already know.

 Why is prayer sometimes a struggle?
The spiritual masters of all times have described growth in faith and in love for God as a spiritual, life-and-death combat. The battlefield is man's interior life. The Christian's weapon is prayer. We can allow ourselves be defeated by our selfishness and lose ourselves over worthless things or we can win God.
Often someone who wants to pray must first conquer his lack of will power. Even the Desert Fathers were acquainted with spiritual sluggishness ("acedia"). Reluctance to seek God is a big problem in the spiritual life. The spirit of the times sees no point in praying, and our full calendars leave no room for it. Then there is the battle against the tempter, who will try anything to keep a person from devoting himself to God. If God did not want us to find our way to him in prayer, we would not win the battle. (YOUCAT question 505)
Is it possible to pray always?
Prayer is always possible. Prayer is vitally necessary. Prayer and life cannot be separated.
You cannot keep God content with a few words in the morning or evening. Our life must become prayer, and our prayers must become life. Every Christian life story is also a story of prayer, one long attempt to achieve ever greater union with God. Because many Christians experience a heartfelt longing to be with God constantly, they turn to the so-called "Jesus prayer", which has been an age-old custom particularly in the Eastern Churches. The person who prays it tries to integrate a simple formula the most well-known formula is "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" into his daily routine in such a way that it becomes a constant prayer. (YOUCAT question 510)