Sunday's Gospel allows us to reflect on the great prayer, the "Lord's Prayer."This prayer has been offered up for over two thousand years. It links us with a host of great Christian thinkers.
We all have prayed this prayer, but how many times have you recited the "Lord's Prayer" with your mind and your spirit on full automatic? You just begin and end and recite the whole prayer without a single thought. The words are so familiar that we can be on "cruise control" for the entire prayer.
It is amazing and quite amusing how we have convinced ourselves that God hasn't yet caught on to the difference between our expressions of genuine spirituality and our automatic, rote readings of the "Lord's Prayer." Likewise, Jesus encourages his disciples to go continually into God's presence in prayer. But God, delights in our clamorings in prayer all hours of the day and night.
Reading the Word and praying to God are faith mantras we must exercise on our own, but we must also read and pray, praise and question, in small groups. We need that communal, cellular contact with faith every day of our lives.
Part of our spiritual freshness depends on opening up our hearts and spirits to the sounds and sights of others. We need to be spiritually connected to one another. It is a good "sign of the times" that group prayer meetings continue to be popular. Last week a group of our students gathered together and reflected on the upcoming Sunday's readings. These spontaneous meetings do help stay spiritually connected.
All of us struggle to keep our faith fresh and vital. We can develop favorite ways, personal mantras, that aid and sustain us in this task. We might employ techniques as ancient and honorable as fasting, praying the Rosary, praying the Magnificat daily, daily Mass or Adoration.
If you pray, or used to pray, or try to pray, or want to pray... take a look at the first and third readings for Sunday and see how they speak to you - and prepare to hear them proclaimed on the weekend.
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Pray for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
"We repeat and confirm what has already been said that the second object, zeal for the salvation of souls, proceeds directly from the first with which God has inspired us, namely, with his grace, to imitate Jesus Christ and to offer ourselves to Mary as her most humble servants and ministers."