Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chaminade: Mentor for a Life of Prayer

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was a master of the spiritual life. He was a man of prayer and recommended prayer to those who sought his advice.

For Chaminade, praying is not about words, but rather about living a life of prayer. For him prayer means living in the presence of the God who is in us and around us and among us.

Presence is an interior union with another through conscious attention to the other. It is a relationship that unites us psychologically and spiritually rather than physically. Such a presence, by its nature, communicates to the other something of what we are, and it makes us both in the same way.

Prayer binds us in a way to God; it brings us into communication with God. It merges our spirit with God's spirit, one heart with God's heart.

Chaminade did not see prayer as an isolated event among the many other things that happen during the day. What happens in prayer is meant to overflow into what happens in the rest of our life, and everything we do during the day should dispose us to be with God in prayer. Thus our whole life becomes integrated and focused, permeated with the grace of God through prayer.

Whevever someone consulted Blessed Chaminade and mentioned that they were too busy to pray, could not find the time for prayer, he would answer that they should pray all the more!  And even Jesus himself reminds us, never cease praying.