Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Prayer is the life of the
soul. Just as our bodies need nourishment, so too, our souls, which
hunger for God, need to be nourished by prayer. Much of the stress that
many people experience nowadays comes from the fact that they neglect
to nourish their souls. Our bodies, minds and souls make up a unit. Our
society is becoming more and more geared to looking after the body and
the mind, but unless some harmony is restored by bringing these three
together, it is inevitable that people will experience anxiety. St.
Augustine says, "You have made us
for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you" .
Surely, a lot of the anxiety that people experience in their busy lives
could be alleviated if they gave some time to prayer and the search for
God. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and we cannot hope to have peace
within ourselves unless we draw life from the source. Prayer
essentially, is a dialogue with God, speaking to Him who created and
loves us, and listening to what He is trying to say to us. Here we just
want to suggest a few different methods of prayer which we feel are
well suited to those with busy lives. Prayer is a relationship, so it
is different for everyone. Therefore, we have given examples of
different types of prayer, in the hope that you may be able to find the
approach which suits you best. Why not decide to spend 10 - 15 minutes
a day in prayer. If you already do, why not increase it to 30 minutes.
And don’t think that prayer is only for priests and religious.
Certainly they pray, but prayer and holiness (which is essentially
having our whole being in harmony within and with the plan of God) is
for everyone in every situation. We will never achieve true happiness
as long as we continue to search for it outside the very source of
love, which we know is God Himself, who we are told in Scripture, is
love. (1 John 4:16).
As Pope John Paul ll suggests in his letter on the dawn of the new
millennium, why not "start afresh
from Christ" . You won't regret it!
teaching on Prayer
The Catechism of the
Catholic Church is a wonderful resource. Part 4 is completely devoted
to prayer. For those seeking to explore varied forms of prayer, it is
well worth reading. We quote just a few sections here, to whet your
"Christian prayer is a
covenant relationship between God and man in Christ. It is the action
of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and
ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will
of the Son of God made man". (CCC 2564)
"The heart is the
dwelling place where I am, where I live; the heart is the place 'to
which I withdraw'." (CCC 2563)
"The life of prayer is
the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in
communion with him." (CCC 2565)
"Abraham's heart is
entirely submissive to the Word and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of
the heart, whose decisions are made according to God's will, is
essential to prayer, while the words used count only in relation to
it." (CCC 2570)