Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“In prayer, more is accomplished by listening than by talking. Let us leave to God the decisions as to what shall be said”

He who does not meditate acts as one who never looks into the mirror and so does not bother to put himself in order, since he can be dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his thoughts to God who is the mirror of the soul, seeks to know his defects and tries to correct them, moderates himself in his impulses and puts his conscience in order. - St.Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Gospel Text: (LK 6:12-16)
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Did Jesus need these lengthy hours of lonely prayer, when everybody else was asleep?

Today we contemplate a full day in the life of Jesus. A life with two clear sides: prayer and action. If, as Christians we are to imitate Jesus' life we cannot exclude either of these two activities. All Christians that wish to imitate Jesus must realize that the fruit of all their good works begin and end with their prayer life. Know this, when we stop praying that’s when things begin to go wrong. You and I were created for prayer and life is about learning how to pray:

Here are some fruits of a disciplined daily prayer life:

The more we pray the happier we become.

The more we pray, the less anxious we become and the greater peace of mind and heart we will acquire.

The more we pray, the more we understand ourselves, for we come to know God more intimately, by experience and we really only know ourselves to the degree that we know God personally.

The more we pray, we begin to see the hand of God in our day to day life, that is, we see Him acting in our life. We begin to see that He loves us, personally. That makes life so much more meaningful.

The most important thing is to acquire the habit of prayer. It has to become a habit. Without that, we don't have an interior life; we just have an exterior life. And when all we have is an exterior life, we become anxious, restless, and that leads to greed, the inordinate love of possessing. For we end up trying to secure our own happiness and to reduce our own anxiety, and when things do not go our way in life, we become angry, impatient, irritated, we lose the peace that we long for. And when we are at that point, it means we've taken our life into our own hands. But life is not meant to be lived out of our own hands. We are meant to be carried along by God, like a baby is carried in a car seat. We are meant to be carried along by divine providence. God is in control, not us, and we have to surrender to his control. When we do so, life becomes so much more exhilarating.

If we do not pray, we open ourselves up to deception. This is such an important point. Diabolical deception is so subtle, and we're just not intelligent enough to defend ourselves against the subtle deception of the Evil One. The devil is inconceivably superior, intellectually, to human beings, and the person who does not have the habit of prayer is open to all sorts of deceptions. And the goal of the devil in sowing lies and deception in the minds of human beings is to divide them, to create division and animosity. That leads to divorce, or broken friendships, mutual distrust, animosity in the family, or in a religious community.

If you haven't really begun to pray regularly and wish to know how to start, just begin by setting aside a certain period of time every day, and read one psalm a day from the Old Testament it will take 5 months to get through all 150 of them. If you persevere in this discipline eventually you will acquire a profound sense of God in the interior of your souls. After years of that, you will be ready to leave this world, and you won't fear death, you will look forward to the day when you will see God's face directly. That's eternal life, and that's what this life is a preparation for. But all this begins in the decision to pray regularly.

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