1. encourage the faithful on August 17, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Only a person whose circumstances has humbled him could pray the Anima Christi with passion and appreciation. I remember well, Tom, how God humbled me with two very fraught circumstances. I had been a respectful, but mostly cultural, Catholic until then. I started praying fervently for several months for at least one or two hours each day to thank God for is revelations until one day my world turned upside-down (or right side up, really, lol). I needed to learn the words to tell my daughter that she was living a very sinful life but I wanted to be effective and not self-righteous. So one night as I fervently prayed it happened!!!

    Suddenly I felt that I couldn’t breathe and words just kept filling up the room I had made in my head and heart for God during all those months of intense prayer. I had a conversion of heart and mind. I was filled with the zeal and wisdom of the Holy Spirit and I had to grab a pen and paper and write everything down that filled my head. It was surreal. The next morning I woke up to a world in bright technicolor. I was truly alive. I couldn’t get enough of all things Catholic. I spoke to priests, I called on spiritual directors, I read the Bible, I prayed more and I was ecstatic. I was in ecstasy! I never knew such passion.

    So when Father Wade Menezes gave a homily on prayer during the EWTN (Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network) celebration of Mass one morning, I was especially stricken and I wrote the following to share with my family and friends and I would like to share it with you, Tom, and your readers:

    Fr. Menezes spoke about God’s reason for the vocation of prayer. God is omniscient and therefore knows what we would ask of Him before we pray. So why does God tell us to pray?

    The reasons God wants us to pray (this is so beautiful and very deep so harness your critical thinking skills here and read deliberately) are:

    1) St. John of the Cross tells us the more God wishes to give us, the more He makes our hearts desire these things.

    2) St. John also says that in the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, then God is seeking Him first.

    3) St. John says that prayer is the one thing that can bind God (to us).

    4) St. Augustine explains why God should ask us to pray. He says that God wants us to exercise our desire through our prayers precisely to prepare the human heart for the gifts He wants to give us. He says the more fervent the desire, the more worthy the fruit.

    5) St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.

    6) Tertullian, priest, says that prayer is the one thing that can conquer God.

    Amazing! By now we should get the idea. Those whom God chooses (He puts the desire in our hearts) for deep prayer, are those of us whom He wants to redeem (He is seeking us first). For us to pray is for us to prepare our hearts for His gifts.

    This is why we need to read the writings of the saints, instruments of the fullness and richness of the Catholic faith.

    Tom and readers, I hope that by sharing this reflection each of you is encouraged to seek that which is not just visible.

    “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

    • quinersdiner on August 17, 2015 at 10:20 am

      What a rich reflection. You have made my day. Thanks so much for sharing.

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