There are times that the book Latin Sayings for Spiritual Growth really has a lot to say to me. This is one of those times. I have been struggling with my grasp of prayer and how it should be done for years and years. Sometimes I feel I succeed in my prayer life and at others I feel the failure. But you know when I hear others talk about their praying, I wonder if I really know how to pray.
Archabbot Labert Reilly, O.S. B. says this.
Non omni cundem calceum induas pedi
("Every shoe fits not every foot")
Publilius SyrusMany times during our journey, we turn to Christ just as the Apostles did and implore, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1).
It was simple when we were young: Utter the memorized words ask for blessing for all we loved, and drift off to sleep, trusting God's presence the same way we trusted that our mother would be there in the morning, gently shaking us awake.
But as we grow older, life reveals its complexities. Our friendships with other human beings change, just as our relationship with God changes. We turn to a shelf filled with spiritual reading for guidance, and the options stump us. We can meditate, pray the Rosary, go to daily Mass, pray by ourselves or with a group. We can be guided by Thomas a Kempis, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Francis de Sales, or Therese of Lisieux. One deeply spiritual friend is rooted in Adoration, another in Scripture study still another in both.
What fits us?
We are each of course, unique, and God is infinite. He approaches each of us in ways that make sense to us and that will bring us close to Him. If God gives one person the gift of experiencing His presence through a certain style of prayer, that doesn't mean it's the only way that leads to Him.
It's another facet of the virtue of prudence: sifting, testing, and listening, to fine the prayer that brings us closest to God.
So perhaps, I should stop worrying today about how I don't pray the way others pray, but pray the way I am most comfortable where I am right now. That of course may change tomorrow, or in years and years...Only God knows. I'm still just a work in progress. YEAH!
Thanks be to God!
Thanks be to God!