23/03/21 Tuesday First Week of Lent
Remember Matthew 6: 7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
In your prayers do not babble as the others do,
for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.
Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
So you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test, but save us from the evil one.
The language of prayer is the language of the heart, a passionate but silent language.
It involves relaxing into the mystery of God’s love.
In prayer words are sometimes only to keep our minds focused
when we might otherwise be distracted.
The language of love and prayer are similar, and much of the language of love is silence.
People who love each other deeply can be present to each other when words don’t seem to matter anymore –
Words may even be a hindrance to the sharing of love.
This is called: silent presence and silent listening.
We don’t have to make ourselves heard by God;
She/He already knows everything we need.
At it’s core prayer is a time of soaking ourselves in His love for us.
(Kenneth Payne in his book, ‘What shall I say’, (www.columba.ie) tells this story: Jimmy, aged five, was proud of being able to say his night prayers alone, but his mother was not above listening through the door to see if he got them right. One night (the story goes) this was how he was heard to end up:
‘God, bless mammy. God, bless daddy . God, bless baby …God, bless granny … ‘
and finally added:
‘And please take care of yourself God, ’cause if anything happens to you we’re all sunk!’
A man of few words
André Paul often tells this true story of prayer:
Jim was an elderly Dublin elderly homeless man. By Day he would walk the streets and beg. At night he used to sleep in shop doorways.
During the afternoon he would drop into churches for a little heat, rest, and a prayer. He would go in the back door, sit down in the second last row, put his paper parcel on the floor, smile, close his eyes and simply pray ‘Hello Jesu, It’s only me, Jim!’ Sometimes he would take a snooze. After a while Jim would get up and leave.
Jim got sick one wet night in the park opposite the Aisling Hotel, an ambulance picked him and he was admitted to the Mater A&E with severe pneumonia. As he lay dying in an cubicle another patient said he saw a visitor going into where Jim was curtained off and heard a voice whispering: ‘Hello Jim. It’s me Jesus.’
Later when the nurse checked on Jim he had passed away. The nurse noted that Jim had a very peaceful smile on his face!
whether my prayers are long or short,
may they always be sincere and loving as yours were.
Bless all the homeless people in our land
Thank you for the ‘Our Father’ prayer.
May You always be my friend – and I, yours.