Sunday, March 9, 2014

A surge of the heart!

St. Therese of Lisieux has said that prayer "is a surge of the heart." 

Specifically, she said, "For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy."

Sometimes, I think we make prayer too complicated. Certainly, our desire for prayer comes from a good place in our hearts. But, I believe that God does not want us to be setting ourselves up for failure by scheduling an unrealistic prayer schedule (even during Lent). Yes, God wants us to pray.

But, possibly it might be in a way we are not planning.

After I sent out the newsletter yesterday a woman wrote to tell me to say that she was relieved to read in my message that we shouldn't be overly regimented in our prayer life. I was referring to being patient with our little ones in the family when gathering for prayer.

This woman had recently learned many new prayers and told me in her email, "...Just so you know, I was just discovering all these wonderful prayers and novenas, and wanted to do it all. But quickly realized it's not about quantity, but quality." I admire this woman's beautiful desire to "do it all." But, she also learned a valuable lesson.

This reminds me of what St. Therese had said about wanting to embrace the whole package of what God called her to. She said, "You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all." Saint Therese accepted God's will in her life. Even though she thought she would be a missionary and travel to the five continents to evangelize Therese needed to be content with what God had planned for her--to stay in the convent and to pray for the world from there.

Our lives are very busy and we need to surely carve out the time for prayer and then try to stick to it. God is awaiting our conversations with Him. But, we also need to be patient and loving with the ones God puts in our midst (and ourselves).

For instance, we might have scheduled an early prayer time before the kids get up and suddenly a child bursts into the room with an immediate need. We, in a sense, excuse ourself from the prayer with our Creator to minister to the one our Lord helped us create--an active prayer! God does not want us to neglect our duties toward others whose care we are responsible for.

We need to strike a balance with our contemplative prayer and our active prayer life. Set aside time for prayer each day and trust God with how it will unfold in your life. If it doesn't go as planned, don't give up--try again! Graces are indeed flowing through your prayers no matter how "successful" they may feel or seem to be. All prayers are valuable. Keep them going!

I hope you can find a quiet few minutes today to lift your heart up in a loving conversation with God. Close your eyes and speak to Jesus. Tell Him that you love Him. He's there waiting for you...

God bless you and yours!

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