Saturday, January 19, 2013
This is good advice, not only for the agnostic or cradle Catholic (hopefully those are not synonymous these days!) who has never before thought about how to pray, but for the person trying for the first time to make a Holy Hour in front of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
The prayers we learn as children and even as adults from Mother Church are the bread and butter of our prayer life. But our prayers must also be animated by a trusting confidence in our Heavenly Father such as Jesus assumed when He taught His disciples to pray, beginning with the words, "Abba," "Father."
The key to the sacramental view that suffuses the Catholic perspective is the meeting of flesh with spirit, the outer with the inner, words and faith. One's "experience" of God must never come untethered from the prayers of the Church, particularly in corporate liturgical prayer; but neither must the words we utter become detached from a personal trust.
"And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." (Heb. 11:6)