Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ways to Pray

Bishop Joseph often quotes this word from the Desert Father, St. Poemen:

"If three men meet, of whom the first fully preserves interior peace, and the second gives thanks to God in illness, and the third serves with a pure mind, these three are doing the same work."

Prayer has much more to with who we are on the inside than with what we say, or what is officially called prayer. Prayer is an inner openness to God that entrusts oneself so completely to His care that one is free to pay attention to the cares of those around him. Secure in God's care, one who prays can allow the image of the caring God within him to blossom in care for others. However, this care for others does not manifest itself in busybodiness or other attempts to "fix" those around him. The one who prays is just as much aware of his own inability to save others as he is aware of God's ability and willingness to save all. The one who prays, above all else, cares for others by bearing them and their suffering in his heart. Then in peace, with a pure mind, and with a heart giving thanks to God in all things, this care is translated into actions; but these are actions of cooperation with the Grace of God already at work, actions that respect the freedom of others and are full of hope in God, the only One who saves.

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