Showing 21 - 40 of 56
Jesus would be the first to help a friend in need. Likewise, He urged me not to worry about leaving my prayer in order to deal with a little mishap. Friends understand one another.
There are a thousand ways in which the enemies of Christ try to draw us away from prayer, or from His service. Horrible images can be driven away by the use of Holy water and prayer, and the sign of the cross.
The Lord told me that I can more easily avoid distraction during Holy Communion if I remember that to meet Christ in Person, flanked by His holy Angels, is a far greater privilege than if I were to meet the Queen in person, in her palace, flanked by her companions.
The power given to us in Baptism can draw us up to holiness and Heaven; but we can be hampered from 'flight' by these attachments: timidity in sharing our Faith, worrying about what people think our about particular vocation, concern for physical comfort, or neglect of everyday duties. The last 'string' to be cut is death.
We can usually see little on a flight. Just as when, on an aircraft, we have little glimpses of bright fields or snowy mountains, so, in the spiritual life, God allows us 'glimpses' of spiritual joys, because He knows one of our greatest dangers is discouragement, and wants us to know that we are on our way to Heaven.
When we rest in silent prayer with Christ in holy Communion, or at other times, He is not offended if we briefly pay attention to something important, whether a necessary distraction or a nearby activity. Christ and the soul are like lovers, seated on a park bench, happy together, and sharing every thought.
It is the Will of Christ that each Mass be offered with reverence and gratitude, in accordance with the rubrics. Wherever Clergy act in 'creative' ways disobedient to the rubrics and causing distraction in other ways, those present should focus on the heart of the Mass: the Real Presence, and Christ's Sacrifice - as if with Mary at the foot of the Cross.
Christ asks us not to allow ourselves to become distressed, whilst praying at Mass, about inaudible readings or the immodest clothing of ministers of Communion. We should rejoice in His Real Presence in the tabernacle and, later, on the altar; it is normally later that we should speak about or work to change whatever is unworthy of God's house.
The Lord showed me how pleased He is when people reduce the risk of dropping, dirtying or desecrating the Sacred Host by these measures: kneeling to receive Holy Communion, on the tongue, at an altar-rail, with hands folded beneath a clean cloth, and a server holding the patten beneath each chin, as the priest moves along.
Priestly celibacy enables a man to move towards Heaven on an uncluttered highway, without distractions. He can be single-minded in Christ's service until his old age, when he can enter Heaven, and be rewarded for all Eternity for his self-giving, and enjoy the bliss of God's love, with all the Saints.
We cannot avoid all distractions in prayer, and should not become upset. It is best to pray about them, or to look straight through them towards out Heavenly Father, like an astronaut who stays on course through all the debris of space, on his way to the stars.
Christ invited us to set aside our distractions at Mass, and to rejoice that He is now amongst us in glory, now that His painful Work on earth had been completed, with His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven. He wants His triumph to give us hope in our struggles against sin and hopelessness. With His power, we can persevere.
If the evil one wishes to cause distress, he will attempt any number of ploys, whether spiritual assaults to cause fear, or false visions, or a flurry of images to annoy the soul during prayer, or new and vigorous temptations to sin, or other trials. Trust in God is essential, and holy water is very helpful, as is the Name of Jesus - and Our Lady's prayers.
We must not be made despondent by our minor distractions in prayer, or our tiny failings. As sure as miners find what they want in a mine, we can mine spiritual treasure from our little faults, by using each as a reason for prayer. If we are distracted, we can make an act of humility. If we have neglected some good, we can make an act of gratitude for all God's gifts. If we find it hard to forgive, we can praise God for having forgiven us our sins.
We all need the prayers and intercessions of others. There is only one Way across the gulf that separates earth from Heaven, and we shall not cross it when we die if we have wandered away, far from the bridge, looking for all sorts of distractions from our ordinary duties, or avoiding the call of conscience, or unwilling to suffer for Christ by remaining faithful. Perseverance is all-important, by the grace of God.
God does not look upon us with distaste because we have distractions in prayer. He understands our nature. Just as one of us, reading peacefully in a hot climate, might be merely amused, not annoyed, by the little lizards which dart around our feet, on the stone pavement, so God looks on us with affection as He sees us praying sincere prayers although these are interrupted by minor distractions.
Wise people reflect, and actively prepare for Heaven. As we occupy ourselves with ordinary concerns, it's as if we are on a walkway which moves slowly towards the moment of our death. Then, the quality of our relationship with God will be revealed - or even the lack of one. Some people will see God and leap into His embrace. Others gladly surrender to purification, ashamed at not being ready for Heaven. Others continue to do what they did on earth, ignoring or despising God, and freely walking away on the steep road to Hell.
We need not worry if we have so many duties to fulfil that we cannot name every individual whom we hold up before God in prayer. If we intercede for them all at once, we can be sure that as we hold them before God it's as if we are bringing them into the sunlight. God's warm love falls upon each one, with graces according to their needs, because of the merits of Christ, and our faithful intercession.
When a fellow pilgrim is shrieking as if possessed, it is not surprising if we are distracted from our prayer, wondering who this is. If we heard a train crash when we were driving nearby it would not be unnatural to look, and wonder, and then pray.
We are right to put prayer first - to put Christ first - no matter how busy our day. Whether we are religious sisters or mothers looking after sick children, we will do our work better and more cheerfully if it is underpinned with prayer. Blessed Mother Teresa insisted that her busy sisters had an hour's adoration each day.
Showing 21 - 40 of 56