YEAR OF FAITH – Difficulties with prayer

Post date: Oct 18, 2013 12:19:13 PM

The Catechism tells us that everyone, even the greatest saints, have had difficulty with prayer at one time or another. There is nothing wrong with that, it is part of our human nature. What matters is that we should persevere and never let a day pass by without making an effort to talk to God, our loving Father.

The main problems which trouble people in today’s fast-moving world are: finding the time; having distractions; and feeling disconnected, wondering what we should say. Those who lead busy, pressurised lives will not have time to spend long periods in prayer, God knows and understands that, but they can snatch little moments at the beginning and end of the day, during times of relaxation, on journeys by car, train or on foot. The length of the prayer doesn’t matter; but it is important that we “stay in touch” and “call home” at regular intervals.

Having distractions should not worry us, unduly, as that is also part of our human nature. If we offer up our distractions and gently drag our minds back to God, that is a prayer in itself. If we constantly drift off during Mass, we can make an effort to listen to the words being spoken, follow them in our missal or mass sheet and try to make them echo inside our head. Occasionally we are lost for words when we place ourselves in God’s presence, but that doesn’t matter either. The catechism is quite clear that just having the intention, and making the effort to pray, is a prayer in itself. We can either rest in silence, acknowledging God’s presence, or repeat very slowly a well-known prayer like the Our Father, Hail Mary, or Glory Be, until we make the words our own and feel them in our hearts.

October is the last month of the Year of Faith. There will be a discussion about Prayer, using Bishop Malcolm’s short video, on Saturday 2nd Nov in the hall after 10am Mass.