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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Silence and Prayer

Pope Benedict said that without silence one does not hear, does not listen, does not receive a word. This applies to personal prayer as well as to our liturgies. He quotes Jesus from Matthew's Gospel: In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. "An attentive, silent and open heart is more important than many words. God knows us in our inner depths, better than we ourselves, and loves us; and knowing this must suffice." (Benedict then quotes Job and then asks how Jesus teaches us to pray. I suspect from listening to countless men and women that each of us is called to pray as we are and, since there is no one way to pray because we are all unique, I love Thomas Merton's "How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the sun."
My own advice is pray as you can, not as you can't for the best way to pray is the way you pray best; still, you might check it out with a spiritual director or another person experienced in prayer.
Today was the anniversary of my parents wedding and so always special for me.

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