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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sharing How I Pray

One of the questions I usually ask anyone who comes for spiritual direction is "how do you pray.?"
I do not remember most of my superiors asking me that same question; they were always there to help me if I did have a problem, but I probably did not know how to talk about positive experiences in prayer. When I went to the Motherhouse in Rome to prepare for final profession, I was sent with another American to ask Reverend Mother Benziger, the assistant General in charge of the English speaking Houses in the Society of the Sacred Heart, if she wanted to see all the Americans as we were free . She said yes but to let the French Moher who watched over the entire international group know that the Americans would be with her now. As we both started to leave, she said, " Well, don't both of you go" and she motioned for me to stay as she did not know me. I went over and said that her sister, who was also a Sacred Heart nun, had sent her a big hug. I proceeded to deliver it. She hugged me back and told me that her sister always sent her a hug with every group on their way to Rome but I was the first to deliver one to her. Then she looked me in the eye and said "Come, tell me about your prayer" and so I did. When I told her I just entered the Heart of Jesus she said, "Yes, I understand" and I knew she did. It was the beginning of a deep and valued friendship for me. I wish now that I had kept the notes she wrote me.
Now, I still pray in the Heart of Jesus but would admit that my prayer is something of a "hodge-podge " (strange expression) : I like to look at the readings of the day and often stay with a line from the Gospel. I just sit with it or talk to Jesus about it. It leads me into my own way of Centering Prayer where I rest in the Heart of Jesus.

Here are three things the Pope said yesterday : The Pope spoke of three conditions at the core of the search for Christian unity – firstly, there’s no unity without conversion of heart, which includes forgiving and asking for forgiveness.

Secondly he said there is no unity without prayer and therefore men and women religious who pray for unity are like ‘an invisible monastery’ bringing together Christians of different denominations from different countries around the world.

Thirdly, the Pope said, there is no unity without holiness of daily life. so the more we put our search for unity into practise in our relations with others, the more we will be modelling our lives on the message of the Gospel.

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