A Church in England; the priests of the nearby parishes are summoned for a priestly gathering, prayer, sharing and reflection. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17) – it was the subject of their talk.
How could one pray without ceasing? As we are engaged in many responsibilities, is it possible to pray always? How come we are able to perform our duties well, while always in prayer?
The discussion grew serious on the subject. At last the president of the meeting, an old learned priest concluded; “this subject is very complicated and confusing. So let us submit these issues as a thesis in the next meeting. Basing on that we will continue our discussion…”
Hearing this, the woman who had been serving the tea exclaimed; “Oh my God… why another meeting to understand the meaning of this Word of God? How simple is the advice of St. Paul?”
“If it is too simple, explain to us the meaning;” said the priest.
She responded with calmness; “How long had I been praying without ceasing. As I open my eyes in the morning, I would thank the Lord for the good day. Seeing the Sun rising, I would pray, Jesus, Sun of justice, rise in the sky of my heart. When I take the tea, I would pray, come Holy Spirit and quench the thirst of my soul. As I clean the room, I will pray for sanctification in my life. As I cook the food I will remember my Lord becoming bread and wine for me. Seeing my children I would reflect that we are the children of God and contemplate on His providence. The vision of river, plants and streams make me think of the greatness of God who created them. What I do and what I see are prayers for me.”
As they heard this, they thanked the Lord that these mysteries are hidden from the wise and revealed to the simple.
There may be many who studied a lot on prayer and consumed their life without sincerely praying at least once in life. Though we have many commentaries and dictionaries of Bible in our shelf, we may not find it serious to reflect on the Word of God.
We have many notebooks and piece of papers filled with thoughts and reflections which we have accumulated through years. Without putting them into practice, we are running after new ones. New books, new CDs and new meditation techniques… When are we going to live them? Is our life a failure in our pursuit after the intoxicating effect of knowledge without recognizing the flaw of our souls? Do not forget the old notes while going to attend the new retreats.
Do not forget the old striking Words marked in your Bible and go in search of the new ones. God will bless you.
Prayer: Lord, deliver us from the intoxicating effect of knowledge, grant us the wisdom to put into practice what we have already acquired. Amen.
– – – written by Benny Punnathara