Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In prayer we come to know ourselves

“It is with the ear of our hearts that we listen. We allow God’s work to sink into our hearts. We come into his presence in an attitude of reverence and docility in order to hear his word in our hearts. We come as we are, in thanksgiving, in praise, in sorrow or in pain.

Prayer makes us sensitive to the needs of others and docile to the Word of God.


In prayer we come to know ourselves very well. Our faults and failings, our weaknesses, the dark deeds we ourselves are capable of, and it makes us ready to empathise and sympathise with our brothers and sisters who come to us for prayers. Listening in prayer tunes us to listen to those who come to us to pray for them. We make their prayers our own and bring them to the Lord.


The Eucharist is the climax of our prayer. It is the great prayer of Jesus to his Father. His supreme sacrifice. When he tells us ‘Do this in memory of me’ he doesn’t just mean consecrate the bread and wine, he means us to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters just as he has done. That is, we must love them as he has loved them. Then we can come and offer our gift at the altar. We gather all our prayers and needs into the eucharist. We come into the presence of the God who loves us, we confess our sins and ask pardon we praise him and hear his word. We express all our needs and prayers, we offer our gifts, fruits of the earth and work of our hands. We enter into the great prayer of Jesus. We are united with him as he offers himself to the Father. Jesus to whom we have listened, to whom we have prayed, now becomes truly alive, flesh, blood, soul and divinity and gives himself to us. He invites us to communion with him. The Mass is ended, we are sent out to love and serve the Lord. We serve him by serving our brothers and sisters. Our lives centre on the eucharist, the living Jesus, whom we carry with us throughout the day. The Eucharist becomes fruitful for us by the way we share it throughout the day.

The privilege and gift which prayer and eucharist are, demand that we share them with each other in a life of service.”

-- Eucharist and Contemplation an essay by Sr Teresa Whelan, ocd in Hidden Riches- The Eucharist in the Carmelite Tradition edited by Eltin Griffin, OCarm


Linda said...

Amen! It is amazing how much of the "real" me is still hidden inside and still afraid to just be me. But with the help of grace I am getting better at having freedom of spirit to just feel the joy inside and let it out instead of keeping it within because others will think I have lost my mind. Sometimes I get excited about something and I see my families faces light up too! This scares me and I start to shut down again as if I feel I don't deserve to be so happy when others around me are suffering so much.

ocd sister said...

Dear Linda--
We are called to be joyful in the Lord. Yes, there is suffering in the world. But if God grants you the gift and the grace of joyful moments, or better yet, a joyful life, there is no need to feel undeserving. It is a gift from God that we should be grateful for. Your joy should bring relief, even if it's "just spiritual", to the suffering. Do not reject His gift. Rather, give thanks to the Lord, be joyful for Him and in Him.
Please pray for me. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, the postings of the past few days have been like a "rich desert" to savor its each word and reflect upon its deeper meaning for our lives. So often today, we are so busy with so many different things that we fail to slow down and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying. Only when we make time for the Lord can we taste the sweetness of what He desires for our lives. I find myself often trying to bargin with God, because of my weakness I want to try and retain some small residue of those things that are not part of His plan. I know intellectually that I cannot serve two masters. For their is only one Master and that is Jesus the Good Shepherd! I wish I had a better self-love in the sense of self-esteem. I am often very hard on myself and make demand that are too lofty. I ask the Lord to help me yet I continue to find more "defects" in myself. I wish Jesus would remove the things I believe are the "thorns in my side" so that I can feel better, and TRULY BELIEVE THAT HE LOVES ME AS I AM!! This I often doubt. I know that prayer has sustained me as it does everyone. May we all be responsive to the Lord's calling, so that we maybe Joyful and Humble Servants of Jesus!!

I assure you Siste of my continued prayers even tho I don't always leave a comment. I humbly once again, ask you for your prayers as well. May the Christ Child and His Holy Mother shower their choicest blessings upon you and your community!!! John K.

Linda said...

Thank you Sister,
I will try very hard to remember this when I feel so unworthy but then my world was shattered once again by a family member today. Sigh. I so need to bring this too Jesus.
God bless you!

ocd sister said...

John K, would you please send me an e-mail to the link above?

Linda, don't be "shattered"! I don't know what happened, but we must try not to let disappointments bring us down. It is very hard, I know. But remember, "our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." And "whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he." This life is our "boot camp" for eternal happiness, where we begin to contemplate the veiled Face of God whom we hope behold in the beatific vision.
Have a JOYFUL life.
Please pray for me.