Pastor's Corner Sep 8 2019

Let us continue our series on prayer. So far, in the quest for a solid prayer life we have established that:

-Prayer life is a necessity. It is not optional. Without it, virtue is impossible. "Without Me, you can do nothing".

-Prayer life must be practical and regular. It must be structured within our day, or else it is nothing but a nice thought that gathers dust on a shelf.

-Prayer life must be fed by daily spiritual reading. If prayer is the flame on an oil lamp, spiritual reading is the oil that feeds the flame.

-Prayer is an act of faith that connects me with God.

That being said, I would like to approach a practice essential in our prayer lives: Mental prayer. What is it? Spiritual writers define it as "a silent elevation and application of our mind and heart to God." St. Teresa of Avila tells us, "Mental Prayer is nothing else than an intimate friendship, a frequent heart-to-heart with Him by whom we know ourselves to be loved. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love."

St. Francis de Sales, in his Introduction to the Devout Life, tells us the fruit of mental prayer: "It puts our understanding in divine light, exposing our will to the warmth of divine love. It purges our understanding of its ignorance and our will from its disordered affections. It is like dew from above, which waters, refresh-es and makes grow the plants of our good desires. It washes our soul from its imperfections and pacifies the heart of its passions." Although this helps, the burning question remains: How do I practice mental prayer if it's that important?

Although there are "methods" from different saints, they all have the basics in common.

First step: the presence of God.

St Francis de Sales tells us: "Start all prayer by the presence of God. Keep this rule without exception and you will shortly see how profitable it is." "God is everywhere, but very specially inside your heart and in the depth of your soul. He gives it life like the heart of your heart, the soul of your soul."

This is an act of Faith: I am taking Christ at His word when He spoke of making His abode in us. I am becoming aware of this greatest of realities. This can take a few minutes, but it is essential, and it gets me "in the zone" to start praying properly. It's a way by which we can do our part in making sure we're not just saying prayers at God.

To be continued…

A few announcements:

-Thank you for your generosity in supporting our parish. May God reward you!

-The parking lot pledges cover a quarter of the cost so far. We have a bit more to go. Thank you for your support.

-Fr. Franco will be on pilgrimage and recollection from September 26th through October 4th. The schedule will be a bit different-please check the bulletin and be mindful that there will not be confessions during Sunday Masses. Please plan accordingly.

-Please make sure your children do not run in the hallways or the Fr. Adrian Hall lest they hurt themselves or others. Thank you.

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