On Praying…

Letter from theSpiritual Director

June 19th, 2020 Feast of The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

My brothers in Christ,

What kind of prayers work for you?  Spontaneous or composed?  Or both?  Or sometimes one and sometimes another?   Have you ever prayed simply in silence?
I think many favor spontaneous prayers and shy away from composed prayers.  Spontaneous prayers seem to flow from the heart.  Composed prayers seem to flow from the mind.  Some composed prayers, which we pray often, we say by rote without feeling.   

I propose to you that our prayer life should be filled with both.  It is not a matter of either/or but, of both/and. Some are not adept at spontaneous prayers, especially in public and maybe even in private.   We then end up thinking poorly of ourselves.  Sometimes in spontaneous prayer, we do too much of the talking when we should remain silent and just make ourselves aware of His presence.  

Composed prayers, especially classic ones, recommend themselves to us because they broaden our horizons.  On our own we would not have thought to pray some of the things found in those composed prayers.  

There is also another way to pray, which we may not have tried.  

Pray without words, in silence.  

It is always a struggle because of distractions.  The upside of that is distractions reveal to us what we are attached to.  They become useful when examining our conscience.  Once we decide that no matter what, we will struggle through the distractions, a certain peace comes over us, making the struggle worth it.

Pray any way you can but be open to any way to pray.  

Fr. Jim Hutchins Spiritual Director

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