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Not Just Prayer but Prayerfulness

by Jul 21, 2022Friar Reflection

There are at least two important teachings in today’s Gospel, that are connected.  The first is about prayer.  “Blessed are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear”.

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister has an excellent reflection on prayer:

It’s one thing to say prayers, but it’s something else to be a person of prayerfulness.

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister explains: Prayerfulness… is the capacity to walk in touch with God through everything in life.  It is the internal awareness that God is with me – now, here, in this, always.  It is an awareness of the continuing presence of God.  It is my dialogue with the living God who inhabits my world in Spirit and in Mind.

Prayerfulness sees God everywhere.

Prayerfulness talks to God everywhere.

Prayerfulness submits the uncertainties of the moment to the scrutiny of the internal eye of God.  It trusts that no matter how malevolent the situation may be, I can walk through it unharmed because God is with me…

Prayerfulness is fostered by the simple consciousness that God is.  That God is near us at all times.  That God is closer to us than the breath we breathe.  That God is available, a silence in the midst of chaos, a voice in the midst of confusion, a promise at the center of the tumult.

If I ask and I listen and I reach out and fill my heart with the words of the One who is the Word, then I will be answered.  Somehow the path will become clear.

The second teaching is one that seems at first glance to be cruel.  “That still more will be given to the man who has, and even what he has will be taken away from the man who has not.”

As we look at life experience, there is much truth to what is being said here.  In childhood we may learn a foreign language in school, if we do not practice it, we will lose whatever ability to speak it, that we may have had originally.

It is easy to have had a skill in life and then lose it, because we neglect it.  Over the years in growing up, I played the fife in a fife and drum corps, a saxophone in a marching band, and a guitar for Liturgies.  I stopped practicing years ago and now can no longer play any of these instruments!

If a gift is not developed, we will lose it.  It is so with goodness.  Every temptation we conquer makes us more able to conquer the next, every temptation which we fail, makes us less able to withstand the next temptation.

Life is an experience of gain and loss.  Jesus reminds us that the nearer a person lives to him, the more he will grow in living a true Christian life.  And the more a person drifts away from Christ, the less able he is to reach goodness.

It is prayer which draws us closer to Christ.  Thus, the importance of being a prayerful person.