How Do You Pray?
In Matthew’s Gospel, the Apostles ask, “How Should We Pray?” How many of us have asked Jesus to teach us how to pray better, how to grow closer to God the Father, how to be more faithful to His teachings? Bottom line, how many of us are asking — how can we be holier? Wanting to be holy may seem a bit lofty and righteous; however it is an intricate part of our Baptismal promise. As a follower of Christ we are called to constant conversion. We are called to be saints – and like it or not, saints are holy.
So… How are We to Pray?
Removing the Stigma of Rote Prayer
The commonality of this thought process was made apparent during my first women’s retreat. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to begin each event with the Rosary. It was on a Saturday, so I created a PowerPoint of the prayers and added vivid, colorful, gorgeous art depicting each Joyful mystery. Everyone got settled in; I welcomed them to the “Seeking the Peace of Forgiveness” retreat, turned down the lights, opened the PowerPoint, and jumped right into recitation of the Rosary. During the lunch break, one of the attendees pulled me aside and said, “I almost bolted for the door when you began the Rosary. I cannot think of a more boring way to pray. You may want to rethink using that in the future.”
I did rethink it, but I did not remove it. Instead, after welcoming guests, I spend time explaining why I chose to begin every program by praying the Rosary together.
What great benefit comes from praying with prayers we know so well, that we can recount them while allowing us to also ponder the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is beautiful to see the transformation of these women, who do sometimes still share they considered ‘bolting’ when we began, but are always glad they remained because in the end it was a great blessing.
Our Father, who art in Heaven…
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2014, 2017
First appeared on Catholiclane.com
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