A Return to Formal Prayer

I come back once more to formal prayer, to the doxology that traditionally concludes the prayers we begin “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the concluding doxology, too, we usually connect Father, Son, and Spirit by the word and. But I prefer a more ancient version. This more dynamic version suggests our entering into God’s life as we pray to the Father (Mother and Source of all), through the Son (through whom we have communion with God), in the Holy Spirit (that Force which comes from God, is God, and leads all things back to the Source in a great dance).

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

Don't Panic by Maureen Pratt

Give God the Glory

We have no right to glory in ourselves because of any extraordinary gifts, since these do not belong to us but to God. But we may glory in crosses, afflictions, and tribulations, because these are our own.

—Saint Francis of Assisi, as quoted in the book The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg


The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg

God Is Not Fair

That God is not fair is actually one among many reasons for gratitude, albeit in a way counterintuitive to our usual thinking. The simple premise here is that God’s way is not our way, God’s love is not conditioned like our love, God’s mercy is not bound as ours is, and God does not discriminate or reward a person according to the standards of a given society, no matter how widespread such criteria may be. (Thank God!)

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude, by Daniel P. Horan, OFM


God is Not Fair by Dan Horan, OFM

Thank God, No Matter What

God knows best, and, while we’ll still hope for a favorable surprise, we can hardly do better than not only being resigned to whatever God permits but even beforehand to thank him for his mercifully loving designs.

—Solanus Casey, as quoted in God's Doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey and Andre Bessette by Joel Schorn

 


Books and audios on prayer from Franciscan Media

 

Peter's Denial Is Twofold

In John’s Gospel, before Jesus predicts Peter’s denial, Peter says to him, “I will lay down my life for you” (John 13:37). Peter has not yet come face-to-face with his own weakness, his own limitations. He is so sure that his faith will not fail that it never occurs to him to ask the Lord for strength. How often do we do the same?

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life, by Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi


Meeting God in the Upper Room

The Mystery of the Trinity

One of the gifts in my life for which I am most grateful is the way I was taught about the Blessed Trinity. Others have told me that, early on, they got the message that God’s Trinity is a mystery we could never fathom, so they draw the conclusion, why bother? When I was told of this mystery, it was always in a tone that invited me to explore it—the task not of a lifetime only but of eternal life, life beyond time. My life of prayer has been just this exploration, and it continues to be so. In fact, now in my eighties, I feel I’ve barely begun.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

Don't Panic by Maureen Pratt

The Two-and-a-Half-Minute Rosary

Do you have two and a half minutes in your day that you can give to God? This is the beauty of the rosary.

If I need a quick pause in my busy life—just a two-and-a-half-minute break—I can pull out my beads and pray a decade in order to regroup with the Lord and be nourished spiritually. That’s all a decade takes: one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be. I can do that easily, pausing for a moment in between emails, in the car, in my office, in between meetings, in between errands. I don’t even have to stop some things I’m doing: I can pray a decade while cooking dinner, sweeping the floor, holding a baby, or walking to my next appointment.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Bever Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

Jesus Is Constant

There has always been a diverse group of personalities at table with the Lord. At this time in history, you and I now are present. We, like the apostles, are unreliable and weak and afraid. We are inconstant in our devotion to our Lord. We deny him, we betray him.

But Jesus is I Am. He is constant.

The One who sits with arms outstretched in the Da Vinci depiction, who sat in the center of the table in that Upper Room, sits now in the center of our hearts with arms outstretched. He died on the cross out of love for us. He is continually with us, welcoming us, and looking at us with his loving, tender gaze, just as he looked at Peter. What he did at table, he continues to do with all our varied and challenged humanity, a variety of personalities that is forever and continually represented in every church, in every upper room, throughout our entire world, where “two or three are gathered together in his name” (Matthew 18:20).

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life

Without Fear or Expectation

There is a life force flowing through the universe, and everything exists in a single moment, forever unfolding. I open myself to the stream. I want to be emptied and purified so that the past is no longer my lens—so that it no longer colors what I see. What will it be like to look without fear or expectation, to see things with nothing in the way? Who will I be if I am not afraid, but alive? There is everything to experience, and the portal beyond the darkness to know.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Light

Making Fools of Ourselves

We long to be in touch with life, to touch and to be touched. Yet, we are also afraid of letting anything “get at us.” Afraid of letting life come too close, we keep it at arm’s length and don’t even realize what fools we are making of ourselves. We are going through life like someone stepping into the shower, carefully keeping the umbrella up. We are holding on to our hats, our tokens of social identity and respectability.

Far be it from us to make fools of ourselves! It takes a bit of life experience to realize that our choice is merely between making fools of ourselves either intentionally or unintentionally.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

Meeting God in the Upper Room