Continuing on our blog series on “Our Catholic Faith,” Chris Pillizzi shares a reflection on prayer. Summer is a time in which sports, picnics and activities increase. Maintaining an active prayer life can be a challenge. Chris shares some thoughts on this beautiful gift of prayer. She resides in Pleasant Prairie along with her husband, Joe. Together they have two grown daughters, Jackie and Kristy, and two sons in-law, Tom and Adam, and three grandchildren who light up their lives.
Listening to our grandchildren say their prayers this evening makes me think how my own daily prayers have evolved over the years. But what moves me so much is their ability to pray with so much trust and happiness. I thank God for their unconditional faith right now, and pray it will grow as they do.
Private prayer is such a personal relationship with our Lord, so I’m not going to tell you how to pray. Everyone who believes in God speaks to Him in his or her own way. As in any relationship, love, trust and honesty and humility, are necessary for a healthy relationship to grow. The same is true with our relationship with God. This takes time and great effort on our part to set time aside from a busy and noisy life to spend time with Him. But God is patient, waiting for each of us as the all-loving Father that He is.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2725, “Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray.”
As we just celebrated the feast of the Pentecost and Holy Trinity, I can’t help but reflect on how grateful I am for the love of God the Father, the teachings and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus the Son and, the everlasting gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would be there for us in good times and bad as we journey through life.
I’d like to share a couple quotes from the lives of the Saints about prayer.
“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with God. Speak with familiarity and confidence as to your dearest and most loving friend. Speak of your life, your plans, your troubles, your joys, your fears. In return, God will speak to you…not that you will hear audible words in your ears, but words that you will clearly understand in your heart.” St. Alphonsus Liguori
“Give some time, if it is only half an hour in every day, to devotional reading, which is as necessary to the well ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener is to prevent weeds destroying your favorite flowers.” St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Wishing you many blessings during this summer season…keep praying!
St. Anne offers several prayer opportunities: Daily Mass, Sunday Mass, Rosary on the first Thursday of the month at 5:15 p.m.; Rosary on the first Sunday of the month starting in July before 10:15 a.m. Mass. Reconciliation, an important sacrament in the Catholic faith, is also a form of prayer. See link for schedule of all these opportunities. https://saint-anne.org/mass-schedule/