Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Make my House a house of prayer
One of the strongest words spoken by Jesus, was: My house will be a house of prayer. Lk19:46 He said it as he drove the traders from the Temple in Jerusalem. But we can apply the words to our own house or to the home of our heart.
Before leaving Ireland, Pope John Paul made this fervent plea: My wish is that every home would once again be a home of prayer. We are more than willing to make provision for those of our household. We see to it that our children have adequate shelter, food and education. We would not neglect anything that was for their material welfare.
What of the spiritual food and formation they hunger for? A house without prayer is a house without heart. Let’s put new hearts into our homes.
Below are set out a few ideas that may be helpful in providing for the hunger and thirst that must be satisfied. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Stepping stones to Stillness
It is not necessary to be all the time saying prayers aloud. With all the bustle and noise that fills so much of our lives, there is a great need for silence. This can prove a healing remedy for mind and heart and soul and it can be a precious means towards building unity and peace in the home
The prayer on which all prayer rests is the Lord’s own prayer. Each phrase is a stepping stone to the Father who cares for us. It might be good to take one word at a time and rest in it. Father, thy name, thy kingdom, thy will. Cease thinking of your own name. Let go of the concerns of your personal kingdom. Surrender your will to the gracious will of the Father. Be still and know that I am God. Do not try to think things out. Do not try to read other people's thoughts, or trouble yourself with plans for the future. Do not burden yourself with disturbing and distracting detail. Leave those things for their own time, and to those whose task it is to care about such matters.
Likwise in the Hail Mary, you could find rest in the words of acceptance that Our Lady spoke: Be it done unto me according to your word. And in the Glory be you let the glory of God take over the little glory that yoo so often cling to. What is being suggested here, is that you find time to be silent and still. Rest from simply saying prayers to enjoying the Lord and delighting in his presence. Just as we long to sit in silence with those we love, so should we find delight in being still with the Lord.
This lingering in love with the Lord is the secret of meditation. Rest in my love and lose yourself in my presence. You know how friends linger in love, and long to sit in stillness and silence. When you turn to a mystery of the Rosary, be silent and still before you say the decade. Let its fragrance fill your home and your heart with its grace.