Sunday, 17 October 2010

Prayer

Today's liturgical readings, call us to focus our attention on prayer. It is something all of us 'think' we know until we are really caught up with something and no word escapes our lips or our mind is too busy to think of anything but a prayer. Fr KT in his sermon, said a beautiful thing: one of the basic and primary requirement of prayer is the ability to listen in humility. This is followed by an adequate and appropriate response to that listening. With most of us the difficulty is basically the first part: to listen with humility. We'd prefer to do the talking and others - even God - to listen. Perhaps then what we say or do, (or do not say or do not do) is a 'blackmail' or a 'demand'... not a prayer.

So what's the purpose of a prayer? Not that God or the other changes, but that I have a better capacity to understand what is going on and have the courage to do it or fight it. Prayer then, is not for something merely I want, but for grace enough to do what is rightful and just. It is an occasion to acknowledge that I can always ask for help (irrespective of whether the help arrives or not, or in the way or time, I want it or not)... a reminder that there is someone other than me who is there and also willing to help.

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