Prayer is the heart of the Christian life. God, Our Father, has given us everything we need to obtain a deep and true prayer life. The Catholic Church teaches us through Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Catechism that God gives us all we need to attain this goal. It is the goal God has for all people because this is the means of our salvation - Union with God.
Mary can teach us how to pray. We have learned about the Rosary which is the greatest prayer after the Mass. In order to pray the Rosary well, we must know that it is both vocal and mental prayer. The mental prayer should be our meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary and what they contain. There are many books to help us with this. Many of the great saints are the best to start with on learning about the different mysteries of the Rosary. One can read a little at the beginning of each decade or one can make it part of their meditation and then later just recollect some of the knowledge at the beginning of each decade.
At each decade, we can ask God for certain graces needed for ourselves and the world. It is at this time that we can in our private rosaries, cultivate a relationship with God, we need to spend time with Him, asking, thanking and praising Him with each decade.
As well as offering our Rosaries, we can just sit before the Blessed Sacrament and express our love, thank Him for all the blessings of the day and of our lives. We also need to take time to just sit and listen to what God has to say to us. It is in mental prayer that we learn about His ways, His values, and His interest in our lives. We can ask Our Lady to guide us in this as She is our perfect teacher and is more than happy to help us.
As we grow closer to God in our daily prayer, we suddenly begin to see our imperfections in contrast to His perfections. Although God works slowly and tenderly to educate us, this experience can be humiliating as we are all proud. We begin to realize that if we accept the truth about ourselves, we have to change our lives or live in guilt. It is at this point that many beginners foolishly keep from God and prayer. We must know that God’s grace is sufficient to cure all our ills and that His mercy desires to make us saints.
St. Teresa of Avila states that all the harm of not persisting in prayer comes from not truly understanding that this God of Love is near. She says that He is not only near but that He never takes His eyes off of you. She says that we must be fully present to Him Who is always fully present to us. Faithfulness in our belief of this is critical to our prayer life. We must practice “the presence of God” – always being aware of His loving presence throughout our day and especially during our prayer.
Our Lady never lived a single instant of Her existence without this practice of the presence of God. She was always aware of Him, always in Adoration of Him, always in praise of Him. We can never accomplish this fully but we can ask Her help in trying to do the best we can. Can you imagine a life if we could do this? We would talk to people differently. We would be attentive in prayer knowing that He is there. We would take greater pride in offering up all of our duties for Him and the salvation of souls. Our whole lives would be one big prayer – one big act of love for God. This is Mary.
May we all go to Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and ask His Mother and all the angels and saints to help us to be truly present to Him Who is present to us. May we develop a prayer life, a true and lasting friendship through deep conversations with The Most Holy Trinity, the God Who loves us and wants us for all eternity.
Let us cultivate that friendship now and not miss a minute to grow closer to Him Who is Love, in preparation for eternity.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!