Prayer and Praying: April 2006 Archives

"Leaving God for God"

| | Comments (2)

Quoting Blessed Titus Brandsma

from At the Fountain of Elijah
Wilfrid McGreal

So the contemplative prayer of the Carmelite is also the strength of the active apostolate. The influence of the contemplative soul is not withheld from the apostolate. . . . So there is no opposition of the contemplative life to the active. The former is the great support of the latter. The mystical life is in the highest sense apostolic.

Titus believed in the seamlessness of the Christian life--prayer and work were parts of the whole. Whenever he was called from silence and solitude to help someone he would say that he was leaving God for God.

In the Lay Carmelite life, prayer should find its expression in service in the world. We go to prayer to meet God and in meeting God we are given our work to do. It is a fine balance--making time for prayer and for the service that springs from it, while actively serving our families and our Churches.

But the apostolate of the Lay Carmelite is not merely contemplative prayer, but showing how contemplative prayer "works-in" with an active life. We are blessed and nourished by our prayer and our example, when lived according to the Rule and in accordance with the disciplines of the whole Catholic Church, allows others to see the integration of the contemplative and active that may occur in every person. One of the primary messages of Carmel is that contemplative prayer is for everyone. The way of Carmel is a special call, a vocation; however, contemplative prayer is available to all outside of Carmel. A person who is part of no lay order is invited every bit as much as one who has joined. God wants intimacy with all of His children. Lay Carmelites demonstrate that it is possible to live an active life of service fueled by contemplation--Martha tempered by and informed by Mary. Perhaps it is not the highest or best calling--that is reserved for those whose entire vocation is contemplation. But we don't really want all the best gifts, but rather the gifts most suitable for us as God sees us.

Thus Blessed Titus shows us that leaving our prayer to help a friend, or leaving our prayer to feed the poor is leaving God for God. In this life of apostolic contemplation and service we can never really leave God.

Bookmark and Share

My Holy Week Prayer


May this Holy Week be for each of my visitors, and for each person, a solidification of the gains and a purging of the losses of this Lent. May it set each of us in good place to continue forward with a more ardent love of God and neighbor. May it bless us by setting us on the straight path that leads on into life. And may it grace us by the fuller knowledge of at what cost our freedom comes.

Bookmark and Share

Praying for Virtues

| | Comments (3)

You know, I ignored Zippy's advice again. (I do things like that.) I prayed hard for the virtue of patience and forbearance. I did so because I decided that I really needed to work on the virtues. You probably know that when you pray for a virtue God doesn't just hand it to you. Oh no indeed, a virtue, like a muscle, needs a vigorous workout. And the Good Lord has answered my prayers in every aspect of my life, which I believe confirms the need for work on these virtues, as well as on many others. There will be some I do not pray for simply because I am still too weak to make good use of the opportunities God will grant me to grow.

Zippy cautioned against praying anything other than the "Our Father" on a regular basis because God would simply throw everything He could at you. And yet, isn't that what is needed. If He throws, isn't He also there to catch it all and to help in the establishment and cultivation of the virtue? Aren't these things He wants us to have?

Anyway, I did choose these for this week in Lent, and maybe for many weeks to come. And I pray that my prayer continues to come at night and not during the "exercises" He sets me. Let His grace shine through and let me get out of the way. That's really all I have to do--get out of His way and let His grace live and breathe within me.

Bookmark and Share



About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Prayer and Praying category from April 2006.

Prayer and Praying: March 2006 is the previous archive.

Prayer and Praying: May 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll