18/07/2017

Thought For The Week

'Cluttered times of prayer wear us out. Instead of being revived in body and soul, as the Lord wants, we can come away weary from our busy praying.' ~from the 'The Simplest Prayer' by the Irish Franciscans

We are all aware of a cluttered house or a cluttered room. We can have stuff thrown everywhere, sometimes things piled on top of each other and not nice to look at. Clutter means energy will struggle to flow; it is stagnant and not good for us in the long run. We have also seen the opposite, of a room that is clutter free. It is bright, clean, it feels positive and the energy can flow freely. Usually such a space is welcoming, warm and a good place to be.

The same applies to prayer too. We can clutter prayer up with lots of words, lists of prayers, novenas and other prayers that we think we should be saying or were told to say. There is nothing of course wrong with our own favourite prayers and it is great if we have these. But if our prayer time is crammed full, then we need to look as to why it is so cluttered. We need to be willing to let go of the stuff that no longer nurtures us spiritually.

It was Jesus himself said; "When you pray do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words" (Matthew 6:7). Jesus instead encourages us to keep things as simple as we can, to be open to quieter prayer, to be willing to sit in silence, to listen to some quiet music, to think of those whom we would like included in our prayers and to 'just be', in where ever our prayer place may be.

We don't have to win God over with many words. The invitation is to pray in trust and in simplicity. Probably the most beautiful invitation to such a prayer is another line in Matthews Gospel: "Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:29). In the busy, hectic and sometimes cluttered world that we live in, this invitation to turn to the Lord with whatever is going in our lives is simply irresistible.
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