What would the Blessed Virgin say about PRAYER

It seems to me that the Blessed Virgin would know a thing or two about prayer. No doubt she recalled the words of Jesus when he taught his disciples, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Mt 6:6)

Many people don’t know how to pray to God (Cf. Rom 8:26) and so they pray only Our Father’s and Hail Mary’s. But I assure you that the Lord hears your prayers in any bumbling attempt and through any sincere effort you make to reach him. He hears the simple prayers of a child at the bedside, the feeble prayers of the dying and everything in between. St Thérèse said, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” (Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r)

The imagery of Psalm 1 comes to mind when I visualize the Virgin Mary in prayer: “[She] delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night. [She] is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.”

Praying to God means communicating with him through our own thoughts or words. There are many kinds of prayer. For those who don’t know where to begin, perhaps a “holy hour” is the best way. (You can do it!)

Commence with offering thanksgiving to God by recalling the blessings you have received (5 minutes). Include intercessory prayer, by praying for the Church, the world, your own country, and for those in need (10 minutes). Lectio Divina is where you read the Sacred Scriptures; stop and meditate on them, and then make related petitions to God (20 minutes). Contemplative prayer is where you quiet yourself—even empty yourself—with the objective of allowing Jesus to fill you with his love; this is best done when sitting before the Lord in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (like the tree planted near flowing streams) (15 minutes). Finally, finish with praise of God—perhaps the one style of prayer the devil hates the most—and not one to be neglected. You can praise God by praying the psalms or by way of litany by praising his name while acknowledging his various attributes (10 minutes). And of course, earlier or later in the day, pray the rosary which contains all of the above-mentioned elements.

Imagine the impact on your life if you spent one hour each day in conscious prayer with the Lord. If so, you might echo the words, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

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