September 25, 2008

More on Prayer; feast day of St. Vincent de Paul

The National Catholic Register has a nifty one pager titled “How (and Why) to Pray”. To summerize, prayer is made of ACTS

This past Lent I started praying the rosary during my drive to work. I’ve discovered that 1) my drive to work is much more pleasant, and 2) I’m better able to face the day after having meditated on the mysteries. We also added morning prayer to our family prayer tradition, which our toddler-aged daughter has embraced. My heart smiles when I see her make the sign of the cross, fold her hands in prayer, and babble along with us (the babble is getting clearer every day).

But I long for more. I suppose I’m rather lazy in a way. I can think of all the great ways to enhance my prayer life – and then never get around to actually praying (beyond what I’ve been doing for years). Things like keeping a prayer journal (started one), or meditating on a particular prayer or bible verse.

My plan has been to really think about a particular prayer or bible verse. What does it really mean? How does it relate to me? How can I use this prayer or bible verse to enhance my prayer life?

This Saturday, September 27 is the feast of St. Vincent de Paul. Our church is supported by Vincentian Fathers, so this is a special day for our parish. I found this quote that applies very much to my current life:

"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).

Of course, this applies to everyone all the time. Funny how just the right quote, prayer, or bible verse pops up when you really need it. Between job uncertainty, possibly listing our house for sale, and the general decline of the economy, I’ve been letting stress and anxiety take hold of me lately.

To close, I also found this prayer:
Almighty God, who called your servant Vincent de Paul to serve you in the person of those in need: Grant that we, following his example, may fulfill your commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving you with all our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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