"The Lord tells us: ‘The first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer of the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord.” ~Pope Francis
The heart of any religion is prayer, isn't it? Our personal relationship with God, our love for Him, our desire to draw near and be held close by Him is what keeps us returning to church again and again and gives us the courage to live our faith in our daily lives regardless of the circumstances within which we find ourselves. So for this edition of 3 Reasons I Love Catholicism, a monthly link-up hosted by Micaela at California to Korea, I am sharing my three favorite forms of private prayer.
"Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they will become white as snow. Though crimson red, they will be like wool." ~Isaiah 1:18
"Look to Him that you may be radiant and your faces will not blush with shame." ~Psalm 34:5
and of course...
"I say to myself, I will not mention His name, I will speak in His name no longer. But then, it becomes like a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones, I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it." ~Jeremiah 20:7-10
For a quick yet thorough explanation of Lectio Divina by Bishop Donald Hying, visit the Milwaukee Catholic Herald here.
I love this quote about the rosary from Pope John Paul I, who only reigned for 33 days in 1978:
"To be, for a half hour at least, before God as I am in reality, with all my misery and with the best of myself; to let rise to the surface from the depths of my being the child I once was, who wants to laugh, to chatter, to love the Lord and who sometimes feels the need to cry so that he may be shown mercy, helps me to pray. The rosary, a simple and easy prayer, helps me to be a child and I am not ashamed at all."
Not in the habit of praying the rosary and want more information on how to do it? Here's a nice instructional: How to Pray the Rosary by Syte Reitz
For myself, I am only in the habit of praying Lauds each morning, but the thought of people praying for the entire Church at regular intervals throughout the day brings me comfort and peace. Someone is always reaching out to God on behalf of all of humanity and we are blessed.
There is a easy to use online resource for the Liturgy of the Hours. If you are interested in joining your prayers to the voices of many others in the church, visit Universalis here.
"Lord, open our lips, and we shall praise your name." ~from Liturgy of the Hours
Visit Micaela for more reasons to love Catholicism.