We observe Ash Wednesday this week, the beginning of Lent, the time of spiritual preparation for Easter. The Church’s season of Lent is an invitation to spend time with the Lord in prayer. Here are some thoughts that might be helpful to enhance your experience of prayer this Lent.
1. Make prayer a priority. It is easy for us to be busy and distracted, and to push prayer off to the end of the day when we are too tired. One of our deceased priests used to say that he wrote his prayer time in his calendar. It was his daily appointment with God. When people asked to see him at those times, he would say that he was sorry, but he already had an appointment then. That way he tried to avoid the trap of always pushing God aside until he was falling asleep.
2. Having a time and place that help you settle your mind and let go of distractions is helpful. Prayer is about spending time with the Lord. If we can silence somewhat our minds, we can better listen to Him in our hearts.
3. Quality, not quantity, is important. St.Francis de Sales said that one fervent Our Father or Hail Mary is worth more than hundreds you say without focus. The goal isn’t to finish. The goal is God. 4. Don’t be afraid of change. If your prayer seems routine and in a rut, try a different approach to prayer. The Catholic tradition offers many types of prayer practices. All of these are tools for the movement of our hearts to God. If one prayer tool is not working for you at this time, try another. May we all draw closer to God this Lent
May we all draw closer to God this Lent.
Grace and peace,
Fr. Gary Tyman