Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Spending Prayers 

RCIA was cut rather short last night due to worsening weather. We talked about prayer and how we should approach God in prayer. We shouldn't treat God as some kind of sugar daddy in the sky, we shouldn't just plunk down our requests for what we want each night and leave it at that. So many people seem to request God to come into their own presence, rather than seeking to enter the presence of God: therefore, calm yourself in anyway you can and prepare yourself to enter into His presence.

Our priest said that the Lord's Prayer, the Our Father, is the most dangerous prayer: you ask God to forgive your trespasses as you forgive others -- and how many of us do a good job of forgiveness? You ask God that His will be done on Earth -- that's scary. The Lord's Prayer is the perfect prayer: think about it as you say it.

We talked about how easy it is to rush into Mass at the last minute, follow the rituals, and rush away. It's very easy to go on auto-pilot during Mass, especially for priests, and not even think about what you are doing and saying. So come early, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes early and pray that Mass will be meaningful, pray for focus.

This, brings up something I've been wanting to write about for awhile. We didn't cover this in RCIA last night or any other night. I've noticed since Amy Welborn has started gathering homily input each week (which is always a fascinating thread to read), that so many families struggle so with their children during Mass. I admire them. When we had three kids under four years old, we could hardly face Sunday mornings and we ended up staying away more often than not. I regret that now and it's something I needed to speak about in Confession. I pray every night for my grown children to be more spiritual when 20 years ago I could have fulfilled that prayer with just a little more effort and patience on my part. Oh, we took them to Sunday School and Bible School and even CCD in one case, but getting them ready for church and chasing them around the sanctuary and shushing them from playing during the service -- we just struggled to face it. It was so much easier to read the Sunday morning paper and watch the Blackhawk Bible Hour on TV while the kids played with legos, wasn't it. We've corrected our error now that it's easy to do so, with only one child who is young. So many prayers could have been spent on other causes now had we done a better job when we were young parents. So let that baby smell and let that baby cry and let those children squirm and talk and be kids -- but let them soak in where they are and what their parents are doing and caring about, too. It will make a difference one day.

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