Thursday, March 17, 2011
Watering the Roots
If nothing else stays with me from the retreat this past weekend, this will. In addressing the aridity we sometimes experience in prayer, Father reminded us of what happens when a tree lacks water. Its roots grow deeper, searching for the life-giving water the tree needs to stay alive. Prayer is like that too. We won't always get the warm fuzzies when we set out to pray. But God is still listening and His grace goes to work in us whether we feel it or not. When we can persevere in prayer when we don't feel anything, we may actually gain more grace.
If there is anything I've learned from what I have studied about St. Therese and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, it's that too many people mistake feeling something for profiting spiritually. Some of the greatest saints felt nothing in prayer, yet they lived joyful lives in Christ. The soul still goes searching for Him, even when the mind is tricked into thinking that He's not there, simply because He cannot be felt.
Even when we struggle to prevent our minds from wandering, or we are feeling so weary or discouraged that we can hardly manage to say the words, we can imitate St. Therese and heed her counsel. "I very slowly pray a Pater and an Ave. Then my soul is nourished more so than if I had said a hundred prayers precipitously. "
Posted by TLW at 8:29 PM