Growing in prayer
We connect to each other at different levels. How we do that through words is one thing, but that isn’t the only way or often even the most important way. We talk and have conversations, but what’s really important is mostly growing under the surface. We have ordinary conversations about trivialities and then one day we realise that we love or hate each other, that we’re fast friends or have nothing in common.
Ordinary chit-chat is not the stuff of intimacy but regular contact is because, as the chit-chat is going on, something deeper is happening under the surface.
This is also true of our prayer-lives and our relationship with God. If we make a commitment to sit in private prayer every day we will feel a deep movement towards God. A bond and an intimacy with God is taking place and it grows through regular contact.
“Make your home in me, As I make mine in You”
When Words Fail
Some time ago in an interview in ‘The Irish Catholic’ singer and composer Fr Liam Lawton says;
“When people come into a sacred space they want to be touched with something that is beautiful. The world is so busy and noisy. I think we need silence and out of this silence comes music, which leads to prayer which leads to silence and back to music again. In the modern world there is a great search for beauty because there is so much banality around and cheapening of life as well. We need to rediscover that beauty and indeed, Divine Beauty. Channelling resources into art helps enhance peoples’ lives. As liturgical music is important for the worship of God, so too is sacred music which helps the soul to be quiet and that is the type of music that I am now moving into”. “It is also important,” he says, “to reach out to the people who are not churchgoers and we are searching. There is huge interest out there and we need to do something for people like this and soon. Consciously being able to touch people when words have failed is very important”.
The following was found on an old woman’s side table after she died:
I would rather have one little rose
From the garden of a friend,
Than to have the choicest flowers
When my day on earth must end.
I would rather have one pleasant word
In kindness said to me,
Than flattery when my heart is still
And life has ceased to be.
I would rather have a loving smile
From friends I know are true,
Than tears shed round my casket
When this world I’ve bid adieu.
Bring me all your flowers today,
Whether pink or white or red:
I’d rather have one blossom now
Than a truck-load when I’m dead.
The Gate of Heaven
Over the massive front doors of a church, these words were inscribed: “The Gate of Heaven”. Below that was a small cardboard sign which read: “Please use other entrance.