Friday, 5 August 2011

Private prayer

Personal, private prayer: that is when we find ourselves wanting to steal a few minutes out of the day just to be alone with God, trying to give Him our attention, trying to focus our thoughts on Him, trying to listen when He speaks to us deep within. We are poor, blind, wounded, but those are the best dispositions in order to put ourselves into a situation where we try to raise our minds to think about God and try to purify our desire of Him. When I begin to do that, then I am beginning personal prayer. Once I start doing that then my official response - either attending Mass or Evening Prayer - begins to be a little bit different. Public prayer finds its real soul when we start doing seriously private prayer.

Quite often, perhaps even very often, praying words slowly or reflecting on a passage from the Gospel may seem to be frustrating and unrewarding. Do not be surprised and anxious. Such a situation purifies our motive for praying, which is primarily to please God, not to comfort ourselves. Our perseverance is a proof of our love.
Cardinal Basil Hume

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