Trust in Him

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Talking to God

"Ask, and you shall receive. Seek, and you shall find.
For I am the Good Shepherd, and attend to the needs of My sheep"

God knows everything, right? He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what we need even before we know it. Many of us rely on God to nourish the needs of our heart and to take care of our problems, known and unknown. We correctly see Him as the solution... but as the solution to what? It is not uncommon for us to shy away from the truth about ourselves. Sometimes we come to God asking that He will have mercy on us in our sin... but we are in complete confusion concerning what those sins actually are. Other times we have emotional problems, even tangible problems, that we do not thoroughly understand.. and we ask God to fix them.

Jesus tells us to ask, He wants us to pray and ask Him for the things we need. A good and prayerful relationship with God is not shallow. In Catholicism, set prayers are prescribed to guide us in our journey of prayer... but equally important is that we learn how to speak, meditate, and listen to God beyond what is prescribed. For instance, when we pray the rosary we are to say the prayers merely in form, to keep our minds on the prayer, and to time the meditation. But when we say the rosary, we are also to meditate on the mysteries... because the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary touch some of the greatest and most precious beliefs of our faith and we must grow in belief and understanding of them, allowing God to speak and work in us through them. We are all called to a deeper spiritual life.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light... by speaking to Him and seeking His wisdom, our lives are illuminated and we no longer walk in the dark. The journey of discernment is very difficult, and very confusing. In fact, during this time that we are learning how to pray is the time when we need prayer the most. Therefore it is important to be familiar with some ways that we can come to this prayerful relationship with God. Deep, meditative prayer does not come easy for most... but if we take steps to obtain it, God helps us to achieve it.

The first way in which we come to know God is fearlessly believing in Him and performing the prayers prescribed by the Church, particularly in the Mass. This kind of prayer prepares our minds and bodies to consider God and meditate on Him constantly. When we have begun to discipline our lives with this sort of prayer, we can move on to meditative prayer. Do you ever wonder what to think about when you sit in Adoration? Do you ever wonder what to pray about? Practice keeping a prayer journal and write your feelings and troubles in it... or, if you feel you will do better verbally saying these things, do not be afraid to find a place of solitude and talk to God. Put it in words, make your troubles and emotions tangible, not ghosts from which you flee in fear. Do not assume that God knows you love Him, tell Him over and over that you do in your journal or in your conversations. This seals the truth of what you feel concerning Him and yourself.

Through these methods one can come to true holiness and find the life of prayer. There will come a time when you sit and pray in silence, and you do not wonder what to pray about. Jesus is real and present in our prayer, and it is at this time that we can learn to listen to His answers. He speaks to the heart, and the more silence we nurture and the more care we take to lead the life of Christ, the more likely we are to recognize His voice. This advance in prayer is not easy because it brings on holiness. The holier we become, the more we know about ourselves and about sin. This brings fear and tears for many, because the reality is both extremely beautiful and extremely horrible. The closer we come to Christ, the more we realize how much we need Him.

For our sakes, and for God's sake, we should not shy away from prayer and knowledge of self. We should be honest and thorough in our petitions to God. We may ask Him, of course, to heal the unknown wounds... but we should tend to the ones we do know of and point them out to Him. We should tell Him that we love Him, and ask Him for the gifts we feel we need, such as wisdom or strength. Nor should we seek to be silent martyrs where Christ is concerned. While we may keep our troubles hidden from others, we should make them known by Christ and ask Him to either remove them or help us in them. Thus, we do not become proud in our sufferings and receive our guidance from Christ Himself.

My Lord and my God, You are everything to me and I love You.
I need Your guidance, Your light, and Your strength as I make my way in life.
Please help me to know, love, and serve You in the best way possible, and help me to become holy.

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