Beginning September 30th (Feast of Saint Jerome), our Cathedral parish will host Oremus (Latin for let us pray). It is an 8 week program designed to assist all of us with prayer and encourage us to dedicate time each day to prayer. I encourage you to attend this series.
While charitable works are important and very beneficial to our spiritual life, they are always more beneficial if they are done in the context of prayer. We need only reflect upon Jesus’ words to Mary and Martha to confirm for us the centrality of prayer in the life of a Christian.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Two items strike me in this Gospel-first Jesus commends Mary for “listening” and reminds Martha that only one thing is truly required (a relationship with the Lord). Prayer is not primarily about asking for things but rather abiding in the presence of the Lord so that He can speak to the depths of our heart and heal us. Listening to the Lord is an indispensable part of prayer, so much so that the Rule of Saint Benedict, which has guided monks for centuries, opens with the instruction, “Listen.” We listen to the Lord in reading and reflecting upon the Scriptures, reading the Fathers of the Church and her teachings. Listening also involves doing absolutely nothing but abiding in the Lord’s presence, perhaps in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
Join us on September 30 and commit to daily prayer. If you don’t think you have the time, try to make time. It will change your life and your attitude toward all the daily obstacles to Christian growth we encounter.