John 1:14

Lent- Spring Training for the Soul

Filed under: Blog,Uncategorized — admin at 10:28 pm on Saturday, March 12, 2011

     If you are a baseball fan, you know that this is the time of year that Baseball teans go to Florida or  Arizona to get ready for the 162 game season. They work on the basics and fundamentals of the game so that they will be prepared for the long season ahead.

     Lent is in an analogous way spring trainig for the soul. We are not in a season, but in life and the world is busy working on us and pulling us in different directions and we need to start over with the basics once a year to be better prepared to carry on with our lives. The Church tells us that the basics are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I have found in my experience that all three of these need further explanation. Today I will talk about prayer.

      We are told to pray, but have we ever been taught. many of us endured the catechetical and doctrinal dark ages of the 1970′s and 80′s and have been formed or malformed on how to pray. I bleieve that the basics of prayer consist of three parts: recollection, thanksgiving and petition.

    Recollection is the practice of quieting oneself down so that we are silent enough to hear God’s voice and receive his love. It appears that silence is a very uncomfortable thing for many people. It takes practice. We have to build up a tolerance for silence, sad to say. But once we are silent, we can begin to sense the stirring of our hearts and recognize our life with God.

    From recollection one moves to gratitude, because we are able to see the gifts we have and the abilities and opportunities that have been presented that we did not deserve, but have been freely given to use. It is a recognition of our spiritual wealth.

     In gratitudue we also see that we cannot do things without the help and intercession of others, so we can then petition or request from God the neccesary things to serve him well in this life and grow in the love of him and the love and service of our neighbor.

     These are the three basics. Once we have mastered these, then we can move on to more advanced ways of prayer that have their starting point in deeper silence. But let us first work on becoming silent and grateful and aware of our needs. We have to crawl before we can walk.

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