Thursday of XI/OT: Daily Readings
Yesterday, the Word challenged me to take a look at the hidden part of my life – the part that includes my relationship with God who is the Great Motivator of all I do. Today, I take another plunge into this relationship. Jesus talks about Prayer. But He adds something that I always found puzzling: forgiveness.
Prayer has always been something that I found myself attracted to and yet incredibly frustrating about. Listening to Jesus talking about prayer always opens my eyes. It’s not about “talking.” It includes it, of course. But ultimately it’s about “loving each other.”
I wonder: would our relationships survive or grow stronger if we would apply to them the way we relate to God? I mean, I imagine if I were married. After a full day of work, I go home and instead of spending time with my spouse I would simply do five minutes of talking – doing all the talking – and most of this time was spent asking her for what I need. How long would my marriage last? Then, how can we expect that our relationship with God grow when we relate to Him in the same way: a couple of minutes each day, doing all the talking, asking Him for what we need.
Other people think that Prayer is about a relaxation technique: it’s all about being quiet, peaceful and relaxed. Again: would it work if I would relate to my spouse only in this way? After a full day, I go back home and instead of talking to her, I sit in front of her, take deep breath and quiet myself down. After a couple of minutes of this, I go one and continue with my life.
We need to do some serious thinking about what Prayer is about. I need to become a real man of prayer, a man who lives in union with God, knowing that He lives in me.
Why, then forgiveness? It makes sense! True prayer begins when we understand who we are. As Christians who have been baptized we know that Christ now dwells in us and we in Him. We share each other’s lives. But, the same Christ who lives in me also lives in the other. If we are honest, when we get into an argument with another, or even when we take it too far and we cannot forgive, our union with Christ is impacted by this. There is an impediment in us, prayer becomes “difficult” because we cannot love Christ who is in the other. Therefore, we find difficult to raise our minds and hearts to Him.
Once we forgive the other, we re establish union and the Love that has been poured out into our hearts continues to flow. Seems easy! But it’s not. That’s why I have to remain focused on making sure that Christ in me continues to “grow.” My daily “mortification” are not done to put myself down or deny myself of something. They are done so that Jesus may live in me. And I want Him to love everyone I meet.