Despite my shortcomings in these areas, there is one thing I will always have: prayer. Prayer is something taught to us as poems that we should memorize and are intended to be said out loud. While this is part of it, the way I pray is much different. I want to say it was either St. Aquinas or St. Augustine who said, “Prayer is raising your heart and mind to God”. We don’t need to speak, we don’t need to think in words, we just need to raise our heart and mind to God and trust that he knows what's in there. A piece of art, a song, time spent with loved ones, they can all make us communicate with God.
Prayer seems like a natural and easy thing to do, but it is something we must practice and learn over time. I find it helpful to pray to certain saints I identify with. St. Michael if I feel I need strength and courage, St. Patrick if I need some ancestor-ly wisdom, and Gabriel if tenderness is called for. Too often I pray to God to ask for something. I forget all the blessings in my life and do not thank Him for them. I try to train myself to see everything He has given me, and to take time to prayer simply to thank Him and to praise Him, and tell Him I trust Him, but I never do it enough.
I have been praying for God to help me be a better Catholic. It was that, in fact, which prompted me to start this blog. A priest friend of mine recently told me:
Generally when we take prayer seriously we begin to take other things seriously, and then things begin to change- not always easily, but truly, and often because we gain the courage and motivation that we need to make the changes we need to. Conversion of heart and soul is an ongoing process and is never completed this side of heaven”.
I hope this was as helpful for you to read as it was for me to write.