3.7 How can I make time for prayer? Where is God in daily life?
Of all the time which is yours to spend every day, the minutes you reserve for prayer are used for the best possible purpose. The purpose of prayer is to focus on God.
You can do this, for example, by praying with a text from the Bible. God is always there, but often we have so little regard for him. It is therefore good to call into mind what you consider truly important in life, and make that the subject of your prayer.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a prayerful reflection that begins above all in the Word of God in the Bible. Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion and desire in order to deepen our faith, convert our heart and fortify our will to follow Christ. It is a first step toward the union of love with our Lord. [CCCC 570]
What is the essence of meditation?
The essence of meditation is a prayerful seeking that starts with a sacred text or a sacred image and explores the will, the signs, and the presence of God.
We cannot “read” sacred images and texts the way we read things in the newspaper that do not immediately concern us. Instead, we should meditate on them; in other words I should lift my heart to God and tell him that I am now quite open to what God wants to say to me through what I have read or seen. Besides Sacred Scripture, there are many texts that lead to God and are suitable for meditative prayer. [Youcat 502]
How can my everyday routine be a school of prayer?
Everything that happens, every encounter can become the occasion for a prayer. For the more deeply we live in union with God, the deeper we understand the world around us.
Someone who already seeks union with Jesus in the morning can be a blessing to the people he meets, even his opponents and enemies. Over the course of the day he casts all his cares on the Lord. He has more peace within himself and radiates it. He makes his judgments and decisions by asking himself how Jesus would act at that moment. He overcomes fear by staying close to God. In desperate situations he is not without support. He carries the peace of heaven within him and thereby brings it into the world. He is full of gratitude and joy for the beautiful things, but also endures the difficult things that he encounters. This attentiveness to God is possible even at work. [Youcat 494]
What is interior or “contemplative” prayer?
Contemplative prayer is love, silence, listening, and being in the presence of God.
For interior prayer one needs time, resolve, and above all a pure heart. It is the humble, poor devotion of a creature that drops all masks, believes in love, and seeks God from the heart. Interior prayer is often called the prayer of the heart and contemplation. [Youcat 503]
What can a Christian accomplish through meditation?
In meditation a Christian seeks silence so as to experience intimacy with God and to find peace in his presence. He hopes for the sensible experience of his presence, which is an undeserved gift of grace; he does not expect it, however, as the product of a particular technique of meditation.
Meditation can be an important aid to faith that strengthens and matures the human person. Nevertheless, techniques of meditation that promise to bring about an experience of God, or even the soul’s union with God, are deceptive. On account of such false promises, many people believe that God has abandoned them just because they do not perceive him. But God cannot be compelled to show up by particular methods. He communicates himself to us whenever and however he wishes. [Youcat 504]
I would like to recall once again the need, for our spiritual life, to find time everyday for quiet prayer; we must make this time for ourselves, especially during the holidays, to have a little time to talk with God. It will also be a way to help those who are close to us enter into the radiant light of God’s presence which brings the peace and love we all need. [Pope Benedict XVI, 8 Aug. 2012]