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  • Sarah Raad

Praying

Imagine the beauty of Christ praying. If only I could emulate the beauty of that!

Christ Praying in the Garden of Olives (Hermann Clementz)

Today, while I was praying, while distracted and zoning in and out of my prayers because of my weak humanity, I was suddenly struck with a vision of such beauty that I felt that my whole world would stop. And yet, despite this revelation, the world continued to move, the wind blew through the trees, and the sun continued in the sky.


Suddenly – in the midst of my prayers – I have the urge to imagine my Beloved, the Christ… praying.


Have you ever wondered how God the Son prayed to God the Father?


Prayer, I know, is a communication between us and God. Academically speaking, that makes perfect sense to me. Praying is a way for our souls to reach out to God, who awaits us with infinite patience. Praying is our choice to turn towards God and to embrace Him. There is much comfort to be found in praying.


And yet, in all my years, it has never occurred to me until now to really imagine the beauty of a communication comprised of pure and perfect LOVE. I have not really ever thought about it or imagined it in a very real manner before. But today, I was suddenly struck by the true beauty of what such prayer must really have been like.


Very often in my life I pray. I pray muttering under my breath as I organise breakfast for my family in the morning. I pray in frustrated and repressed anger when my children are making me late and my patience is waning. I pray in desperation when my husband does not agree with me and decides that he will not compromise and see reason. I pray in petition hundreds of times a day. And I pray in thanksgiving – for the blessings that have been afforded to me…


Some of my prayers are thoughtful… “Please God help my sister or friend or neighbour today. Give them a peaceful day.” Some of them are mundane… “Please God, let me finish cooking this meal quickly so that I am not late to collect the children from school.” ALL of them are INSPIRED!

“We begin to pray, believing that it is our own initiative that compels us to do so. Instead, we learn that it is always God’s initiative within us…” (Saint Pope John Paul II).

Sometimes, I am too tired to pray. At those times, I say… “Please God take the prayers from my heart as You see fit – I am too weak to deliver them to you.” Sometimes, I am too distracted to pray. At those times, I say… “God, please I owe you… Please I will try again tomorrow.” And then, there are times when the sin overwhelms and the temptation is immense, and then all I can say is… “Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.”


I used to be discouraged by the simplicity of my prayers. After all, how can one wish to merit eternal salvation and not have the energy, disciple, virtue or desire to worship her Beloved? But then I read something encouraging that was written by Saint Pope John Paul II, who said… “How to pray? This is a simple matter. I would say: Pray any way you like, so long as you do pray.”


And so, with this in mind, I close my eyes and see my Beloved praying… Many times in scripture we are told that Christ went off alone to pray. At other times, He was left alone, praying, when He desired others to join with Him in prayer, as in the Garden of Gethsemane. Whether His prayers were of petition or thanksgiving, or simply to give Glory to God, how beautiful must have been His prayers!


I imagine Christ waking in the morning, opening His eyes and smiling at His Beloved Father and Holy Spirit – greeting them with perfect love. How He must have thanked them for His rest. How He must have spoken of His love for them. I imagine the words – words of a Man who was a teacher who used beautiful loving words all the days of His life. I imagine how beautiful His praying would sound. It would draw the angels to Him to give glory with Him…


I imagine Christ praying in His heart as He performed miracles. Imagine His thanksgiving for the beautiful triumph over sin and for the faith of those who believed. Imagine His joyful prayers when others drew towards the Father with love…


I imagine Christ’s sorrowful prayers as He prayed alone during His Passion and Death. How heartbreakingly loving were those prayers. How trusting were those prayers – despite the terrifying silence in reply.

Perhaps at times Christ prayed aloud in front of His disciples, just so that they could hear the beauty of His worship.

How I long to hear the praying of Christ! How I long to emulate that perfect example of prayer opening my heart and my mind to my Beloved. Imagine if when I woke in the morning, I was able to communicate my love for God through my words and my deeds and my heart. Imagine if I could prove my love for Him – I who am so weak…


If I were able to pray like my Beloved, to my Beloved, I would be able to follow the advice of Saint Padre Pio… “Do not worry over things that generate preoccupation and anxiety. One thing only is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.”


Imagine Christ’s lifted Spirit!


If only I could emulate the BEAUTY of that…


For with praying, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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