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April

"Prayer is not to be taken for granted. It is necessary that we learn to pray, almost always learning anew this art from the lips of the divine Master Himself, like the early disciples: "Lord, teach us to pray. ..!"
                                                    John Paul II

The great thirst
"I am like a dry blade of grass". (St. Augustine)

One day, two persons were crossing a desert, and were attacked by wild, sweeping winds. They sought refuge under a great rock, but when the force of the wind passed and they could move, they assessed the disaster. One of them said: I am ill because I need water. I'm going to look around for the borax that the sand here has buried. The other replied: "Don't make such a fuss! I will search for the traces of the path, because we must leave as soon as possible". He had not even finished speaking when he set out to do so, but with anxious and nervous agitation. The other person sought calmly to search. After a while, he found the supply of water. He drank long and deep and regained his strength. While the first person continued his convulsive agitation during the night, in time, the other found the path and safely reached his goal.

Whoever opts for prayer with serious determination is like that person who first

becomes aware of a great thirst. Either find water or meet death. There is no alternative.

In the "forest of needs" that is present-day society, it is not always easy to allow the great existential thirst, that is, the thirst for God-Love to emerge. It is something deeper than the needs that we have in common with animals. We deal with a burning desire that is the typical restlessness of the human heart.
Thirsting for God, knowing Him as Love, becoming aware of the desire to be with Him-this is what makes of myself, you, every person on the face of the earth one who prays.

A young man confided:"I am dragged outside of myself by a quantity of things that are attractive. I have a great desire to know, do and even give of myself. But then Ifeel unbalanced, because within myself there is a deep void that I don't know how to fill."

Many drag along a heavy life, within a weariness that is not only a physical-psychic type, but one that expresses a loss of meaning on profound levels. They are dying of thirst, but (and here's the problem) they blame it on everything else but the need for prayer and remaining with him.

Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA

Who prays?
The one who prays is a person who is humble, who feels that she is poor
and lives open to the action of God.
She recognizes her limits and thanks the Lord for His gifts."

Rosario M. - Spain

MAY

"Let us be as silent as the angels who watch and adore around he tabernacle. It is an attentive silence to the voice of Jesus, so that we may always do what he wants from us" St. Mary Mazzarello

Listening above all
"If in the beginning was the WORD, then the beginning of man is listening."

At times we think the person who prays is the one who "says" many prayers. When it is love that dictates brief and continual invocations, or saying the rosary, who would dare to say that the person does not pray?

This is the point of arguement. There is prayer if there is love. But love comes from knowing. A friend of mine wrote to me: "I listen to the sea and the wind. I listen to the night silence, heavy with stars. I listen to the life that stammers or speaks or sings or cries out within and outside of me, as soon as I pay attention. And I listened to God, to His Word, the only one that allows me to understand every other voice, every other word."

The person who prays, especially the praying Christian, is one who listens.

One who prays with determined determination, as St. Teresa says, prays with the conditions necessary for listening to that Word of God, which read and meditated upon, will become the content of his/her prayer and then the "morphing" of the person's very life.

But how do we exercise ourselves in this listening? "I really can't keep quiet," a person who landed at our house of prayer on the mountain confided to me. "Even when I make the effort not to speak exteriorly, I am assailed by inner chatter. The root of listening is the wise exercise of silence and of the word, interdependently. Only the person who disciplines thought and is the master of the tongue knows how to speak at the right time and place. Only the one who impregnates the silence of his/her own life is capable of praying and especially of listening.

"Give me O Lord, a listening heart." This was the request of the young king, Solomon, and the Lord blessed him because he asked for a heart capable of listening and not for long life and wealth.

Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA

Who prays?
The person who recollects self in the presence of God who loves us, who knows all things and who can do all and who is superior to all our littleness. The person who prays dares to place herself in an attitude of dialogue with the God-Love,
Tenderness and Mercy.

Hiang-Chu - Italy

JUNE

"Be faithful, humble, pious with that piety that comes directly from the heart and transforms our work and our life into one long continuous love of God."
                                         St
. Mary Mazzarello

 Guarding the seed
"Awake, my heart, awake harp and zither, I want to awake the dawn." (Psalm 57:9)

All of Matthew's Chapter 13 presents Jesus using the analogy of the "seed. He speaks of it as small, but fraught with the reality of life; even more, as the mystery of life, its heart, its promise for the future. In the longest part of this parable, Jesus compares the seed to the Word of God and teaches that only in the good heart, i.e., in "a good and integral heart", will the seed of the word, if guarded, be fruitful.

Whoever wishes to truly pray must deal with his/her own heart. Too often we live scattered in the exterior. We are attacked and assailed by many stimuli. The greater part of these are an incentive to interest ourselves with that which is outside of, not within ourselves. "Contemporary man," says Picard, a great Swiss psychologist, "has become an appendix of noise." In this noise, the heart lives a heavy dream sleep and becomes the rocky soil where the Word cannot take root, or is invaded by the most disparate brambles of attachment.

The existential strength of the psalm rests in teaching ourselves to say "Awake, my heart". This is the stimulus to allow the Spirit to open a liberating passageway to prayer.

If you love, you live, if you love you pray, if you love, you are joyful. In one of the many internet sites I found this prayer of St. Francis: "Lord, make me capable of giving the love that you place within me. I praise you Lord, because you never leave me alone. Who am I without you? A field without water, an arid vine where only hatred thrives. Give me a heart that knows how to forget itself, witnessing to all that is beautiful and joyful, in an open empathy that infects the whole world."

The person who prays has a good heart, or at the very least, tends toward acquiring one, because praying is linked to his/her life. Remembering these words of Jesus: "Have salt within you and peace among you. The person who prays tends to make his/her prayer ever more profound by living it each day.

The salt of wisdom, for the person who prays is, therefore, those frequent and rapid re-entries into one's own heart inhabited by God. Peace will then become a basic attitude.

Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA

Who prays?
The person who prays is the one who knows how to find spaces for silence, even in the midst of daily noise, to speak, to listen to the voice of the heart of the Beloved and to feel the mysterious, but real presence of the Triune God.
 
For more information please contact:
Sr. Antoinette Cedrone, FMA

655 Belmont Avenue • Haledon, NJ 07508 (973)790-4408
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