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Truths of the Catholic Church series

Prayer

God calls man first Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. Our response to God (our first step), is prayer. (CCC 2567)

Scripture often speaks that it is the heart that prays. The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as the image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant. (CCC 2563)

 

You see then, that perfect prayer is not attained through many words, but through affection of desire, the soul raising herself to God, with knowledge of herself and of Gods mercy, seasoning the one with the other. St Catherine of Siena

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.   Mt 6:6


St. John of God could never witness suffering without immediately trying to do something about it. Throughout his life, his impulsive love embraced anyone in need without asking for credentials or character witnesses

 

At night, he took what little money he had earned selling wood and brought food and comfort to the poor living in abandoned buildings and under bridges.

 

His first hospital was rented without money, furnishings, medicine or help. After he begged money for beds, he went out into the streets again and carried his ill patients back on the same shoulders that had carried stones, wood, and books. Once there he cleaned them, dressed their wounds, and mended their clothes at night while he prayed.

 

He always acted immediately when he saw a need. Once, when he encountered a group of starving people, he rushed into a house, stole a pot of food, and gave it to them.  Another time, on finding a group of children in rags, he marched them into a clothing shop and bought them all new clothes. Since he had no money, he paid for it all on credit!

 

 In His Footsteps:  When you feel the urge to serve, help, or pray - dont argue yourself out of it - do it immediately as John of God would have done, without thinking of how practical or how embarrassing it might be. Fight the little voices in our heads and hearts that give us all sorts of practical reasons to wait or delay in our service of God



 
 

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