“Lord, teach us to pray....” This request from one of the disciples of the Lord (from today’s Gospel) expresses a desire which should be in all our hearts. Many Christians experience some difficulty in praying. Going back to what the Lord taught us is the best and simplest way to begin (or renew) a prayer life. The Our Father is recognized as the perfect prayer for us not only because it comes from the Lord Himself, but also because it includes all the aspects of prayer: to give praise and thanksgiving, petition for the good things we need, and ask for forgiveness. There are many good books which can assist a person to pray. I recommend you also read the fourth section in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) which has a beautiful summary of Christian Prayer. The CCC quotes St. Therese of Lisieux in defining prayer. “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” Though one can certainly pray almost anywhere, I would encourage you to pray in the very Presence of the Lord. We are very fortunate to have Perpetual Adoration available 24 hours a day at the Marian Center for Peace.
This coming week is observed by the Church as Natural Family Planning Week, to coincide with the anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), which was promulgated on July 25, 1968. In this prophetic letter, the Pope confirmed the constant teaching of the Church regarding the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman. He also taught clearly that the meaning and purpose of marriage is for the generation of new life and the mutual good of the couple. More than ever our prayers (and involvement in society!) is necessary in order to preserve the institution of marriage and protect life. If you have never read Pope Paul’s encyclical, perhaps now would be a good time to do so. (We have some copies available in the Holy Family Cenacle, or find it online.)
May God bless you!