The Best Thing I Read this Week
|I found a real gem at the used book store yesterday: Quiet Places with Jesus by Rev. Isaias Powers, C.P. I've been looking for a prayer book to help me concentrate more on the person of Jesus as I pray. I tend to be a bit too intellectual when I meditate and I wanted something that would help tap my imagination.|
Fr. Powers wrote these guided meditations in the 1970s and they're very much in the Jesuit tradition of using the imagination to help one pray. What I've been impressed with most so far, however, is Fr. Powers' summary of how to know if one's prayer is successful. He's captured the essence of effective prayer so beautifully that I want to share it with you:
For prayer to be "successful" (that is, for grace to have "worked") does not depend on an emotional "high," or even on the awareness that "I prayed really well." The only criteria is that which was proclaimed by Christ:To me, that is one of the greatest explanations of how to know whether or not one is really praying or simply going through the motions. It's not how good we feel during or immediately after the prayer, it's how our actions slowly begin to change for the better.
Fr. Powers ends his introduction with this beautiful blessing:
May Blessed Mary, the greatest example of prayer--and St. Luke, the foremost evangelist of our Lord's insistence on prayer--guide you to a place of peace, a hold on hope, a capacity for unclutteredness...and to such a habit of constant prayer that you will no longer need any manuals or methods...when God will speak plainly--without parables--to your heart.I think Quiet Places with Jesus is really going to help my prayer bear more fruit.
posted by Nick Senger at 6:39 AM