I believe in the power of prayers, but over the years, I couldn’t help observing that some people use this phrase:” Oh, so sorry, I will pray for you,” when in my heart I know they just said something “nice” and non-commital,” rather than just saying sorry or I hope it gets better or actually helping a person in a more palpable way.
For many the fact that this very important word, prayer, is taken lightly or misused, resulted in daubs for many.
For me prayers DO EXIST but they take certain conditions, such as a dedicated peaceful time and above all Faith!
I am wondering, how many times I said “I’ll pray for someone,” and thought of them all day, sending love and healing, but not actually taking the time to focus in silence, light a candle and be on my knees, focused on their problem alone. I have been more of a doer to show my faith, It could be a ride when someone was sick, or a loaf of bread, or making soup for the elderly in a church group.
As I lack the hard cash, I try to help through my skills. But these acts are not prayers, more like community service.
When I realized that what I did was not true prayer, I changed the wording to “I am sending good, positive vibes your way,what can I DO for you in a tangible way!” I show my Faith by doing something concrete.
I am a believer of the saying “God helps those that help themselves.” As a result, I took out of my vocabulary and thoughts the words “never, impossible, may be,” and replaced them with attainable specific goals (of course, that did not include becoming an opera singer, that would be delusional.)
As I was writing this post, I remembered a group of nuns in whose prayers I do believe, defining prayer as needing “peace and quiet. Please, don’t take me wrong, no doubt others pray in their various ways, I am ONLY sure of what I experienced personally.
With that in mind, I recalled a visit I paid many years ago with my friend Cassandra, to her friend, a Carmelite nun in a monastery, in Philadelphia. As visitors, we were allowed to speak with Cassandra’s friend, the Carmelite nun, through the bars. I learned that this incredible nuns do not speak among themselves, they are SILENT. They speak only if they had a visitor or an emergency. Their whole life was dedicated to prayers.
Today, I wanted to learn more about them, before I shared with you, and researched the Carmelite nuns origins. Thanks to “Catholic Voice,” the article “Peace and Quiet,” by Naomi Fallon, I learned that the nuns” take vows of obedience, chastity and poverty and make their business to pray for other. Prayers could be requested by letters, in person or by telephone.
” As stated in this article, the nuns say: ” The essence of our vocation is prayer and seeking union with God.”They have two books of prayer, one for the living and one for the dead.
The order was founded in 1865 by Lyons in France at Fuhham (www.carmelite.org.) They are vegetarian and the Prioress makes the decisions. At Mass, there are six lit candles on the altar, and a seventh is lit if the Bishop visits.
Their motto: “To Thee O God Silence is Praise!”
“There women, 500 years after Saint Teresa of Avila, who are giving their all to God.” (quote from the Bishop’s speech,(www.vocationblog.com)
There are many Carmelite locations around the world, and personally, as one who loves to talk, I admire their comittment to silence and prayers.
To me, personally, what they do is prayer, as I imagine it in its perfect form, requiring peace and quiet and a dedicated, focused intention on the subject of prayers.
I have heard of many forms of prayer, but I would love to hear back from the readers of this blog:
What does prayer mean to you? Did you have a personal experience with prayers working for you?