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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 6, 2007
Intimacy is a Must

    For centuries the laity believed that intimacy with God was a special vocation given to those who accepted the call to Religious (consecrated) Life.  Those men and women who committed their lives to God by joining a Religious Congregation, were not only respected for sacrificing their lives for the good of the Church but they were also seen as being the only members of the church who were expected to pray in such a manner as to develop an intimate relationship with God.  Both the religious and the laity believed this. 

    Since the Vatican Council in the mid 60's, the church has made an effort to re-visit this notion of intimacy and relationship.  Theologians have come to realize that all baptized people have a vocation (calling) to holiness.  This involves developing an intimate relationship with the God who loves us and wants us to love Him.  The problem lies in the factor of TIME. Monks and nuns are seen as having plenty of time to pray but the laity, who have day jobs and families, don’t have the luxury of this much time.  Their time is very limited.  Prayer is seen as a luxury indeed.  For the believing baptized Christian, this is a false notion that must be corrected.

    What are we to do about this problem? How can we make more time in a day?  What important responsibility must we cast aside in order to find time to pray?  Doesn’t God understand that we are too busy to act like nuns and monks?  The answer to the above questions are quite simple.  We do not have to make more time in the day, nor are we expected to relinquish our responsibilities.  And yes, God understands perfectly well.  Let’s look at a few possible scenarios for our busy, lay lives.

    First of all, prayer is necessary, it is not an option.  However, there are various types of prayer.  The definition of prayer is communication with God.  It does not necessarily mean that we must stop what we are doing in order to recite prayers.  What it does mean is that we must be aware of God’s presence in our everyday life.  Once we are aware, we must spend time communicating with him.  A perfect example of this is the use of cell phones.  When you want to communicate with your spouse of your children, you do not necessarily spend a half hour talking to them face to face.  You make a quick call on your cell phone.  The call sends the message that you are thinking of them and love them and perhaps you are worried or anxious in some way.  The same can be done with God.  The Good News is that our “calls” are free and, the batteries never need re-charging.
   
    A second point to remember is that prayer includes many types of emotions and topics to be discussed.  When we communicate with someone we love, we do not limit ourselves to asking for favors.  Limiting our style of prayer can lead to boredom or perhaps, even guilt.  After hearing ourselves repeat the same old thing over and over we begin believing that God doesn’t want to hear it any more.  And, perhaps we are right.  What prevents us from changing our lines once in a while?  There are times when it is absolutely appropriate to ask God for a favor.  There are other times when we should be thanking him for being in our lives.  And still other times when we can simply talk to Him about our problems without asking anything, just talking, from the heart, like you would with a friend.  This can be done in a car or standing in line in a bank or in a grocery store.
The idea is to spend some time, even if it’s a few seconds, talking to God.   Let’s try at least one of the above this week.
                            Lorette P. Nault