an anthem to the wonder and majesty of God

Every soul is a song, an anthem to the wonder and majesty of God; infinite melodies in prayer to the One that caused us all to become. When it comes to communicating with Almighty God we often develop severe stage fright, stuttering and stammering, suddenly finding ourselves incapable of expressing the simplest coherent thought. We are beggars, seeking His grace, forgiveness, love, mercy, embrace, help, guidance, any number of untold favors or requests, and our unworthiness keeps us at a distance from Him. But as someone once said “God understands our prayers even when we cannot find the words to say them.”

Prayer

Prayer

Few would consider prayer a natural act, a thing innate within our hearts, for we bear that human conceit which believes that we are in control. And it is inevitable that in that moment, when we encounter our unworthiness, when we are confronted with our own frailties and sinfulness, that in helpless desolation we seek the divine.

Small wonder we bend a knee, mouth agape, wondering how to approach God without groveling. Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan priest, says that “Prayer is as natural to man as speaking, sighing and seeing, as natural as the palpitation of a loving heart; and actually that is what prayer is: a murmur, a sigh, a glance, a heartbeat of love.” God loves us and tells us that any expression of love is a prayer; He even admonishes us to “love your neighbor as yourself” [Lev 19:18].

Yet we continue to struggle in our communication with God. God is too big, too much. It is too difficult to pray, too difficult to find the words, too overwhelming to express ourselves to the Unknowable. But perhaps we are merely trying too hard. Again, Ernesto Cardenal tells us, “Prayer is nothing more than getting into intimate contact with God. It is communication with God, and as such it need not be expressed in words, nor even articulated mentally. One can communicate with a glance of the eyes, with a smile, with a sigh, as well as by a human act. Even…the painting of a picture, or a look toward heaven or the taking of a drink of water [can be a prayer].”

Matthew Fox further expresses this sentiment by writing “Our actions can be prayers. Indeed, they ought to be if they come truly and spontaneously from our heart, which is also where our authentic work and actions derive from. Drinking water – if done with gratitude and awareness – is a prayer. So is painting a picture or study or dance – if it truly comes from a deep, heart place.”

Every act, every breath, every thought can be and ought to be of the nature of prayer, for we have been created out of Love, by Love, for Love, to love. God created us to love and to be loved, and it is our love of life – all life – which is the most perfect form of prayer. Simply put, if we love, when we love, as we love, we are in prayer, for our very existence is a form of prayer; there is no escape, we may ignore it but we cannot avoid it.

So, waking in gratitude, breathing in life, dancing in love, weeping in sorrow, embracing the day, let us pray, let us pray.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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