Sunday, January 24, 2010
Power of Prayer
The power of prayer is amazing. But, it is not what you think. I must admit my prayer life did not start until I was over 30 years old. Now, this is very sad as I grew up Catholic. I went to Catholic school and Catechism. I prayed in church.
I must set the record straight. The Mass is something for me like no other. It is prayer. So, to say my prayer life started after 30 would be incorrect. Mass has always spoke to me like no other thing. Even when I would dabble in attending other denominations, I would literally cry when I would return to Mass. And, depending on the church, I may cry just because it is so beautiful.
My personal prayer life started after 30. Sometime after Little Princess was born in 2003, I picked up my rosary. Well, it's not exactly my rosary. It was my great grandma's rosary. I have two that were hers. She passed away in 1990. She died at the age of 99. She told my grandma not to bury her with a rosary in her hand because she couldn't stand to sit down and pray. She prayed while she worked. That rosary has meant more to me than you can imagine. So, I've been using it pretty steady now for almost seven years. Talk about some powerful stuff. When the Lord talks to me, it is usually in pictures and not in words. I don't know if that is normal. Perhaps it is because I ask Him to show me things. Perhaps He knows it is too loud here for me to hear His voice.
But the power of prayer for me is not the answering. It is the peace I feel when I pray. I know the Protestants can't understand the use of repetitive rote prayer, but you would be surprised how well you can meditate with those rote prayers. I've learned that, not only is sitting down to say the Rosary a beautiful thing from the prayer perspective, but it calms me down...me who can not sit during the day to do anything other than to check email or nurse a baby.
When praying the Rosary, we reflect on the life of Jesus as we ask Mary, His most Blessed Mother, to intercede on our behalf. Now, again, why should I go to Mary instead of Jesus directly? Well, Jesus is my Savior, there is no question of that. But Mary I can go to as a friend, a Mom, a Sister...I can talk to her like a most confident friend and I know she will take my petitions to her son. And, like at Cana, He will listen. Mary is very persuasive. This I know.
I am on day 51 of a 54 day Rosary Novena. For those unfamiliar with Catholicism, I will explain. A Novena is a nine day prayer. Think about the time the Apostles spent in prayer with Mary at their side after the Ascension of Jesus. They were afraid. They were lost without Christ to lead them. They prayed fervently. Nine days later, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. He removed their fear. They knew what to do. So we Catholics often pray for things in multiples of nines and we call it a novena.
This Rosary Novena has me making six novenas. Three novenas are asking for intercession and three are offered in thanksgiving. During the time you pray, each day you meditate upon ONE of the four sets of mysteries in the order in which they happened: Joyful (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity of Our Lord, Presentation of Our Lord, Finding Jesus in the Temple), Luminous (Baptism of Our Lord, Miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom (Sermon on the Mount), Transfiguration and the Last Supper), Sorrowful (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with thorns, Carrying the cross and Crucifixion), and Glorious (Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Assumption of Mary, Coronation of Mary). Sometimes I will use something called "Picture Beads", which is a power point presentation showing images that help me meditate. Other times, I will read passages from the Bible (because the Rosary is based on Scripture) or other books related to the life of Christ. And sometimes I just sit and nurse the baby.
This has been a wonderful journey for me because it has forced me to Stop. Pray. Sit. Meditate on our Lord's life and ask for help. I'm not usually very good at any of those things alone.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!