The Benefit of the Quick Prayer
By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (Dec 17, 2006)
As we enter the final week before Christmas, many of us are preparing ourselves to welcome Christ into our hearts and souls. Unfortunately, many of us don't have the privilege to go off to some private, quiet space for long periods of deep prayer. There are too many demands on our lives. We can hardly hear ourselves think, let alone be silent.
But we can, nevertheless, prepare to receive Jesus into our inner lives by simply thinking of Him every so often. A quick glance at a cross or an image of The Divine Mercy can assist us.
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, knew how busy his men would be so he simply encouraged them to offer a quick prayer up to our Lord, and that would be sufficient.
And what can surpass "Come Lord Jesus" or "Jesus I trust in You!"?
Now, what could possibly be the benefit of these quick prayers? They whet our appetites for a deeper relationship with our Lord. They help us to focus. And over time, by means of such quick, simple prayers throughout our day, we have welcomed our Lord into our lives at every moment, even those moments when we feel pulled by the din and distractions of daily life. Then, the private, quiet space we longed for suddenly exists — there, in our hearts.
Our Lord is calling us to engage with Him in such a relationship. He said to St. Faustina: "Strive for a life of recollection so that you can hear My voice, which is so soft that only recollected souls can hear it ..." (Diary, 1799).
A gift we could give to our Lord this Christmas — and for the rest of our lives — is our promise to focus our thoughts on Him throughout our daily lives. In the Diary we read of Jesus' strong desire to grant us many graces if we but quiet ourselves sufficiently to accept them.
He told St. Faustina: "I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy" (Diary, 1784).
One of the greatest legacies that St. Faustina left us is precisely this need for us to control our thought-life. This is implied in the very last sentence written in the Diary. It's placed there, as if to give a greater awareness and significance to what she learned at the end of her life. When everything was said and done, here is the challenge she leaves us: "I am trying my best for interior silence in order to be able to hear His voice ..." (Diary, 1828).
Lord Jesus, thank you for even letting me think that I can be recollected in anticipation of Your coming. Thank You for letting me believe that only You can fill the void in my mind and spirit. I ask that You would grant me spiritual communion so that my soul would be ready for your sacramental arrival. May the door to my heart be only open to You alone. Amen
Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, is on the staff of the Marian Seminary in Washington, D.C. He also provides spiritual direction, retreats, and seminars. Brother Leonard has a leaflet available that has a series of meditations on the five wounds of our Lord. The meditations are intended for use while praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order Contemplate My Wounds. He also has a CD available with the meditations on the five wounds, interspered with the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Click here to order A Musical Interlude.