Monday, August 23, 2010

Praying to be Changed-- a Necessary Intention

A priest columnist for the Catholic Times writing on things spiritual mentions a grandmother who would say the rosary before and after Mass. One day, feigning to  do some work near her, he  went to her side, and when she stopped praying asked if she will be saying the rosary again. She looked at him strangely, as if there were Catholics who did not pray the rosary. When she nodded yes, he asked what were the intentions of her prayers.She just laughed. Turning on all the charm he could muster, he asked her to pray for him.

"Is there a need to have an intention when praying?" she asked. The Blessed Mother knows what is best for us, so she puts everything into her hands. She doesn't want to bother her with such  trifles.

When we meet someone who we feel is spiritual, we often ask them to pray for us. And when someone tells us they will pray for us, we are pleased. However, what is important is to have the prayers we offer change both the one praying and the one for whom we are praying. We pray because of our Lord's example; spending time with the one who loves us and the one we love is a natural response when we love or receive love. This is  sufficient reason for prayer;  we know that the results of prayer will be for our good and the good of the other.     

"The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in speech. He who searches hearts knows what the Spirit means, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints as God himself wills" (Rom. 8:26-27).

Once we realize that God is love and wants the best for us, we allow him to come into our lives to change us. As the English poet Francis Thompson expressed so eloquently in the "Hound of Heaven," we no longer fear being pursued by the Tremendous Lover and embraced. We know his will is for our good; for it is in being loved that we are changed.


  1. Praying is like spending time with God. He knows what we need and what we want etc. and though He wills that we ask, not all prayer needs to be a prayer of petition. It can simply be keeping Our Lord or Our Lady company, as asked in the Five Saturdays devotion

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