DIGNITY OF PRAYER
Claret wrote several reflections on prayer as a way of dialogue. This text belongs to one that saw the light of day around 1864. It is the work of a mature missionary, one that life and the Spirit had been hardening, one that had masterfully learnt to distinguish the principal from the secondary, the substantive from the temporary.
He does not deal with whatever. His capacity to distinguish between what is really relevant from what has much less importance is crucial. Acquiring it opens the door to peace and happiness. How much effort and moments of peace and humour have we lost by not giving to each aspect of life its true value! How many families and friendships break up for trifles! How many paths to Christian growth are ruined for something secondary! We remember the wisdom of the first Council: ‘We, with the Holy Spirit, have decided not to put any other burden on you except what is necessary’ (Acts 15:28). Each day has its effort, each reality has its relevance.
For Claret the hierarchy is very clear. A few lines before, he writes, quoting St. Bonaventure, ‘nothing should give more pleasure as being and dealing with God which is what is done in prayer’. Prayer which, according to his words, not only the clergy are invited to do, but rather all the faithful, men and women. Dialogue is very beautiful; in prayer everything is nurtured: humility, faith, hope, charity, etc. To the baptized, he writes, the path to heaven has been opened up and the key to enter is in continuous prayer.
How do you understand prayer? What relevance does it have in your life each day? Do you look for moments when you can be with God and treat him as a friend?