St. Pope John Paul II
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Christians who have received the gift of a vocation to the specially consecrated life are of course called to prayer in a particular way...But it would be wrong to think that ordinary Christians can be content with a shallow prayer that is unable to fill their whole life. Especially in the face of the many trials to which today's world subjects faith, they would be not only mediocre Christians but "Christians at risk". They would run the insidious risk of seeing their faith progressively undermined, and would perhaps end up succumbing to the allure of "substitutes", accepting alternative religious proposals and even indulging in far-fetched superstitions.
It is therefore essential that education in prayer should become in some way a key-point of all pastoral planning.
Novo Millennio Ineunte, Par. 34
It has always been very clear to Marcel and I that a greater part of our mission is to call the people of God into a deeper place of prayer, which is why we've devoted this Advent to passages from Novo Millennio Ineunte written by St. Pope John Paul II. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote that prayer is the foundation block of our entire spiritual life and without it, a life of holiness is pretty much unattainable. If we wish to attain not only a deep union with God and growth in all the virtues and gifts, but also a place of anointing upon all that we do in our every day life and apostolates, then prayer is absolutely indispensable.
We need to choose it deliberately and set a fixed amount of time daily, no matter how long the time. We know of a seminarian who started out committing to 1 minute a day! That's all that he could handle because he got really 'squirrelly' sitting there! But he held to his commitment and today he is a man of prayer and his priesthood is blessed.
There's too many 'casualties of war' because of lack of prayer and the Church is impoverished because of this. But the Church is so greatly strengthened by its prayerful members who are courageously committed to it.
There's a dream post that comes to mind at this moment which you might be interested in. It is related to this topic so please click on this link if you wish to read it.
Finally, may the rest of this Advent week be blessed and may the Lord 'make His face to shine upon you'! (Linda- December 19, 2021)