Tuesday of the First Week
Dear Lord, please fill me with your radiant presence, so that people see you, not me, today. Nicholas King SJ
Listen to the sounds you can hear around you. If you are indoors, allow yourself to notice sounds without and within the room. Identify each sound as you are able. Gently, slowly, without judgement, focus your attention on each one. Return your attention back to where you were before. If a sudden sound or distraction occurs, acknowledge it and name it. Don’t try to ignore it. When ready, become aware of the sound of your own breathing. Through the sounds, be attentive to the invitation of God, who dwells in creation ...
Today's Scripture (Matthew 6:7-15)
'When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
‘Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Food for Thought
If God knows what we need before we pray, why do we pray at all? Perhaps the answer to this question is given right at the start of the Gospel today.We are surrounded by so many babbling voices that sometimes we ourselves do not know what it is that we truly want.We pray not just to ask for what we want but to understand in a deeper way what God wants for us. When we begin to understand what God desires, some of those babbling voices within us will quieten down. We will become still.We will focus. Prayer will become our daily bread, or our daily rice or our daily pasta, a simple meal, but like any staple food, just what we need.
Suggestions for Prayer
In order to quieten down those babbling voices within you, try a stilling exercise to settle down before you pray. Whether you listen to sounds around you, focus on your breathing, or relax the muscles of your body you will begin to centre on your prayer too. Quite early on in my prayer life I was lucky to discover that sometimes it is enough to ask to go deeper in prayer for prayer to begin to deepen. When you have completed the stilling exercise and feel ready to start the prayer, ask for the grace to go that little bit deeper still, perhaps to a place within yourself where you do not normally go, perhaps be closer to the place where God resides in you. Find your own way of asking for this depth and see what happens. You might like to gently pray the Our Father from that deeper place today, asking for whatever it is that you need.
How are you going to respond today?
Today, try to find a way to create a moment of silence and contemplation for yourself or another person.
Image for the Day
- Does this painting speak to you and if so, what does it say?
- Do you remember being taught your prayers?
- What do you think Jesus would say to you about your prayer life?
Light a candle.Take a moment to let God look at you. Breathe in God’s love. With your hand on your heart ask Jesus to bring to your heart the moment today for which you feel most grateful. Recall what was said and done in that moment. Enjoy the gratitude you feel again now. Breathe in its life. Ask Jesus to bring to your heart the moment today for which you feel least grateful. What was said and done in that moment? Let it be. Breathe in God’s love just as you are. Speak to God about what you have noticed. Give thanks to God for your day. Ask help for tomorrow.