Some practical points to help with prayer
- The Lord wants to talk to us. At every moment of our lives, the Lord is saying to us: “Listen! … “
- The pace of life can either help or hinder prayer.
Very often the pace of life interferes with prayer because it makes us restless and distracted. Thanks to Pierre’s particularly familiar language, the advice he gives here appears easy to put into practice. Curiously, the lightness of tone makes you grasp its significance and shows how much prayer is a part of life.
Often there are those who are generous but are always restless. So in the end, in prayer, their heads are full of ideas. If, during the day you are peaceful, when you come to prayer, it is quite simple, you start to pray and then you remain peacefully at prayer. If you are terribly restless, you have to make a terrible effort to say: “Oh goodness, I must calm down!”
…Our pace of life is the rhythm of the Heart of Jesus, and the rhythm of the Heart of Mary. So then we relax, we are full of joy and relaxed and at the same time wholly recollected. We do not get worked up, so then we don’t need to collect our thoughts since we have not been worked up, because we remain with Him. We’re simple, we remain with Him and then that makes our lives simpler. […]
If you don’t have that pace of life, you have difficulties in prayer. You know, people say: “Now, I’m spending a time in the desert, I am being tried, it is beautiful, I am being purified.” In fact, the Lord is not purifying anything at all. It is because they really are not listening to the Lord! So, of course, when they are at prayer, they are dry, dry, dry. It is really important to truly put yourself in the necessary disposition.
Adopting this pace of life in the Lord, demands that we have a kind of rigour. The word “rigour” shouldn’t scare us because it is not rigorism, it has nothing to do with it. But rigour is the opposite of carelessness. […] It’s obvious that we must have a proper timetable, a timetable that’s fairly flexible, but still allows us to have reference points and to say, “Lord I am doing this for you.”
For example, there is the question of sleep. We’re happy to see each other, we don’t have much time to see each other, so we meet in the evening and often we chat … and, in the end, we don’t sleep enough. After three or four days, we’re tired and we begin to be stressed. That’s how “lousy Old Nick” takes us over. While if we say, “We must get to bed early to be OK”, we make this act of self-discipline and we ask Mary to give us the strength to cut the conversation short … and go to bed!
The aim is not to seek our own personal comfort, but to pray better so that we can then go out to others with the Lord.
We must leave our “cosy little circle” after adopting the pace of life in the Lord. […] We really must adopt this pace fairly quickly because the Lord is in a hurry. He is telling us, “I am sending you out to the whole world, go and don’t waste time!”
Then the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things.” So there certainly is a way not to be too worried and to live more peacefully. And prayer, then, is first of all to show you that you are worried, you’re stressed and you don’t have a normal life, the peaceful life of a child of God. And that doesn’t go with the little way of trust and self-abandonment.
It’s very simple; you have to see: and change your pace of life. You have to see what you can do, but there really is something that must be changed. Because you give of yourself too much, you don’t trust others enough, and you don’t trust the Lord enough. So, it is the little way of trust and self-abandonment that is very important. And you can check during prayer whether you have abandoned yourself, whether you do trust, and whether you are simple with the Lord. Lord Jesus, help us to really understand this!