By Fr. Joji Adagatla, MSC
I say prayers at times, yet I am not fully present to what I am doing. Yes, I am praying the words but my mind may be miles away from what I say.
One of the gifts of the prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary is that I can pray them very easily. They are ingrained in my being. I learned them at a very young age when I most likely simply rattled them off. Yet, despite that, I still was praying, even if not at a deep level!
The gift is these formal prayers become part of us. The downside is that they may become “automatic.” However, even “automatic” prayer is still prayer if our intention is to pray. However, our minds wander and we may not be fully present to God as we hoped to be. The challenge for us is to continually strive to be present when we say or pray these prayers. Thus, we may have to continually keep bringing our minds and hearts back to God.
Jesus taught His disciples the Our Father. This is a prayer that most of us learned at a very young age. Take a moment and ask yourself at this time in your life, what words of the Our Father are most meaningful to you? What is your need, your desire?
Jesus truly was praying to His Father, whom He knew intimately. Do we pray the Our Father as a prayer of love, of longing, of praise? Jesus knows us intimately and walks with us each and every day! Will we take a few minutes and consciously pray this prayer to Him today? If so, we may find a great treasure as well as deep peace!