The Holy Trinity and Prayer

March 14, 1993
Brother John Raymond

	If we associate prayer only with kneeling down and saying a
 written set of prayers then we have a too limited view of prayer.
 St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church and the one called "the
 Doctor of Prayer," describes prayer as a conversation with God. When
 one sees prayer in this way it opens up a new world. Prayer becomes
 much more like a relationship - and this is precisely what it is
 meant to be - a relationship with God!
	Now our Faith teaches us that God is a Trinity of Three Persons,
 Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because God is a Person we can have a
 relationship with Him. As a matter of fact Jesus told us that we can
 now call His Father "Our Father." St. Paul in his letter to the
 Romans says that as adopted sons we can now call out to God as our
 "Abba" which means "Daddy." (Romans 8:15)
	A valuable lesson was taught to me about this relationship while
 I was travelling on a plane to the Holy Land. A little Jewish boy,
 maybe eight years old, was pulling on his fathers sleeve saying,
 "Abba, Abba." This really brought home for me the intimacy that
 Jesus wishes us to have with His Heavenly Father. How often do we
 think about our Father in Heaven? We say the "Our Father" at the
 Holy Mass but have we ever thought about, meditated on these words -
 Our Father?
	Jesus wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him also. He
 is very interested in the details of our everyday life. We should
 think of God as walking right beside us. Jesus is always attentive
 to us - we are rarely attentive to Him. Sometimes in spirituality
 this is called practicing the "Presence of God." We have to form the
 habit of "walking in the Presence of God." We can talk to Jesus as
 we would talk to a friend at our side. He does listen to us. This is
 not a "make believe friend" of children. This is believe and make a
 friend. This will not be a one way conversation. Jesus will talk to
 us through situations, people, inspirations, etc. We will "see"
 Jesus at our side. Sometimes it helps to have a picture of Jesus on
 our desk, in our room, etc. to remind us of Him. One interesting
 custom I learned is to place a picture of Jesus on the dashboard of
 the car. Then I will be looking at Jesus while I am driving. Let us
 think in terms of "we" and "us" when going about our everyday tasks.
 "Jesus, let's go to the store." You will be amazed at the difference
 in your day. One man I used to work with just repeated the name of
 Jesus over and over again in his mind. He told me how much peace
 this little practice gave him.
	The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. Unlike the
 Father and Son, we do not have an image of Him except that of a
 dove. Yet, the Holy Spirit is very intimately part of our life.
 Those in the state of grace are temples of the Holy Spirit - He
 dwells in them. Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is one of
 correspondence. He inspires us, sometimes even without our full
 realization, to love God and neighbor. At times His work is very
 evident - we feel drawn to go to Confession, we weep over a picture
 of Our Lord's Passion, we remember a certain passage from Sacred
 Scripture, etc. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Sanctifier, is
 trying to form us into the Image of Jesus. We need to learn to
 discern His promptings within us. As we become more docile we will
 enter into a deeper relationship with Him.
	God wants to be intimately part of our everday lives. One saint
 said that he who only prayed when kneeling prayed very little. We do
 need to set aside time for this kind of prayer also. But hopefully
 we will not limit ourselves only to this form of prayer. We need to
 realize that we cannot divorce prayer from our everyday lives. Each
 day is a conversation with God whether we realize it or not. But
 this realization doesn't happen in one day. We have to work at this
 relationship. Our goal here on earth is to achieve Union with God.
 This is the only and most important goal on our pilgrimage through
 life. God is calling everyone to this intimate relationship with
 Him. Are we listening?