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 -
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?