August 25, 1996
Brother John Raymond
"Prayer is a conversation with God," said St. Augustine. (On Ps.
85, 7) Other saints have echoed this statement, including the Doctor
of the Church on Prayer__St. Teresa of Avila. Brother Craig is his
new book, "Conversational Prayer" (Queenship Publishing, 1996)
defines it as "that form of prayer in which we simply talk with or
chat with Jesus." He writes that this conversation can be both
natural and informal.
One help to this form of prayer is to realize that God is really
interested in what we do__He is interested in us. Sometimes we think
that the only things we can talk to God about are religious ones. So
when we run out of religious things to say our conversation comes to
an end. Brother Craig says, "The key to having a very good
conversation is to realize that Jesus is interested in everything
that is important to us." Brother refers to something in the life of
the French actress, Gabrielle Bosis, who lived in the earlier part
of this century. Gabrielle heard the voice of Jesus in her heart. In
her diary she wrote that Jesus said to her one day, "Is it so
difficult to talk with Me? Everything that interests you, every
little detail of your life, tell Me about it. I'll listen with such
attention and joy. If you only knew. Tell others to talk with Me as
they would with an intimate friend who knows all the secrets of
God loves us so much that He has prepared a place for us in
Heaven, to be with Him for all eternity. He desires intimate
communion with us. As we look around and meet other people we come
to learn that God loves variety. No two people are identically
alike. God wants to have a relationship with each person, a
relationship that is unique because each person is unique. Our
conversation can be about our interests. That is usually what
friends like to talk about__their common interests. Perhaps someone
likes jokes. Did you ever think of telling Jesus a joke? It's true
He already knows the punch-line before you tell Him but He'd still
like to hear it. He knows a few good jokes, too!
What we think are distractions can be turned into conversation. A
distraction is when our mind wanders during prayer. Now if we take
this wandering thought and make it part of our conversation we turn
a distraction into a prayer. Once a man told me he was having
difficulty praying. Apparently there were certain prayers that he
wanted to pray but his mind was on a certain issue that was pressing
upon Him at the time. I simply suggested that he discuss this issue
with Jesus instead of trying to force himself to pray something
else. If it's important to us it's important to Jesus. We
need to drill this into our heads!
I remember long ago seeing a movie in which a man could see his
angel. Nobody else could see the angel at his side. The man talked
to his angel as one would to anyone else. In the same way if we
picture Jesus at our side throughout the day we can bring Him into
our daily activities. We can talk to Him about what we are doing.
Many children have no problem talking to imaginary friends. Somehow
we lose that simplicity as adults. But, of course, with Jesus we are
talking about a REAL friend.
For those interested in Brother Craig Driscoll's book on
"Conversational Prayer" (suggested donation $1.95 + $1.25 postage.)
It can be ordered from The Monks of Adoration, 2241 Englewood Road,
Englewood, FL 34223.