Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Praying through Distractions

I have been tossing around ideas for a trading card game called Blessings and Trials for the past two years. The idea of the game would be to teach, in a very rudimentary manner, the basic mechanics of how the Catholic faith works to help us fight off the temptations and trials that we all face in life. Naturally, I decided to consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church as I was working on it.

The pages flipped open to a section on prayer and its role in the life of the Catholic Christian. I found it so incredibly meaningful to what has been going in my life right now that I thought I would share it with you.

Catechism 2729 p. 654 "Facing Difficulties in Prayer"

'The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction...hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap...a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should...lead us to resolutely...offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.'

2735 p. 656 "Why do we complain of not being heard?"

'when we praise God or give Him thanks...we are not particularly concerned whether or not our prayer is acceptable to Him. On the other hand, we demand to see the results of our petitions. What is the image of God that motivates our prayer: an instrument to be used? or the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ'

The timing of this could not have been more perfect. Earlier today I was reflecting on my frustration that God does not seem to be answering my prayers, even as I struggled to accept that if God says no it is for my own good. This did prove true as Dallas is undergoing tornadoes and it is unlikely I would have made it to Dallas without getting caught in the turbulence. However, I realized after reading the above two passages that I was falling into the trap of praying with the wrong motivations. I prayed because I wanted to get something from God rather than give something of myself to Him.

It is an easy mistake to make when I begin to allow the world to distract me from the truth about who I am and why I am here. Quite simply, I am here to know, love, and serve God by knowing, loving, and serving His people. I am a beloved daughter of the King of Kings, but the true job of every person in leadership is not to lord it over others or even to be served by others but to serve the people they lead and thereby teach them through example how to treat others. I am not to be a spoiled princess but a servant among servants. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this because pride is something I struggle to overcome. Thank God that I have a Father who loves me enough to do it.

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