Re-Thinking Our Time for Prayer
by Fr. Eamonn Bourke

“I know God is in my heart. And the fact that I feel Him in my heart does not interfere with my duties. Even when I am dealing with very important matters which require attention, I do not lose the presence of God in my soul, and I am closely united with Him. With Him I go to work, with Him I go for recreation, with Him I suffer, with Him I rejoice; I live in Him and He in me. I am never alone, because He is my constant companion. He is present to me at every moment” (St. Faustina’s Diary 318)

It is obvious from the Resurrection passages in the Bible that neither Mary Magdalen or the Apostles really expected Jesus to rise from the dead. When Jesus spoke Mary Magdalen’s name at the tomb on that Easter Sunday morning, it didn’t just change her life, it changed the history of the world. When Jesus spoke to her, she recognised Him. Standing in front of her, loving her, was proof of God’s love. She had come to the tomb with the women to anoint a dead body and prepare it for burial. The burial would never take place. Jesus was alive. He had risen from the dead as He had said many times during His public life. Yes, the offering of His life on the Cross had been accepted by the Father and He was raised to unending life.

St. Faustina also met the Risen Christ
For St. Faustina, Jesus was not a dead body in a tomb on Easter Sunday morning. For her, He was truly risen. She believed the promise made by God to humanity to send a saviour and that He would rise from the dead. Her evidence was not just on the testimony of others. No, she believed in the Risen Lord because she had met Him herself.

St. Faustina’s Soul
She had experienced His intimate presence in her prayer and, like Mary Magdalen, had heard Him speak her name. In her prayer, her eyes were opened and she recognised Him. What St. Faustina experienced in her prayer time, she took with her so that even outside her time of formal prayer, she remained in that loving gaze of God and even in the activities of her day her heart was united with His.

Jesus calls to us too
When we enter into the mystery of prayer and listen closely, the Lord speaks our name too, as He did to Mary on Easter morning. He does so that we may believe that He is alive and that He dwells among us and that He is within the human heart, calling us to the same life that He has.

Prayer Time too Busy
It is hard to hear the voice of Jesus speak our name in prayer if our prayer time is too busy. What do I mean by too busy? Well, when we are doing all the talking. When we fill our prayer time with words. Yes, it is so important to pray the Chaplet, the Rosary and other such prayers, but how are you really going to hear that loving caring voice of Christ in your prayer unless you listen?

Silence in your prayer time
Silence in your prayer time is as important as saying prayers. Maybe even more so. It is in the silence that St Faustina reflected on the image of the Christ. It is in silence that Mary, our Mother, pondered all that was happening in her heart. It is in the silence that you too will encounter the Risen Lord.

Re-Thinking Our Time for Prayer
If you find that your own prayer time is full of prayers, maybe it’s time to create a little time for silence. If you find that in prayer you are doing all the work, then maybe it’s time to create a time just to relax in the presence of the Risen One who loves you dearly and who wants to speak your name. Make that beautiful line ‘speak Lord your servant is listening’ the hallmark of your prayer. Persevere in silence and you too will find that not only do you experience the Risen Lord in your prayer time but that you will feel Him present to you at every moment, just like St Faustina did.


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St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland

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Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland



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