by Fr. Eamonn Bourke

“Strive for a life of recollection, so that you can hear My voice” (Diary 1779)

No time to pray
Our days are often filled with so many things to do. No matter what age you are, or stage in life, busyness seems to be the hallmark of all our lives. We might not even be filling our days with important or wholesome things, but the days just seem to waft by. One day after the next, and before you know it, a few days, a week, or even a few weeks, could have gone by, without taking even a small amount of time with God in prayer.

St. Faustina’s Opinion on Recollection Prayer
In St. Faustina’s diary, she comes back many times to the importance of silence and recollection in the presence of God. She deems these times to be irreplaceable. Spending time with God in quiet recollection, for her, is as vital as eating, sleeping, and breathing. She goes on to say, “if only souls would become recollected, God would speak to them at once, for dissipation drowns out the word of the Lord”. (Diary 452)

Stressed Out Prayers
We sometimes think, by grabbing a few moments here and there, that we are communicating with God. We may well be, but are we allowing God to communicate with us? When we come to prayer, our thoughts are often filled with noise and distraction. We can sometime go on and on about our own worries, anxieties, the things we are looking for God to do for us. Important as all of these are, they often fill the time, when God could more than likely want to communicate a more profound message to our hearts through the gift of silence.

One-Way Street
I am not saying that bringing your worries and anxieties to God is not important, but we must strive in our prayer to allow God to take the initiative and lead us where He wants us to go. Imagine calling into a friend and each time you meet you talk, and talk all about yourself, and your worries and your problems. Is this true communication? Is this a heart-to-heart meeting? It may be to some extent, but you are missing out on the wisdom and experience of the other person. It should never be a one-way street.

Allow God to Change Your Life
Recollecting prayer is a heart-to-heart with your Divine Creator. It demands time, space and patience. These are the very things that we feel we have very little of, especially time and space. Yet, with just a few adjustments to our day, we could begin to allow the Lord to refashion our lives in the way He wants it fashioned.

A New Goal
Each day we should set ourselves a goal for a time of prayer. A goal that is achievable. If you haven’t been praying in a silent, recollected way, then setting a goal of 5 hours a day is not achievable. It will just put you off. You will get disheartened very quickly. However, if in this case, you set yourself to begin with a goal of 15 to 20 minutes a day, then this is very achievable.

Quality Prayer to the Lord
The first thing to say about goals is that it is important to respect them. If you decide that tomorrow, you will rise fifteen minutes early to pray, rise fifteen minutes early to pray! If you wake fifteen minutes earlier, and just press the snooze button, then you will never make progress in the spiritual life. Setting real quality time aside for prayer is not easy, but is important. You will immediately see the benefit in your life. The quality of your day will be immediately enhanced by time spent in quality prayer to the Lord!

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

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Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland



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