Friday, August 12, 2016

How Do I Pray Now? (As I Can, Not As I Did)

The last person we'll hear from about "praying now" was surprised to find that retirement was not what she'd envisioned.

    "My attention span is shorter than it was in my younger days. My youthful plans for later years included day-long-prayer-marathons, when I knew I would take time to just sit and be with God!
     Now I have the time that once eluded me, but I no longer have the powers of concentration. This realization has been sobering. However, I am helped by seeing that I'm not actually in 'dryness,' nor is it that I've lost interest in prayer, nor am I 'lazy' if I sit down and fall fast asleep. It's just that my body and my mind are not as young as they were even a few years ago.
     My call is to pray as I can, not as I did. The important thing, for me, is to set aside the time - whether in one solid chunk or in ten-minute segments throughout the day - with the firm intention to give that time to God. I am seeing anew the truth that the Lord is my strength. May He be praised forever!"


"It is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction."  (St. Edmund)

"Physical condition or advancing of age are not obstacles to a perfect life. God does not look at external things, but at the soul." (Pope St. John Paul II)

Painting: Carl Vilhelm Holsoe, in US public domain due to age


  1. bless your heart for sharing this! at 67 with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, i've been battling this very issue. my husband and i always planned that we would be 'hermits' once we were retired. now that we are both retired and living a semi-eremetical life, it's been dismaying to realise that my ability to remain in centred prayer and not fall asleep is a thing of the past. it's also kind of funny too. God takes us where we are. yes, we pray as we can and offer up our infirmities for others. it's good for humility :)

    1. Greta, I've become very much this way myself in the last few years. I, too, am of "retirement age," and I, too, have a physical condition that saps my strength - more and more - as I grow older. If I don't actually fall physically asleep in prayer, I find myself constantly battling "brain-drift." Having been a natural-born daydreamer all my life (much to the frustration of numerous long-ago teachers!), I have kept on getting upset with myself over this. BUT - just in the last year or so, I've begun realizing that my ability to concentrate is simply not what it was. I see this in matters other than prayer as well. So now I am more able to relax with it, and do what I can, and I find that this is helping my prayer a great deal.

      Yes, it IS kind of funny, isn't it? :) And yes, it's good for humility. And I need to remember to offer my infirmities up for others - I forget to do that, and am so glad you mentioned it.

      THANK YOU!

  2. 'brain drift' . . . i haven't heard that one before and it's so true. it made me laugh so you have started my day with a smile. thank you!


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