'A Society Without God Ends Up as a Society Against Man'
Interview With Father Ignacio Larranaga on Prayer
MADRID, Spain, OCT. 25, 2005 (Zenit) - A big part of Father Ignacio Larranaga's work has been trying to teach people how to pray.
Born in Spain in 1928, he was ordained in 1952. For a time he evangelized in South America. In 1974 he began the apostolate of Meetings of Experience of God, which he taught in 33 countries over 30 years. In 1984 he founded the Prayer and Life Workshops, an ecclesial service approved by the Holy See and covering more than 40 countries.
He has now published the book "God Within," a manual for prayer.
Q: In "God Within" you talk about "adult faith." Is there a process of maturation in the faith?
Father Larranaga: Of course, the overcoming of a faith that is too rational or centered on the search for securities, [leading to] a faith capable of assuming all kind of risks and fears -- that faith which enabled Abraham to walk in the presence of the Lord, which ended up by becoming the inspiration, center and meaning of his life.
Q: Does life without God have meaning?
Father Larranaga: We are infinite wells that infinite finites will never be able to fill. Only the infinite can satiate an infinite well. Modern culture has displaced God from the center of life, a center which has been taken over by the ego.
The consequences? Lack of solidarity; permissive morality; nothing has meaning; no one is worthwhile; the advent of nihilism, the consequence of which is an infinite void that threatens to asphyxiate humanity. And the end is suicide. A society without God ends up as a society against man.
Q: You say that what most disconcerts man is God's silence. Is prayer the best way to be "in tune" with him?
Father Larranaga: Prayer is a way of establishing an affective current with a You, so that two presences previously known and loved make themselves mutually present, and that current is established by giving and receiving, by loving and feeling loved in the silence of the heart, in faith, in love.
Q: Can one learn how to pray?
Father Larranaga: Prayer is a gift of God, and God's first gift. But it is also an art, as it is the convergence of grace and nature. And, as art, it is subject to the norms of learning and other psychological laws. To pray well, therefore, one needs method and discipline.
Q: Is it easy to pray?
Father Larranaga: To pray an Our Father or Hail Mary is easy. However, if it is a question of concentrating one's mental energies on a You, in the silence of the heart, in faith, in love ... to pray is not easy.
One must calm one's nerves, let go one's tensions, silence interior clamor, and, in the final solitude of one's being, accept the infinite mystery of God and adore! That's not easy.
Q: "He who feels loved by God knows not fear," you say in "God Within." In our fear-ridden society, does prayer liberate? Does relating to God and experiencing him do away with our fear definitively?
Father Larranaga: To live profoundly the loving and powerful presence of God, to experience his tenderness in all its depth, to live abandoned and full of confidence in his hands ... all this uproots inexorably and forever the apprehensions and fears of the heart. And they are replaced by peace.
Q: People complain that they "pray and don't change."
Father Larranaga: One must ask if by praying they are as they would be if they didn't pray. People make constant efforts to be patient, but no one sees it. How many silent successes there are without any one having noticed them! One cannot say so lightly, they "pray and don't change."
Q: Did Christ also revolutionize prayer?
Father Larranaga: Jesus called God "Abba," "dear Daddy," and he said: "When you pray, go into your room, shut the door and pray to your Father, who is there alone with you."
And he also said: "Worship the Father not on this mountain, or on Mount Sinai, or in this or that temple, but in spirit and truth." There is no greater revolution.
Q: What are the Prayer and Life Workshops?
Father Larranaga: They are a method of new evangelization in which one exercises friendship with the Lord, a radical process of purification and pacification takes place, and one undertakes the path to holiness, imitating Christ.
Q: What are the keys to realize a profound and fruitful prayer?
Father Larranaga: To persevere in patience, in pure naked faith. To remain alone with God in loving and peaceful attention, in calm and quiet. God will do the rest.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Society, God, Man, Faith, Larranaga
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis calls for prayers following terror attacks in Spain, Finland
- Daily Readings for Saturday, August 19, 2017
- Mother shares tragic photo of dying daughter as she pulled the plug ...
- Pope Francis asks for prayers following terror attacks in Spain HD Video
- St. John Eudes: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 19, 2017
- Mother shares heartbreaking photo of her dying daughter as she pulls ...
- New Jersey Mayor dismantles shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, August 21st, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, August 20th, 2017 HD
- Charlie Gard's mother opens up about the beautiful life of terminally ill Charlie HD