Prayer changes and adapts to the circumstances of our life. We will pray differently after we have worked hard all day and are tired as opposed to when we are just waking up in the morning. The rhythms of our life will also alter how we relate to the Lord. Learning how to adapt our prayer is not so much a one size fits all.
ELIZABETH CITY, NC - The Apostolic tradition, integrating both Eastern and Western Christianity, proposes a vast variety of ways of relating to the Lord. The saint is the one who has learned how to harness prayer as the life force of daily activity. Prayer changes and adapts to the circumstances of our life.
The problem is that people get stuck into patterns of prayer that can limit their potential. They do not allow their prayer life to mature and expand. This does not mean that we should abandon a consistent regiment of prayer.
Prayer is a refuge, light a virtual prayer candle
As a deacon, the main structure of my prayer is the liturgy of the hours. For others, it may include a daily recitation of the rosary or a set series of litanies and novenas. Such a rhythm of prayer is essential. The problem comes, when we think that our prayer is limited only to our formal practice
The answer is to let our prayer grow into an integration of what I call the 'ways of relating to the Lord.' As this happens and we learn to adapt our prayer to what we are experiencing, we find that our Lord becomes the constant refuge in the midst of our daily lives.
Instead of prayer and meditation being something we do when we have the time, it becomes the anchor that keeps us aware of the moment and in tune with the promptings of the Spirit. This leads to what St. John of the Cross calls a "habitual remembrance of God." In other words, we cultivate an awareness to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the working of Divine providence in our daily lives.
On my website, I highlight the ways we relate to the Lord (http://www.contemplatio.us/the-ways-of-relating/). A good companion to my writing is New Advent's take on the same topic (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04324b.htm).
In particular, my work is drawn from research I have done in which I have integrated Western and Eastern theology. By this I mean that I integrate insights learned from both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, both of which participate in a sacramental economy founded on the succession of the Apostles.
In the future, I plan on making my work more scholarly in terms of footnotes and other instruments that will help readers to trace the currents that inform my work. For now, I hope it proves a useful guide to help foster a life of intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Deacon Ian VanHeusen is studying to be a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, NC. He writes regularly on his blog www.contemplatio.us.
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Prayer changes and adapts to the circumstances of our life.
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