All Conversations in My Heart
Monday, August 11, 2014
  A hint on good prayer, my own thoughts on the Church's uses.
I want to write about praying and tell you how I have managed to overcome many of my personal problems with my prayers. These thoughts and actions are mine and seem to work for me both in the area of concentration and how to frame my words. Unfortunately you will find what I write is assertive, but I support my views with the claim, the need for prayer in the various parts of our life in this world is absolutely necessary. I will always be assertive about this viewpoint. It comes from trust in those answers seen and heard. I write to say proper prayer in the context and description given by the Catholic and Apostolic Church is a command of the Second Great Commandment. If we expect Christ to pray for us, and He does, then we must be obedient and do for others as He does for us. We have a duty according to the directives of Christ to pray for even those we do not particularly like. It is therefore no matter how many of you scream denials at my viewpoint, if it is Christ's scriptural directive then it is a grave sin not to pray for others and even for those we may never meet or get to know. We must acknowledge and do as Christ did pray even unto death for the salvation of others. It was taught and generally accepted in the past that not to pray for the Pope is a sin.
I asked myself, as do many, is there an easy method of prayer, gratuitously given to anyone? I believe there is but it is truly dependent on God's intentions when He creates us. There are those it would seem whose prayers He needs specifically which often leads to the formation of a victim soul. That is truly an anomaly. His creative thought for us all is, we are all to pray. For us who are shall we say average catholics we pray but are so often distracted. How we can fight this can be found in Fr G.H.Joyce's book “The Catholic Doctrine of Grace”. Then at the harder end of the scale, it is one dreary slog after another, often a period of boredom and ennui and even the great prayer of the Church the sacrifice of the mass can be viewed as a pious coma. This fact is the reason the liberal reformers instituted a far less contemplative prayer called the Novus Ordo. This modern priestly accommodation has led to an action severely frowned upon previously and that is “turning one's back on the altar” at the so called sign of peace. I urge many of you to consider God's promise of what He will do for those who make the claim of peace where there is no peace. Who are the real prayers among us? It is the women and I cannot but watch in an admiring amusement with a feeling of awe at those women, truly lost in prayer. We must at all costs avoid praying for personal material gain, Those prayers which Blessed Mary assures me are selfish 'gimmes”, and have become normal petitions in today's material world. We are greedy and look for wealth and comfort not accepting that our providential God takes care of all our needs. This is the true trust in God It is Faith, Hope and Charity bound together, yet sometimes He may seem a little slow. Most of us sit at home and never pray but rarely.
The devil's magic lantern, the television set, occupies our drooling minds with visions of an earthly paradise where all the young practice adultery, every hour on the hour. Thieves and robbers are aggrandized as Robin Hoods and held as heroes. They are certainly not heroes of virtue. On American TV we rarely see ordinary folk, all are buff well dressed, by modern standards. Magnificent figures of men and women with their physical attractions modified and accentuated by clothes or the lack of them. These sexual idols spend more time in the gym with a personal trainer than time spent with a spiritual trainer in prayer. These idols for our adoration give us images to drool over, placing the unwary into a thought process in which we ardently desire to imitate them rather than Christ or Blessed Mary. Advertisements show modern powerful cars and how cheap it is to borrow money to acquire them. Food and foodstuffs are praised to the nth. degree. Foods which are dangerous to our health. It is imperative we pass on to our families, our children and friends an abhorrence of the sinful results that will follow from a constant time before such a lying magic lantern or opening our kids minds to such a Pandora’s box of evil desires.
Prayer according to the catechism by or from which I learned my Catholic faith states, “Prayer is the raising up of the Heart and Mind to God”. It is I contend from this, an exterior and an interior liveliness directed towards God with total concentration. Therefore, in older books more accurate than the modern and false dichotomies we read today, we find the phrase “bodily worship” for the ancient worshipers and adorers of God, the Hebrews and in prevatican 2 times this meant the positioning of the body in an act of concentration before God. Perhaps a good description would be a placing one's soul in humble supplication in the presence of God. The Hebrews got this right. They knelt on their knees with their heads touching the floor. A position of total reverence and adoration. We tend to miss the mark nowadays in our often wrong headed catholic view of Our Lord and our God. Now we must look at the heart how can that be included with effort into the prayerful equation of the Church's teachings. I can assure you this is not easy. St Teresa of Avila wrote we must pray from the very centre of our heart and later called it the inner chamber of our soul. The Church and scriptures are insistent that heart and soul are joined together, in fact the buzzword of the Church has always stated heart and soul, even the prewar and after secular music world has always written songs with words that link the two together.
Is there then a recognized and recommended way to use the heart in prayer? A method that is written and explained by the Church? Of course there is the Church which I grew up in has always known but little publicized the Byzantine Pray of the Heart. In my life I have utilized it to become the basis of my prayer, all the different prayers if the Church can eventually be prayed this way. Now for some they will never be able to use the heart in this manner, some will grow into it slowly, others will take to it quickly. This is the official view of the Catholic Byzantine Church. The prayer of the heart has been taken from scriptures and is based of the prayer of the publican. The tax collector who stayed at the back of the synagogue and said, “Lord forgive me for I am a sinner” while the Pharasitic man of the Church prayed full of, “look at me I am holy”. He told God of his personal delights in his holiness and purity. The Byzantine Church uses the words, “Lord Jesus of Nazareth, Son of the Living God pray for me for I am a sinner”. Now here is an explanation of how the Byzantines say this pray. It is repetitively spoken and the effort is made to use a little ventriloquism. Those who the pray must try to make the words be present in his or her heart, to come from their heart. I was once made aware that all prayers are answered that come from the very center of the heart. Of course the heart must be pure to be heard. This is a scriptural quote. It can be done and as I have written above some can do it at once, some it takes only a little while, others will find it very hard and I have heard of some who can't do it, who give up when a permissive priest says it does not matter. These priests never say, “Keep trying, persevere”. The end result is found in all our prayer lives when even saying the Rosary or Divine Mercy will come from the heart too and the burning (in the heart) of which St Paul teaches will occasionally occur. The ones who find it hard or cannot quite manage it seems to be those lacking in the use of Mysteries of the Church, that is infrequent visits if ever to the Sacrament of Confession and Penance, which leads to a poor disposition to receive the grace that sanctifies. This coupled with a lack of a daily conscience examination seems to be a barrier to advancing in prayer. One can say that true purity of Heart is missing and steps should be taken to right this wrong headed attitude to God's providential mercy found in the Sacrament of Confession.
The Byzantines have made this way of praying into a minor ritual by prostrating themselves with their knees on the ground and their foreheads touching the ground too. They say Lord Jesus of Nazareth, Son of the Living God, and then stand to say, "Have mercy on me a sinner"
It is used this way or was as a penance in one Church I visited. If you think making your penance this way in front the altar or as they do before the Holy Doors is easy then do try it for yourselves. I use many of our Latin Church ejaculations, such as, “I adore Thee O Christ and praise Thee....Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world”. I have used the Glory be. I have been asked in deep prayer to pray for the Church so I say, “Lord Jesus of Nazareth, Lord have mercy on your Children, pray for us......Lord of mercy help us to examine our conscience. I use others of the same ilk to pray for my family. I use it for those who keep warfare, rape and destruction going, that they should be removed from the arenas according to His will. I use similar words for, all the women of the world. All of these petitions Blessed Mary has directed me to pray for. I have been praying for a long time time now for the Pope but more so for the papal office that no one including the occupant will hold it in scandal or make it scandalous and all those who try to use it for their own aggrandizement will receive due punishment publicly as their reward.

Again if you have any sense for your eternal spiritual life take this to your parish priest and get his comments.

Here is one of my favourite ejaculations
“Wisdom of the Sacred Head, guide me in your ways
Love of the Sacred Heart consume me with Your fire”.

given an Imprimatur of the Vicar General of England late 1800's

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