Friday, January 15, 2016

Mary TV Daily Reflection 1/15/2016

(c)Mary TV 2014
The prayer of Hannah

January 15, 2016
Dear Family of Mary!
March 25, 1993 "Dear children! Today like never I call you to pray for peace, for peace in your hearts, peace in your families and peace in the whole world, because satan wants war, wants lack of peace, wants to destroy all which is good. Therefore, dear children, pray, pray, pray. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Here is the transcript of Fr. Maximilian's homily on January 12, 2016!  It is about Hannah's prayer to the Lord for a child, and how she teaches us about prayer:
January 12, 2016 Homily at English Mass in Medjugorje!  Fr. Maximilian Dalve:
In the first reading today we find a prayer of Hannah coming straight from the heart....  Our Lady always says, "Pray from the heart!"  "Pray with the heart!"  There we find an example in Hannah.  And God cannot not listen to the tears of a child of His.  For it is His very Spirit, His Holy Spirit who stirs up the deep beauty of that woman.  And the tears also remind Him of the tears of His mother. 
So a true prayer is always stirred up in us by the Holy Spirit.  And obviously God listens to himself, speaking through us speaking in the most beautiful way through tears. 
Obviously the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is not always understood by outsiders.  You see, at Pentecost, even at Pentecost, they thought they were drunk.   And so also here, Eli thought, "She is drunk."   But you see she remains humble.  She doesn't rebel or take offense.  She remains humble and truthful, explaining.  And Eli, who with his blessing, with his priestly anointing to the prayer of Hanna, he was not aware that this prayer was preparing his successor.  What a great day for Eli!   He had his two sons, but his two sons didn't walk in the way of the Lord.
So Samuel was his worthy successor, his great successor.  Eli had a great successor, Samuel.   This prayer of that woman was giving him Samuel, his successor, his great successor.   Such a great day for Eli. 
But let us look a little bit upon the prayer of Hannah - because, you see, she's praying with great affliction.   And this prayer is coming from the heart.  Because she is aware she has a great pain in her heart.    You see, sometimes God allows us to have great afflictions because He wants to give us a great gift!   But we don't understand what He wants to give us so He allows afflictions to happen.  (I tried to make it clear with an example, but I didn't find a better one....sorry,)
As we grow God takes care of us, He dresses us spiritually: He gives us clothes, He gives us shoes so that we can walk - St. Paul speaks about the shoes, and the whole dress of our spiritual journey - And as we grow the shoes become too small.  So he wants to give us greater shoes, bigger shoes, bigger size.  But we don't understand.  That is our problem.  We don't understand the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If we would understand it, it would be much easier for us.   We wouldn't need to have all these afflictions.  We cause them ourselves!   We don't ask for bigger shoes.  He can't give them to us [because we don't ask] and we start to feel pain.  The shoes are too small.  We can't walk in them, and we call out "Lord!  It's painful!"  And He says, "OK!  Finally I can give them to you!"  We could go on as humanity much easier if we understood the will, the plan of God for us. 
And so if we look today around the world.  If we truly would understand what's going on within humanity we would pray, crying aloud with tears, and asking for mercy.   We would do that!  But we don't understand.   And so we let afflictions grow worse and worse and worse for our brothers and sisters throughout the world - also for ourselves and for all humanity! 
But the Spirit would like to stir up this deep prayer in us...the profound beauty, which is compassion and mercy!   Mercy is an inner effect of love.  He would like to stir that up in us.  It is that same Spirit that let Jesus speak with authority, and do wonders and drive out devils. 
It's that same Spirit that speaks through the heart of Hannah.  Because through her affliction God wanted to grant to Israel and to the whole of humanity the great Samuel, the prophet.  It was through the prayer of Hannah.  So think how great Hannah is, how great her prayer was!  How great is hidden prayer....  Now this prayer has been known through the Gospel.  But how many tears will never be written somewhere in the books on this earth - but they are written in the book of God!  God knows those tears.  And how many wonders will happen through those tears.  So please, let's pray.  But let's not pray in boredom.  Let's not pray like this with distraction.  Let's pray with all our heart, with all our being. 
And when she prays with all her heart she doesn't speak aloud...   This tells us that in the Old Testament prayer was said only aloud.  So Eli thought she was only moving her lips.  He thought she's not praying, she was drunk.
English: Roman Catholic monks of the singing o...
English: Roman Catholic monks of the singing on at St. Mary's Abbey in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even the old monks, the Benedictine monks, when they prayed, when they made their readings, their meditations, they prayed aloud, not just in their heart.   Even at the time of Teresa of Avila which is 500 years ago, it was said to her: if you pray, just pray, just pray with your mouth.  It is dangerous to go into your mind.  They said this was so, especially for a woman! It is dangerous - these great theologians, how kind they were!  It is dangerous to go into your mind and reflect.... Just say your prayers.  That's it!    That was terrible!   But Teresa of Avila, true woman, said "No!"  And she followed the way of the Spirit and gave us that wonderful teaching we have today about prayer!  She speaks about vocal prayer, which is the participation of our body in prayer   Vocal prayer.  Our body prays.   But we have also our mind.  So, she speaks about mental prayer.  And she said that vocal prayer can never be alone. 
Even here in Medjugorje I heard someone saying: just pray, just pray.  It's not important where your mind is.  No!  Not at all.   Not at all!  We are not robots.   The more we say, the more prayer will given to us.   Because it is the quality of our prayer....   One prayer from the heart can draw down from heaven wonders of graces....much more than many rosaries said just with distraction, just to say them....  Are we to think that God will be moved by many words?   That's what the pagans think, Jesus tells us in the Gospel. 
And so for mental prayer there are two important points: it is important that I am always aware what I say.  But even more important is to Whom I say it.   And who am I to have the great grace to speak with my Lord!  Who am I (Elizabeth said) that the mother of my Lord comes to me.  Like this we should pray the Hail Mary!  With that spirit of awe, of respect, of deep love, of reverence....   That's mental prayer. 
Mental prayer all by itself follows many forms.  There are many different ways of meditation, where lips don't have to be moving - it's just internal, we can meditate on the Gospel of today... the Passion of Christ, some truth about Creed, about the Gospel.  What's important is there....
And there is another mistake people easily fall into today about mental prayer, of meditation, of spiritual reading.  We can study the Bible and we then try to find a nice beautiful thought.   And that's it. 
And that's true, that's one result of meditation.  But the most important result in prayer is always love.    So it cannot stop with having a nice thought.  Oh, in meditation I had a beautiful thought, I have to share it with you!  That's good.  We have more to know about the truth.   Some light of the truth came to us, and that is good.   But it's the first step.  It needs the other step, that we love the truth more.   Meditation has to become always more affective.... So we pray with the heart, meditative with the heart....  I believe the right word in English is "affective" ....  Always less rational, always more affective, until it becomes a prayer of simplicity.   A prayer of always more inner stillness.    Spiritual fathers speak about "quiet".... The prayer of quiet, inner quiet that is not meditation.   There God brings in, God gives us the prayer of contemplation. 
Contemplation is a prayer in which God is at work, where the Spirit takes over more and more... He takes over always in prayer, because it's always His prayer ... And there His actions are always more clearly seen... and our action is always more just to be available.  To be docile.  And prayer always more becomes simple - can become a look of love.   If we look lovingly towards our Savior, if you look lovingly at the cross, or at a picture, or feel the loving look of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we have entered into a deeper prayer.  Not moving even our lips....
And so I've tried to explain to you different ways of prayer: vocal prayer, mental prayer, contemplation. 
In vocal prayer our body participates in this dialogue with God...
In mental prayer especially, our mind is emphasized....
In contemplation the Holy Spirit takes over in us...
And He would like to do that.  He would like to guide us into contemplation by saying the most normal prayers, by saying the Our Father, by praying the Rosary if we are docile.... He continuously wants to draw us into the depths of the spiritual live, that our prayer will become a prayer of the heart where our prayer, especially in this situation today, may become a prayer made out of tears.  And God will listen to the tears of his child.   And He will send the Holy Spirit. 
And he will give humanity peace. 
So much depends upon our prayers Mary said.  So let's really strive forward that our prayer will truly be always an encounter with God!  A dialogue with God.  Full of love, that of a loving child which entrusts himself totally to God.  And God will listen.   (Homily given January 12, 2016 in Medjugorje!)

Thank you, Fr. Maximilian, for letting us transcribe your homily.  May we all grow in the prayer that God is planting in our hearts, the prayer He wants to answer!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
Mary TV

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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