Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dominicans and Prayer

Dominic at Prayer

Prayer is one of the pillars of Dominican life.  Pillar can be translated to mean that according to the Dominican way, prayer is suppose to be a major part.  Yes, even a daily component.  Saint Dominic demonstrated fervent prayer for us in his own life.  Unlike other saints of his day, Saint Dominic did not do a lot of writing or correspondence.  But, his early followers did record information about the prayer life of Saint Dominic.  Simply put, his life was shaped by daily prayer. 

So, you would think that after thirty years of this lifestyle, I would at least be getting the pray pillar right!  Not so!  Recently, a dear friend fell seriously ill.  All I could do was bargain with God – which they say is the lowest form of daily prayer.  My own prayer reminded me of a story I heard one of our sisters tell once:  A young boy lost his baseball mitt.  Desperate, he hid the family’s statute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in his sock drawer, knelt down by his bed, and prayed: “Dear Jesus, if you ever want to see your Mother again; help me find my mitt right now!”

These past weeks of daily prayer have taught me that God listens to any prayer – the ones in which we can surrender ourselves completely over to God and the ones in which we strive to stay in charge, to dictate what we want.  What counts, I believe, is what Saint Dominic modeled – that prayer deepens our relationship with God. 

My friend is recuperating beautifully.  What I know now is that whatever the future holds, God will be present and responding in this sometimes tenuous, sometimes holy relationship we call prayer.     

How about your prayer lately? 
Peggy Ryan, OP
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

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