Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test." (Luke 11: 1-4)
Driving around Houston Medical Center can be tricky and dangerous. Signs are all over the places. As I left the medical building, I saw a Metrorail coming up with a big yellow sign attached on the side of the train which said, “STOP, LOOK, LISTEN”. Not only I did exactly what the sign said but it was an "Aha!" moment for me, a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension of what a prayer life is all about. There are lots of things going in our day, good or bad, a moment of joy in witnessing a baby being born or a moment of sadness in caring for your loved one who is parting. Whether it’s an argument with a spouse, the medications are not working, getting stuck in a traffic or a misunderstanding with a co-worker, at some point today, no doubt, you will probably experience some levels of stress. How can we apply these few simple steps to avoid blowing up/giving up?
STOP: Take a deep breath and count to ten or say a brief prayer, and evaluate the situation by asking God for His wisdom. We need to get away from the noise of the world and pray. It is important to stop all our activities and really turn off the world before the world gets you.
LOOK: Look at the Word of God concerning the situation and find God's perspective. Ask Him for His guidance in the matter. Look at all the pros and cons. Once you have made your case, then be very still and listen for the answer. Please keep in mind that the answer may not be "Yes" or "No." It could be "Wait."
LISTEN: “Every relationship improves when we really start to listen, especially our relationship with God.” (Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness) God interacts with us in various ways. He is endlessly creative in how He communicates to us. In the Sacred Scriptures, God spoke to Daniel through visions (Daniel 10), Balaam through a donkey (Numbers 22), Peter through a rooster (Luke 22: 31-34), and of all things, He spoke to Moses out of a shrub (Exodus 3: 2-6). He is a God who says, “give ear and hear my voice, pay attention and hear my word.” (Isaiah 28:23) Be still and know that I am God! (Psalms 46:11)
Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts. (Psalms 95:7-8)
O Blessed Virgin Mary, you teach us how to hear, listen, and keep the word of God, bring us closer
to the Sacred Heart of your Son. Hail Mary full of grace.
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent-Vuong Nguyen
Sent by Fr. Vincent Nguyen on Wednesday, October 10 at 7:22AM