There is an interesting incident that is reported from the land of Africa.
When the early Africans converted to Christianity, they were extremely earnest and regular, especially in their personal devotions.
Each one of them, would choose a separate spot in the midst of a thicket.
>> In that personal spot, the person would pour out one’s heart to God.
>> It was a moment of deepening one’s relationship with the Lord
>> It was a place of personally strengthening one’s bond with the Saviour
As time passed by, these spots would become well-worn out.
>> The paths had been smoothed
As a result, if any of the converts failed to be regular in personal prayer, it was easily noticeable and clearly evident to the others!
Therefore, they would gently remind the one who was negligent, “Brother/Sister, the grass is growing on your path!!”
“The grass is growing on your path” – became a reminder for the one who was slipping down the path of devotion and prayer, to revive one’s spiritual fervour and zeal.
“Is there grass growing on our paths?”
… is a question that we need to constantly ask ourselves and execute the necessary steps in order to reinforce or to strengthen our personal prayer lives!
The Gospel of the Day present a wonderful depiction of our Blessed Lord – Jesus praying in solitude.
St Luke paints an inspiring image of our Lord when he says, “And it came to pass, as Jesus was praying alone…” (Lk 9: 18)
During His earthly ministry, Jesus had a very strong priority and choice: Finding time to be alone with His Beloved Father, in prayer.
This was especially pointed out by St Luke whose Gospel is called as the “Gospel of Prayer”
>> At the Baptism: “After all people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying…” (Lk 3: 21)
>> After many healings: ” … He would withdraw to deserted places to pray” (Lk 5:16)
>> Before choosing the Twelve: “In those days, He departed to the mountains to pray…” (Lk 6: 12)
>> At Transfiguration: “… Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray…” (Lk 9: 28)
Many are such occasions that St Luke points to drive home the message that Jesus cherished, loved and made time for Personal Prayer.
Is my life rooted in Prayer?
>> This is a fundamental question that we need to constantly pose to ourselves and be moved by the answers that we get to it.
We complain very often that we don’t find time for prayer..
.. being busy with a number of assignments, duty demands, work schedules!
We tend to say that prayer doesn’t interest us…
… unable to enjoy sometime alone and to be quiet and recollected in the Awesome and Still Presence of the Lord!
We find ample number of excuses to cancel out “prayer” from our timetable of life…
… giving a reason that “God will anyway wait for us” whereas our moments of enjoyment and fun may not come too often!
But our Blessed Lord today invites to seek and cherish “prayer” in our lives.
>> We are called to have a “taste for prayer”!
Spending time with a person whom one loves is certainly not a painful task or an unnecessary task or deed required an extra effort.
>> One loves to be with the person who is loved…
….. to spend quiet moments
….. to speak out one’s heart
….. to expose one’s inner emotions
And this “being with” Our Blessed Lord is “Prayer”!
Let us make efforts to reserve and preserve, at least a few minutes, in personal prayer, to grow in our union with the Lord.
It is only these precious moments of prayer…
… that will help us to deepen our conviction to say that Jesus is the “Messiah of God” (Lk 9: 20)
… that will take us through, with our Crucified Lord (Lk 9: 22), in our moments of struggles and hardships.
“Is there grass growing on our paths…?”
>> the grass of laziness and lethargy
>> the grass of disinterest and indifference
>> the grass of meaninglessness and hopelessness
.. then we need to make smooth these paths by reviving and reinvigorating our prayer lives!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Prayer, united with the Divine Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, has an indescribable force…
… therefore by this means celestial favors united to the Beloved abound in the soul!”