Living Gospel Equality Now: Loving in the Heart of God: Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Monday, February 23, 2015
"God is nuts about you and if you want to change your life, spend 10 minutes each day with God" Homily at Free Spirit Inclusive Catholic Community, Greenville, North Carolina by Ann Harrington, ARCWP
Ann Harrington, ARCWP presiding at celebration of Eucharist on First Sunday of Lent in Greenville, North Carolina
month those who attended our liturgy each put their name on a candle holder and
placed it on the altar with their prayers.
At the end of the service we each took a holder with someone's name, not
our own. I had done this on retreat and
thought it was a great way to encourage prayer.
I hope it did. I suggest those of
you who did take a candle last time may want to write a card or email the person you prayed for and tell them what
you prayed for them and what it was like
praying for your person. I have decided
to give one of my cherished books to the person I prayed for. We are building community here. Community is built on prayer. To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this
world dreams of.”
In the season of Lent, holy
mother church, reminds us to renew our prayer life. Thus I thought it a good idea to center our
reflection time around prayer. The first
prayer experience I remember was my Dad teaching me the Sign of the Cross and
the Hail Mary. We never prayed as a
family, not even before meals. Years,
later when I was in my agnostic phase, I was friends with a lovely couple who
were Catholics in the Charismatic Renewal movement, Rose Mary and Jim. Jim said a beautiful blessing at a meal and I
was very touched by the poetry of the words and the intimate way that he spoke
to God. So prayer seemed to me to be a
conversation, at least as he was praying.
Around the same time I had a conversion experience and returned to
church and started going to Jim and Rose Mary's prayer meetings and I learned
to pray like them. In the same time
frame a wonderful priest mentioned this in
God is nuts about you
and if you want to change your life, spend 10 minutes each day with just
God. Go to a quiet place and just be. I knew my life had to change, I felt
something longing inside me, something wanting to emerge, so I did as Fr.
Valentine suggested and started praying everyday when the boys were
napping. I read a book on Centering
Prayer and did that as best I could.
More times than not I fell asleep.
But I read where Teresa of Liseux said that was OK. The intention was to be in God's
presence. Everyday at 1pm or so, I
turned off the phone and sat quietly.
More and more I felt like I was getting the hang of it. Not that it was easy, but I found it did something
profound. It revealed a thirst for God or maybe I just got in touch
with God's longing for me. Eventually I
did attend a Centering Prayer retreat and learned more of this technique. And it did lead to radical changes in my
life. good life enhancing changes.
Spiritual Direction we encourage people to find that thing that brings them to
that deeper level of existence, those "aha" moments. We have talked about these before. I hope this Lent you will spend more of your
time being in those prayerful places. Perhaps
you even want to explore a new prayer practice, there are many to choose
from. Let the Spirit be your guide.
question: What is your experience of prayer?