Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prayer Models

On this feast day of Saint Monica, I consider prayer. St. Paul exhorts us to "pray without ceasing." St. Monica lived that advice. She was instrumental in the conversion of her husband and her son (St. Augustine... who's feast day is tomorrow) through 30 years of constant prayer and petition.

Prayer has been foremost on my mind this week. The week began with Sunday afternoon's retreat planning session at Vision of Peace, where prayer was a focus of the talks and a necessary component of completing the work. Monday, I started an often-stilted attempt to set several "prayer stops" into my day. Tuesday morning found me praying in fear for my daughter.

And then I came across this picture, courtesy of 24 Hours in Pictures:

Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty

The caption reads: Mumbai, India: Hindu holy men chant mantras and pray in the Varuna Yajna ritual to appease the rain God at the Sankara Mattham

I can't help but be inspired by the lengths to which these men have gone to pray to and praise their god. We have different beliefs, but we seek the same Truth.

These men sit in public, in a barrel of water, and chant praise to their god. What's stopping me? What am I allowing to distract me from prayer?

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