In response to people’s questions about prayer, I would like to say a number of things. I believe we can be taught to pray. My novice-master, Rev. Bro. James Quentin Harney cfc taught me how to pray, and I will always be grateful for that. Perhaps the best book on prayer that I have read is, Teach Us to Pray by Andre Louf, though I agree it’s not an easy read. Of course the Our Father has a beautiful perfect simplicity that cannot be surpassed, not least of all because it is the Lord’s own prayer. I love St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Thomas Merton’s prayer is one of my favourites, so much so that I used it for my ordination card. Whilst the demand of Charles de Foucauld’s Prayer of Abandonment continues to challenge me I recognise its power. There is a particular beauty in a reflective scripture rosary or a meditative Way of the Cross. We should not dismiss the simple little prayers of the heart, little darts of love…Thank you Jesus….Lord help me…Father forgive me. I love Night Prayer, as in the Divine Office. The ultimate prayer, the pinnacle, is of course the Eucharist. Aside from this, at this stage of my life I have moved towards the prayer of silence. Wordless time in the presence of the Lord. He looks at me and smiles and whilst I don’t always get it, He is mad about me, as in He loves me totally and completely. Gradually He lifts my head and I look at Him, and then I’m gone….melted…falling in His Love……Having said all that, for what it’s worth here’s one of my own written prayers…


Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all creation, ESPECIALLY US, my sisters and brothers, the high
point of your work. Thank You for the wonder of all you have made, thanks for the
mountains and for the sea, when it’s calm, but also when it thunders and crashes. Father,
thank You for colour, for all the green but most especially my favourite, a BIG thank You
for purple. Thanks for flowers and plants. Thank You for busy lizzies, for rhododendrons
and of course for roses. One of Your greatest presents to us is the gift of wildlife and
animals. I could list so many beautiful things here, but I will stick with the best of all.
Heavenly Father thank You for giving us dogs. Yes, thanks for German Shepherds, for
Bichon Frise and Labradors, and thanks even for Pugs, but WOW, how you excelled
Yourself with Boxers! Imagine a world without Boxers, a horrible chilling thought! Thank
You so much for Boxers!

Lord Jesus,
Thank You for becoming one of us! Thank You, Lord, for being fully divine, and fully
human. Thank You for being a baby, a toddler, a child and a teenager. Thanks for crying,
for laughing, thanks for falling, and thanks for getting up again. Lord Jesus thanks for
Your words, Your teaching, Your stories, and especially for all Your actions. Every single
one of these packed with love for us. Thanks for Your hands gently upon us. Thank You,
Lord, for your healing. Thank You, Jesus; for Your Body, Your Blood. Thank You, Lord,
for Good Friday. What pain! What suffering! What love! Thank You for the victory, for
beating Death. Thank You, Lord for Easter dawn. Thanks for changing sickness, suffering
and death forever. Lord, thank You for helping me to relate to others. Thank You Jesus
for the gift of others, for the joy and pain of being human, for the beauty and wonder of
people, and how they lead me to grow into the beautiful person You want me to be.

Holy Spirit,
Thank You for being within me. Thank You for moving inside my soul, for stirring
me to think of God. Thank You for nudging me towards the Kingdom of Heaven. Thanks
for swirling around me when I am frightened. Holy Spirit thanks for the joy of the dance.
Thank You for your gifts. Thank You for prudence, wisdom and courage. Thank You, Holy
Spirit for causing our jaws to drop, and our eyes to pop at God present in the world. For
music and song, rhythm and beat, and art, thank You. Holy Spirit, thanks above all for
Your gentle whisper deep in my soul, telling me all will be well, murmuring to me not to be
afraid. Amen.
J MC DONALD. 22.08.16
P .S. Thanks for the stars, and the changing face of the moon, and rabbits, and I nearly forgot, thanks
for chocolate! Amen!


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