Last Friday through Saturday, our parish has a day of prayer and fasting for the reparation of the sins of the Church. We exposed the blessed Sacrament on the altar at noon and scheduled parishioners to be present and pray all day and all through the night, ending with daily Mass on Saturday morning. All of the clergy, both deacons and priests, committed to spending significant time in prayer along with the parish. To that end I came from the noon exposition through 2:30 PM (when I needed to return home for the kids getting home from school) and then returned in the evening from 6:00 PM through 10:30 PM.
The first thing to comment on is how good it is to be in silent prayer for long periods of time, particularly if one can have the benefit of being in front of Christ in the Eucharist. We live in a world that is remarkably noisy. It is very rare that we’ll spend 4 hours in silent prayer. And if you’ve never done it, I urge you to do it soon. God talks when we listen, it just takes a while for us to clear our head enough to listen. Do it soon!
To that end, during the 9 o’clock hour I was kneeling for Taize prayer (OK, it wasn’t entirely silent). My legs weren’t cooperating. I’ve gained a fair amount of weight this year and my legs haven’t been that happy with the extra weight when I kneel for extended periods. But I was determined to stay on my knees throughout Taize. After about 15 minutes, just when it seemed I would have to sit down, the outside of my vision got foggy. Not the center; I could see the monstrance very clearly. But my periphery vision got pretty out of focus and clouded. It was as if God was encouraging me to be solely focused on him.
And then I heard his wisdom in my mind. “Trust in me. I am more powerful than anyone could possibly imagine. Anything is possible.” From that moment, kneeling became much more easy and I was able to last the entire 40 minutes of Taize on my knees. Additionally, never in my life have I been so sharply focused on staring at Christ. Not much more was said between us for the remainder of the time. There were echos of what God previously had shared with me, but mostly it was just quiet. Instead it was spiritual communion unlike anything I had previously experienced. Christ was with me and I was with Him.
I am very grateful for the experience.
So… spend time in prayer. Make it a priority. Find some quiet time to listen to God. Turn off the phone (really, not just on vibrate, make it so it will in no way interrupt you in any way, even a minor way). Turn off any music with words that will grab your attention. Give the Lord at least an hour to speak to you. Give God the time He desires. Give you brain the time it needs to calm and clear itself so that it can truly listen to God.
You will not be disappointed.