Saturday, February 5, 2011

Real Prayer is faster than 4G

One of the activities I did with high schoolers on retreat was known as the 'cell phone challenge'  It was born out of my getting tired of watching them glance at their phone or even commit the sin of blind texting.
So I decided to use the phone as a retreat prop. 
And it went something like this...
They paired up and the challenge was for one person to text the Hail Mary to the other person's phone.  While they competed I used whoever didn't have a phone (through the years that number decreased) as a 'reciter'  The reciters simply repeated the prayer, again, and again, and again until someone yelled that they received the text.  Then I had that person read it aloud--usually whole sentences were missing and often times there was a wild morphing of the Our Father and Hail Mary.
Many of them didn't even know the Hail Mary--(yeah religious formation!) but that is for another posting.

Funny though--the reciters felt like they prayed--and the texters didn't. 
Real prayer is faster than 4G.

I picked up a bunch of copies of the Pieta prayer book and spent the last couple of months distributing them.  Originally intended for just the high school kids, soon catechists, and other adults were also asking for them.

They were so grateful.
--all it was was a blue prayer book. 

Their souls were hungry.

Take a prayer book and sit before the Blessed Sacrament-treat your soul.

As a deacon and later a priest I was required to pray everyday the Liturgy of the Hours--the prayer of the Church.
I failed miserably at doing it.  There was a joke that you should buy ribbon insurance so when you died in the rectory someone would sneak in and update your prayer book--to make it look like you died cloaked in sanctity.
When I was released of my priestly life by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict--I was released from the promise of celibacy and the obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

Now, as a husband and dad--i pray them more than I ever did as a priest.

Two other prayer books have my attention now.
The Raccolta
The Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book

If your looking ahead to Lent--dust of the books and ready the knees.