20 June 2008

when i was little

When I was little I spoke to the angels. Not like I had visions or anything. I just knew they were there helping and protecting me, so I figured I'd talk to them on occasion. Often I'd just thank them for their help. I must have mentioned it to someone because I remember being told that we only pray (talk) to God. So after that when I'd pray to God, I'd ask him to please strengthen my angels and to thank them for me :) lol. Now I understand that it is always good to give thanks (to friends, saints, angels) and, in the same breath, to give the glory to God since it is through Him that all things come to us.

When I was little I loved the story about how Jesus said "Let the little children come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." I believed that children are particularly special to Jesus and hoped and prayed that He would return to earth while I was still young so that I could be that special little child who got to sit on His lap. How I longed for His coming!

When I was little I prayed really hard for about a week that it would literally rain money. I believed He could make it happen and saw no reason why it wouldn't be a good idea (except that the falling change would kinda hurt, like hail does). I was told that that is not exactly the kind of prayer God is likely to grant, but I just figured they probably never even tried it. Well, turns out they were right.

When I was little I often questioned my salvation and therefore would ask God again and again to come into my heart. Later I was told that I shouldn't doubt and that I didn't need to keep asking. So I stopped asking, but I didn't stop wondering/questioning until I was a little older.

When I was little I was so many things. It is funny to look back.

What comes to mind when you look back?

15 June 2008

not so smart afterall

Recently I have noticed in myself a tendency to think and read more about spiritual things than actually live a spiritual life of prayer. It's an ironic temptation. For example, often times I read or write late into the night, come away tired and then (sometimes) say a quick prayer and cross myself before drifting off to sleep. Honestly, if the angels wouldn't whisper, "Is this bed to be my coffin..?" in my ear, I'm not sure I'd even get a quick prayer in half the time. Other times when I am actually praying, very often certain words will spark different thoughts on a related subject and I will be thinking about those things while my mouth is reciting prayers.

I am now reading a book called The Way of a Pilgrim (author unknown). It is a lovely little book full of wisdom about understanding Prayer of the Heart (Jesus Prayer) and learning to apply it. Just the other night I encountered this dialogue which deals exactly with my issue. I offer it here in case it may encourage you as it has me. I put in bold my favorite part.

(spiritual Father) "Tell me more about the edifying experiences you have encountered in your wanderings."

(pilgrim) "It would take a long time to tell of them all; besides, I have already forgotten a great deal; I have always tried to remember only that which guided and urged my indolent soul to prayer. All the rest I remember but rarely. Or rather, I try to forget the past, as the Apostle Paul bids us. My late elder of blessed memory also used to say that forces opposed to the Prayer in the heart assail us from two sides, from the right hand and the left. In other words, if the enemy cannot distract us from prayer by means of vain and sinful thoughts, he brings back edifying reminiscences into our minds, or fills them with beautiful ideas so that he may draw us away from the Prayer--a thing which he cannot bear. This is called 'a theft from from the right side,' where the soul, forgetting its intercourse with God, revels in a colloquy with itself or with other created things. Therefore, he taught me to shut myself off from even the most sublime spiritual thoughts whenever I am at prayer. And if at the end of the day I remembered that more time had been given to lofty ideas and talks than to the essential secret Prayer of the Heart, I was to consider it a sign of spiritual covetousness and immoderation."