The new year, 2010, is a time of resolutions and new beginnings. Many consider starting a new diet. Others resolve to stop smoking. All of these are wonderful ideas. May I offer one that may not always be on our radar?
This year consider a new routine of prayer. Maybe you have a routine of morning and evening prayer. Maybe the rosary. Maybe adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Again, those are wonderful things. But, maybe you have no routine at all. How about trying on for size spending ten to fifteen minutes a day of listening prayer. What is that? Listening prayer is a prayer which involves no memorized words or any words at all. It is a form of prayer that is likely the most difficult because it requires slowing down one’s mind, opening one’s spiritual ears, and just listening. So often our prayers are filled with our requests and words of angst. Once again, these are good. God wants to know what is on our hearts. However if we are always filling our prayer time with our words, how can God get in his?
The sign of any good relationship is a two-way communication. So, let your prayer also include some time for listening to what God has to say. If you really want to go for it, find an entire hour each day for this kind of prayer. Personally, I have found it to be the most important personal prayer I do. Try it. I guarantee that after a year of serious listening, you will not be the same. Now that would be a great resolution for 2010.
Fr. William Holtzinger