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16 May 2021
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Prayer - A Sacred Conversation

Editorial

"Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern not yourself with what you tried and failed in, but what it is still possible to do. Now is the time to put aside past and present setbacks and failures and look with confidence to the new day called tomorrow. Pope John XXIII.

A personal relationship, with God is indeed a sacred gift that brings rich blessings. I love the following reflection on prayer.
"Spiritual poverty clings to nothing and nothing clings to it."

Lord, forgive us that we are so busy when we come into your presence.
We have to tell you all our needs in case you might forget some of them.
We make many resolutions in case you don't think well of us.
We are anxious to get some teaching from you that will keep us faithful to your will. We thank you for the times when you invited us just to be quiet and remain in your love, your permanent unconditional love, the kind you had from your Father.

"Prayer is not meant to change the world. It is meant to change us so that we will then change the world."

Lord, we have made the commandments into cold, objective obligations, and many of them, at that.
We thank you that they are gestures of love;
The tender embrace between husband and wife before leaving for work.
The words of wisdom that a great leader speaks to his intimate followers on his deathbed.
The wave of friends at the airport. They are all gestures that we treasure because they tell us that we are loved, and set us free to give ourselves to others.
Lord, when we look at our lives we discover a history of love. We were loved when we were small, as Jesus was loved by Joseph and Mary.
And that love freed us;
It was a starting point from which we could trust others and give Ourselves to them. And now our children, those whom we have loved in our turn, have grown up and become loving people too.
Lord, that history of love is your presence in the world.
"Be as uninteresting as a glass of cold, clear uninteresting water."
Lord, we thank you for our friends.
We remember when we knew them first.
We admired them SO much that we just wanted to please them, not really to understand them; just like servants.

Then gradually we became friends, as we learnt to trust each Other, to let Ourselves be known, so that we could share what was most intimate to us, the kind of things only you taught us, and there was no such thing as "this is my business".

Fr. Paddy Byrne
Parish Priest - Abbeyleix, Co. Laois