Be prayer, be light, and be witnesses (Fr Ljubo Kurtović, OFM)

Our Lady, as a true mother, never ceases to invite, encourage and guide her children in the ways of life found in God. Our Lady knows no other way or way of life except prayer. That is why she tells us in this message, “Be prayer, be light, and be witness.” Biographers say of St. Francis of Assisi that he not only prayed, but became prayer. There is no other way to light except prayer. Those who choose to pray will be illuminated with light. And only light can illuminate and show the way to others.

From the Gospel we know how Jesus prayed on Mount Tabor. The fruit of his prayer was transfiguration. In the Gospel we read, “And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun.” (Matthews 17:2)

Only in prayer can we come to know and love God. In prayer we find meaning, strength and guidance for life. We become what we truly want to be.

A story of the Desert Fathers tells us about the nature of prayer, “A young monk asked an old teacher, ‘How long will it take me to reach enlightenment?’ The teacher answered him, ‘Five years.’ The monk asked him, ‘And if I try really hard?’ The teacher answered him, ‘Ten years.’”

Prayer is a grace from God. We must never forget that. But God fervently wants to give us that grace. It is grace that we ourselves can affect the reception of. Let us begin simply. Let us ask God for the grace of the spirit of prayer.

It is difficult to be a person of prayer if we are just in a hurry and burdened with a lot of tasks that need to be done. One thing we must do if we want to become people of prayer: to slow down. Try this: instead of devouring food, savor every bite. Instead of rushing down the street, take a leisurely walk. If you are waiting for someone or something, avoid the temptation to fill your time with work. Instead, use those few minutes to become aware of the world around you and within you.

Prayer begins with concentration. And we can practice concentration. Slowing down and focusing while praying are key moments for prayer, because it increases the likelihood that we will encounter God’s footprints in our daily lives.

The writer E. L. Doctorow once said, “Planning writing is not writing. Telling people about writing is not writing. Writing is writing.” We can say the same thing about prayer. Planning prayer is not prayer. Telling people about prayer is not prayer. Only prayer is prayer. And prayer is essentially a conversation with God. Prayer connects us with God, who is absolute goodness, truth, and beauty. Let us allow God to triumph in us by the power of his resurrection, which we can already experience in prayer, which brings us closer to the Lord.

Let us pray:

Our Lady, you who accompanied your Son Jesus on the Way of the Cross, and who do not cease to accompany your children to the end of the world, intercede for us, pray with us and for us, as you prayed with the first Church. You, full of grace, you who are blessed, you who are wisest, because you have chosen what is divine and eternal, help us also to choose and follow what is imperishable and eternal. Teach us also, Our Lady, to pray that we may persevere on the path of prayer and day by day become a prayer that leads to the light, which is God. You, who are the Mother of God, full of grace, full of God, all turned to God, we ask you to lead us to God, so that we too may be witnesses by our lives to all who seek the light and meaning of life. Amen. 

Read Previous

The Sorrowful Mysteries (Fr Slavko Barbarić, OFM)

Read Next

Message of the Queen of Peace, 25. April 2024