Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This is unprecedented! Do I have this much power? Can I order the Lord around? If I ask, will I get? If I look am I sure to find? If I knock hard enough will the door be opened to me? Is prayer like a “magic” trick?
The power of prayer comes from God. In magic, it all comes from the person. In a “magic” trick, technique is everything. In prayer, humility is everything. With “magic”, the words (the spell) are everything. With prayer, the heart is everything. In fact, the words mean nothing to God if the heart is in the wrong place.
A young atheist, who was on a school retreat, once asked me, “Why are so many people crying while they look at a piece of bread?” This individual was referring to an evening of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. This, of course, was not their first retreat. We can all be great imposters! We can all be great impersonators! We can all appear to be interested in knowing something when in reality we have no interest at all. We can all appear to be knocking for the truth, when in reality we are knocking (mocking) the truth. We can easily make it sound like we are knocking on the door, when in fact we are kicking at it. We can all appear to be seeking the truth, when in all truthfulness we are hiding from the truth. We can appear to be asking someone a question, when in reality we are telling them our opinion.
For a small child, everything must be obvious. “Why is mommy crying?” is a question that is often asked by a child when they have witnessed no material or physical cause for tears. They have no clue at all. They associate crying and falling to physical pain: either a slap on the face or a punch in the gut. They can’t for the life of them comprehend a correlation between crying and spiritual pain (and even better, with spiritual healing). For the child in mind, everything must have a material and efficient cause. There can be nothing else. We shouldn’t blame a child for this, for they have not yet learned how to reflect, meditate and contemplate. These things go way beyond their current mental capacity. That mommy or daddy (or anyone for that matter) could be crying because of a letter they received, or on their knees because of a love they have found. No, it is all a mystery – incomprehensible – for the childish mind.
Why do some people cry during adoration? Because they are in the presence of a humble Lord who makes himself available to all who ask, knock and seek, and have been shocked (surprised) and relieved to have found Him through a very particular way (grace).
Prayer is a miracle. Prayer is supernatural. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Some would have it that only that is true which can be verified by reason and science; yet prayer is a mystery that overflows both our conscious and unconscious lives” (no. 2727). In other words, if the Universe gave rise to the human brain so that humans could survive, it also gave rise to the human brain so that humans could think, pray and believe; that is, strive.
Christian prayer is a dialogue with God in Christ. One is never alone. The other is always there. Prayer is always the right moment, the moment to find the Lord. If everyone in the world prayed at least fifteen minutes a day, the world would be a completely different place. If someone prayed every day for their entire life, they would be a different person.
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