Monday, 11 February 2008

Entering into the Prayer of Jesus

Last November I was with a group of priests who were lead in Retreat by Mgr Francis Frost in Ars. His talks to us were utterly engaging for he spoke with us about the heart of the Priesthood. I would like to share some of the ideas with you that I took from the retreat.
How should we live out our priesthood? The answer lies in our relationship with Christ in the Eucharist: being faithful in solitude to Christ present as the Eucharist will lead us to become aware of what Christ has given to us. This solitude with Christ will sustain us in a world which doesn't regard such things.
How does Jesus pray? Jesus, in the Gospels, is aware that when his disciples see him pray they are confronted with the Mystery of his person. The Jewish scribes used to teach methods of prayer, but when his disciples come and ask him to teach them how to pray he gave them the words of the "Our Father" - with these words you have everything that I want to say to my Father - he gave them the example of his own prayer. They saw him pray and he told them what he said to his Father. Christ confronts his disciples with the fact that they had to "catch" the filial relationship which he had with his Father, and which they had seen him have. This is something for us to be aware of during times of Adoration.
It is the Holy Spirit that would bring the the apostles into the fullness of this relationship. (Indeed, it was on the Cross that Jesus fully reveals that the Kingdom of God is his person - it is, above all, by looking at Christ on the Cross that we begin to understand Jesus' parables and his teachings. This is no "method" of prayer, here we see God's Kingdom being fashioned. This is a theme which B16 refers to time and time again in his book "Jesus of Nazareth".)

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