Jesus gives instructions on how to pray in the Gospel on Ash Wednesday:
“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (MT 6:5-6)
When the ego is involved in our prayer, they are not as impactful as they could be. The ego craves recognition and is fearful by its nature. When you have a transcendent experience, what you transcend is the ego and you move into Spirit.
When the Spirit prays it asks for strength, insight and guidance to face the future.
When the ego prays it holds on to its attachments and asks for specifics in an attempt to control the future. I believe possibly the most important lesson we are here on earth to learn is about control: when to take control; and when to surrender. The ego does not surrender only the spirit can do that, and only with the driving force of faith. When you surrender you surrender to the God force that you are an intimate part of. The ego fears the future and death. The Spirit I commune with tells me death is an illusion
To transcend the ego does not mean to eliminate the ego, but to put it in its proper place. The ego does carry an identity, history and personality that move on to the next theatre of life, after death of the body.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.
2 thoughts on “When I Pray”
Enjoy reading both you and Dan’s blog in the morning. Always interesting material.
Very well written article and a lot to think about,