Few years ago, I visited the mother of my fellow altar server in the hospital. While we were exchanging stories, she suddenly said, “You are all altar servers here. Keep on praying for me because you are working for an extraordinary boss. Do not underestimate the power of prayers.” I was struck by her statements because, admittedly, even if we had a monthly communal schedule of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, prayed the rosary together twice a month, a group Lectio Divina once a month, visited families of fellow altar servers, and had other activities in the parish, they have already become routinary and ordinary.
In the Gospel today, Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray and He gave them the Lord’s prayer. Looking deeper at my experiences as an altar server, I think these activities were also God’s ways to deepen my relationship with Him. Without me knowing, they had also started to nurture my vocation. As Henri Nouwen said, “Often you will find that nothing happens in your prayer… But if you develop the discipline of spending one half-hour a day listening to the voice of love, you will gradually discover that something is happening of which you were not even conscious.” The challenge of the Gospel today is to spend more time with the Lord. Amidst the busy schedule in the seminary, I must find time to be silent and listen carefully to the voice of God speaking. There may be times that one may feel dryness, as if nothing seems to happen in prayer, but the fact that we are there praying already changes something within us.
By: Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”