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Monday, March 6, 2017

Babbling at Prayer

"In praying, do not babble." Mt 6:7

Especially when we are anxious, there is a temptation to use too many words in prayer as if the more we speak the easier it will be for God to hear us and conform to our will. This happens to all of us from time to time and we should not let it bother us inordinately, but it is important to practice silence.

Traditionally, Babel, as described in the book of Genesis, is God's punishment of those who are trying to shape a world that could reach into the skies and and make them like God. When God disperses the people and they develop their own languages, the unity that God desires as a way to offer him praise is lost.

The apostles often babbled. Peter is especially guilty of this. Often he pretends that he understands Jesus' needs more than the other apostles, and regularly puts his foot in his mouth. (Mt 16:22) Only at Pentecost, when Peter and the apostles submit themselves to God totally, are all the people of the world able to understand them when they speak in the power of the Spirit. The same can be true for us.

Today, be quiet at prayer. Sit in the silence of God's presence.

Why is it so difficult to be quiet at prayer?

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