July 24, 2015

What is the Burning Question in Priestly Formation?

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

One of the most common questions or desires I hear about in the seminary, the school for candidates for the priesthood, is how to pray better.  Here is what we are teaching them.

Desire to Pray and Determination that Comes from It

Teach me how to pray! Thank God first for the desire, for if you are even asking that question you have already come a long way. The fact that you are hungry for God, that you want more of him in your life is a sign that he is already very active, and that you have responded.  St Teresa of Avila repeats many times that THE most important part of prayer is that you do it, that you keep the desire to pray very strong to persevere no matter what happens.

Clean up the Place of Conversation – Your Soul

Go to confession and confess every mortal sin.  A mortal sin kills the life of God in your soul and according to the Council of Trent (yes we do still follow that council like we follow all of them) a person in the state of mortal sin will only be able to please God with the prayer of repentance.  If you try to pray in the state of mortal sin or with an intense attachment to venial sin, it is like sitting and talking to someone in a room that has cow manure all over the floor and walls and big dangerous animals freely roaming.  You would spend most of your time being preoccupied with the stinky mess and the dangerous creatures, unable to engage in conversation at all.

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