Jul 21, 2006

Rituals can be lies

That was the main theme for Monday's first reading (Isa 1:10-17).

During the Evening of Prayer last Wednesday, I noticed how people said the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.

They were fast, as if it was a must to finish the prayer in an instance. No full-stops, no commas; with one breath they can finish Our Father. I was only half way through the Hail Mary and they have already finished the whole prayer. Wow. This is really 'impressive'.

The questions I asked: Were they really praying? Did they mean what they say? Or they got so used to the prayers that they become nothing but automatic words? Were they performing what Prophet Isaiah mentioned as empty rituals?

I realized that sometimes, I pray like that too. I slurr the words, my mind is empty, and I don't even understand what I am talking about. Lord, have mercy on me!

Praying means communicating with God our Father. Or in other words, we are having a conversation with God during prayer. I personally don't like it when friends are not sincere during a conversation. Likewise, I know that God would not be happy if I pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be just for the sake of praying.

As I write this, I am challenging myself (and readers) to always say what I mean and mean what I say when I pray. Prayers said with a sincere heart, besides bringing glory to God and pleasing Him, we will be blessed with joy, peace and strength.

That is the beauty of prayers (worship & praises to God) when they are said with sincerity and love.
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