When you pray, go into your room..........
What is the room to which we go to find the gift of the Father?
The Greek word used here means the storeroom where provisions are kept, the treasury where the money of the state is guarded, a private place where people cannot come and go freely. The public square is not the place of prayer. You play a role there; you are not yourself.
Now we understand the two counsels of Christ on prayer: don't act like the Pharisee; don't act place the pagan. Avoid the ostentation of the one and the babbling of the other. When we speak to God He is not concerned with the pose we assume before the public. He does not judge us on our reputation. Even more - He does not stop at the character we play in our own sight, upon which we are temped to estimate our inner worth. So, in the heart I see myself beyond my role among others. I strip myself to the essential truth of my being. I become or I am challenged to become, the reality behind the masks.
So, do not say that there are places or states in which prayer is impossible. Overworked, ill, distracted, lonely, even sinful - accept being in the precarious situation that is yours at the moment. Do not wait for the ideal conditions or those you think are ideal. The surrender is yourself: the poverty you experience is your prayer. That is enough.
The Parish is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham registered Charity No. 234216.
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