“Prayer is, at root, simply paying attention to God.”
— Dr. Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment of All Desire, p. 121.
Such a wonderful image: paying attention to God. Imagine that, so simple, yet so often overlooked. Haven’t we all been involved in one sided conversations that we look to escape? It is good that the Lord is patient with us. I sometime describe recollection (which is the necessary preparation of the soul for prayer) as letting the mind settle and quiet down.
We must live Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” This “paying attention to God” struck me as the opposite of the TwitterSphere—a place where everyone strives to tweet out pearls so that “followers” can reap their wisdom and wit. Twitter strikes me as the soul crying out to the world, “Pay attention to me—but I don’t want to hear what you have to say!”
On the other hand, technology can be a great assist. Years ago I visited a man in the hospital. Upon his passing, his wife gave me a little painting that he painted of an angel. I snapped a picture with my phone, and set the angel as the lock screen that I saw every time I looked at my phone. Thus I remembered and prayed for this man and his grieving wife every day for several months.
I began to change my phone picture every 3 months or so— as soon as I would stop noticing the picture there. This got me thinking, why not use this changing image as a daily or weekly reminder of the specific feast day, or special intention of the day or week. Now I can turn every time I glance at my phone into a moment to remember the Lord, and you.
This week I set my phone to a picture of the Holy Cross Academy Staff. Thus I will see, and remember our school every time I turn on my phone for the next month!
There are countless ways throughout the day where we can take a moment and pay attention to God and countless ways we can remember one another. Momentary aspirations, a quick thought sent heavenward, a look of love.
I am going to use my phone to pay better attention to God and you. And that is a prayer.
Pax et bonum,