21 November 2016

Pro Orantibus Day: Celebrating Those Who Pray

Today the Church celebrates "pro orantibus" day, namely the day when we celebrate those who spend their lives in prayer. Cloistered and eremitical vocations certainly are the main ones we call to mind but I am especially reminded of all those are elderly and others who may be isolated or unable to do active ministry who spend their days and nights praying for our world, for our parishes, and so forth.

In prayer we allow God to love and accompany us, to work within to transform our hearts and minds and make us into his own prayers in our world. We give ourselves to God so God might give himself to us and to those to whom we witness. We give ourselves to God so that the face we turn to the world is the very image of God-made-flesh. And of course, we pray and give our lives to prayer so that the deepest law of creation, Love-in-Act, is even more clearly revealed and made more pervasive within and through those same lives. In other words, we do so to glorify God and sanctify our world.

Contemplatives, whether hermits or not, remind us all that God completes us, that we are not truly human unless we are covenant partners with God. The positive side of this, of course,  is that this relationship is the foundation of ALL of our lives and we are each and all of us called to embrace it more fully day by day --- lack of cloister notwithstanding. While "pro orantibus" day celebrates in a special way those who live cloistered and eremitical lives, it also celebrates every person who lives his or her life for God and all that is precious to God by committing to be persons who truly allow God to work within us --- and, by extension, through us.