Disciplining the Family to Practice Mental Prayer

Prayer alone with God….

not just the: “reciting this, reciting that”, “doing this, doing that” devotion.

Finding time and being alone with God. 

That’s why, especially for the big homeschool families, you’ve got to have the hour, at least the hour where nobody’s talking.

No one is allowed to talk during this time, everyone has to have a spiritual book, you’ve got to make your meditation, whatever, but Mom has a right to go have time to pray too.

I get the moms telling me:
“when am I supposed to do that friar?”

Well you’ve got to establish that discipline in the family because you deserve to have that hour…you have to have that time where you can be alone with our Lord.

“But I fall asleep”

Don’t worry about that, you just try to make it through your prayer and you make that time for God, don’t beat yourself up about your human weaknesses but take the time to be alone with God:

For meditation, for recollection, that is making yourself present to God, our Lord says to go to your room and shut your door…go to your room and shut your door.

Now if you’ve got a house full of lots of little ones because you have a newly founded family and God’s blessed you with a lot of little ones, it’s going to be more difficult, but you just have to try.

You can’t just abandon the children and go to your room…they’re going to be flushing each other’s heads in the toilet so you’ll have to balance that for a while until you get some older ones that can take turns taking care of the kids. 

…But you have to have your time, and they have to have their time too. Remember John 6: 45:

“…they shall all be taught by God…”

John. 6: 45

This is important, the reason I bring this up is because everybody wants to go to their phones or their computers, they want to watch YouTube videos, they want somebody else to give them a reflection.

And you’re gonna say “well Friar I found the reflection you gave…”, whatever, “they shall all be taught by God”, you can’t replace the teaching of God entering into your heart and speaking to you, even though you don’t understand it.

Let me help you understand what that looks like because you don’t know that God’s speaking to you when you do this kind of prayer over a long period of time…you’ll start to be talking to somebody and you’ll have a reflection to give them that you didn’t know you knew.

That’s because God speaks in the Silence of your heart without you knowing it. I get tired of hearing all the time “God told me”, “God told me”, I’m like that’s great, I never hear anything.

I never hear anything, I don’t hear God talking to me, the Blessed Virgin doesn’t appear to me, maybe it’s just because I’m spiritually weak, I don’t know, I know maybe it happens to others but the thing is that he does speak in the soul…but I can’t identify what it is until later on I realize that it’s only something God could have made known in me, because contemplative prayer itself is passive.

Passive prayer means that God communicates through the soul, it’s an infusion of Grace just like sanctifying Grace. It doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside.

Contemplative prayer’s passive. Passive prayer is where God prays in you, do you understand the difference? One is you praying to God, the other is God praying in you, and you’re not going to have that unless you arrive at recollection, unless you take time to be alone with God.

That’s why I give that quote “they shall all be taught by God”, John 6: 45, because the things like the YouTube videos, it’s not that they’re evil in themselves, it’s not bad to hear a YouTube video, especially if you don’t have a pastor that is very capable in giving good sermons. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad pastor, just some some people are more capable than others, whatever, maybe you need to go and hear on Sunday a good sermon.

It’s not so you have to eliminate all of that, it means you’re not supposed to only use that for your Reflections in prayer.

God will speak to you…”they shall all be taught by God” so get rid of the obstacles. 

It’s hard to sit alone and try to be alone with God, it’s penance, do you see? you don’t have to go take cold showers for three months, it’s a good thing to go take cold showers for three months I’m not saying not to do it, but that’s not the height of penance.

The height of penance is to do what’s most difficult, and if it’s difficult for you to be alone and pray to the Almighty, that’s penance, and it’s a beautiful penance, do you see?

Penances like that will not go unrewarded, God will love the fact that you are taking time and just sitting with him, and you get zero fruit from it.

Don’t worry about fruits from prayer, God gives them and sometimes he doesn’t want you to know it. They come and you don’t realize until after the fact you: can’t look and see how holy you’re becoming. He’s not going to let you know how holy you’re becoming.

In fact the Holier you become, the more unworthy you feel, because you feel like you’re not becoming holy. It’s actually the opposite that happens of what you think should be happening. That’s why you have people like Saint Francis believing he’s the worst sinner ever do you see, he wasn’t a liar and he wasn’t exaggerating, he was Holy.