Prayer, the Rhythm of Life
We have come to the end of the Christmas season. The Liturgy for the Feast of the Epiphany brings to a close our Advent reflections, pointing out to us, through the adoration of the Magi, the element on which the whole spiritual life is founded: prayer, or even better, adoration, that is, entering into relationship with God by acknowledging who we are and who he is.
In the contemporary world, marked by brief, evanescent relationships and the frenzied consumption of passing time, we are invited to enter the dimension of prayer, in which time itself becomes prayer and lends a distinctive note to the minutes, hours and days that slip by.
Prayer is not simply a moment in which we suspend our usual activities so as to perform a gesture or ritual. It is not a parenthesis in everyday life. Indeed, it is just the opposite. Prayer should be the background music of our life–an ever-present element in it. It is like an invisible artery that infuses our life with meaning. It is the background color that allows us to see the contours of all our other actions and understand their fullest significance.
The best inspirations of the Spirit come to us during prayer, the “place” through which God enters the world and permeates our mind, heart and actions.
The Magi, who bow down in adoration before Jesus, remind us that everyone, even those who come from afar, following a star, a dream or sometimes even a simple desire, experience immense joy when they glimpse the path leading to the true peace that only prayer can give.
But prayer does not consist solely of consolations received. It also involves the aspect of offering. Just as the Magi brought the Lord gifts, so too we, today’s pilgrims, seekers of God, are invited to lay at his feet the sole thing for which we will be asked an accounting, namely: how we used our time.
Lord of time and history,
you judge human beings on the basis of their love.
Help us to use wisely the time you have given us.
And, as grateful debtors, enable us to give you in return
the time that lies ahead of us,
so that all people on earth will adore you.