After a long break over the holidays, many young adults are in need of a restart to their prayer lives before they begin a new year at university and or work.
Recognising this need, the youth at St Felix de Valois parish in Bankstown invited Father Daniel McCaughan, assistant priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Miranda, to give a talk on the importance of prayer on 20 February.
More than 25 young adults from across Sydney gathered at the Bankstown parish for the catechesis entitled Pressing the restart on the prayer life, which was the fourth in a series of monthly talks organised by the youth of St Felix.
Addressing the importance of prayer in our lives, Father McCaughan emphasised the fact that, regardless of our intentions, when we pray we are ultimately letting ourselves be loved by God.
“The most important thing to remember is that when we come to pray it is always a going to be with someone who is overjoyed to see us,” he told participants.
“Prayer is not primarily us doing something for God, but rather, prayer is opening ourselves to accept God’s love for us.”
Relating to the difficulties that many people face with regular prayer, Father McCaughan spoke on how this knowledge of what prayer is can help them through those restless times.
“Anyone who makes any effort to pray with any regularity knows that it is hard work. Most of the time that I go to pray it is an effort and it is not easy,” he said.
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“What matters to God is that I’m there, what matters to God is that I showed up.”
The youth were reminded of the importance of daily and gratuitous prayer and were encouraged to pray out of love and not solely out of a need of help during times of difficulties.
Delving into the practical consequences, Fr McCaughan talked about how through prayer we become more balanced and we are able to see things in its proper perspectives.
“Through prayer we are able to look at our problems and see them through God’s eyes,” said Fr McCaughan.
“Prayer tells us the truth about ourselves. Not in a way that crushes us but in a way that sets us free.”
Father McCaughan told the youth that through true prayer our spiritual tastebuds change, and we would begin to find sin less attractive.
Not because it gets easier but because it becomes harder to sin when we have to look God in the face, one on one, and tell him no.