Saturday, December 21, 2013

CHAPTER 19: How to Pray

     We believe that God is present everywhere and that the eyes of the Lord behold the good and the bad in every place (cf Prov 15:3). Let us firmly believe this, especially when we take part in the Work of God; and always be mindful of what the Prophet says, "Serve the Lord with fear" (Ps 2:11). And again, "Sing wisely" (Ps 46:8). And, "I will sing praise to You in the sight of the angels" (Ps 137:1). Therefore, we should keep always in mind how we ought to behave in the sight of God and His angels, and let us so stand to sing, that our mind may be in harmony with our voice. 
     When I was in graduate school, I took a class on Renaissance literature.  I remember that one of the kids in the class asked the professor a question about a poem we were reading called The Fairy Queen.
     “Did the author consider this a Fantasy?” he asked.
     “No,” said the professor.  “The thing you have to remember about people back then is that they really believed there were angels and demons all around them, fighting for their souls.”
      The kid laughed and said, “Imagine that!”
      I remember being a little annoyed and thinking that I really ought to say something.  Instead, a girl in the class raised her hand and said, “I don’t have to imagine that.  I believe it.” 
Certainly Saint Benedict believed it as well.  But it is a belief that is easy to forget.  Seeing is believing, as they say, and these days, folks tend to think that if it can’t be measured or touched, then it must not exist.  Well, we may not see God, but God sees us, and He sees everything we do—even the stuff we’re ashamed of.  All around us, his angels are fighting a pitched battle for our souls.  And this isn’t just my old-fashioned opinion.  This is Church teaching.  There are demons and angels all around us.
      We really believe this.
      But do we act like it?