Fr. Tom, 03-06-17

Dear Loyola Parishioners and Visitors,

A Few Jesuits’ Reflections on Prayer:

For a long time, I thought I had to impress the Lord when I prayed—and felt very unimpressive. Now I am content to sit with a feeling—usually gratitude or longing—and just try to sustain that feeling. — Dick Hadel

For the longest time, I thought “real” prayer was what St. Bernadette did in the movie, The Song of Bernadette. She knelt in the church, her words were hushed, her face lit up, and music swelled in the background. That never happened to me. Even worse, the whole image made me feel guilty and self-conscious because I couldn’t force a perfect, Hollywood prayer experience. When I stop trying to control everything, I can listen to God better, and our relationship is less one-sided. I can experience God as someone who consoles and challenges me, someone who is always present and listening. No longer do I yearn for the dramatic; instead, my prayer has become more authentic and natural. — John Vowells

I used to tell the novices that God is in reality and reality is, well, less than perfect, so go figure! The challenge, experience, demand of recovery work has moved me to a profound acceptance of what is, just as it is, and who I am, just as I am. Prayer is more and more a simple, grateful Yes to the Real. — Ralph Huse

Prayer is that moment during the day that I do not pretend; and, in that moment, as God’s child, God tells me how much God loves me and I rest in true peace and tranquility. — Bill Oulvey

Prayer is an opportunity to spend “quality time” with Jesus in preparation for each day’s mission on which he sends me in the hope that those whom I meet will recognize Christ in my apostolic endeavors. — Jack Hunthausen

The act of working is often my prayer, with the final product the fruit of prayer. Other times deciding a course of action is prayer. I ask God: If I were s/he or similarly situated, what response would I desire? Sometimes, and all too rarely, I simply lie prostrate before God and the whole heavenly court in silence. — Tom Cwik

Fr. Tom