Sunday, March 07, 2004

Teach me how to pray!
Following the prompting of at least two gospels from this past week and today's account of Jesus ascending the Mount of the Transfiguration, my homily this week was about prayer. Specifically, I think a lesson we can learn from Peter's being too quick to speak and to plan and to do, is precisely what the voice from the cloud said: "This is my chosen Son; listen to him." And then Peter, John, and James, "fell silent." We too need to go away to a quiet place, to listen and to be silent. Lord knows we provide ourselves enough distractions in prayer (a problem the Catechism calls a habitual difficulty, cf. CCC 2729).

Anyway, thinking about prayer and the constant work to grow in its exercise, tenderly calls to mind what I think is my first memory of prayer. It comes from a prayer card given to my Holy Child Academy Kindergarten class in Memphis, TN, by our teacher, Sr. Mary Samuel, O.P., of the Nashville Dominicans, now one of the four foundresses of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. She can be seen on the far right of this picture. Here is the prayer:
Lovely Lady dressed in blue-----
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?

Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things-----
Little things that happen? And
Do the Angels' wings

Make a noise? And can He hear
Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me----for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

Care to share your first memory of prayer?

1 comment:

Clairvaux said...

My bishop came to us from Nashville a year ago and Mother Assumpta was there front and center. Bishop Van Johnston, a fine bishop, apparently is being missed in Nashville and I am so pleased we have him here now.

First prayer memory...Can't remember the prayer but remember my mom and dad (one Methodist/one Catholic) discussing whether the amen should be pronounced "aymen" or "ahmen." I liked the "aymen" so I took that one. I wasn't Catholic yet...Methodist child. I don't remember any prayer until I converted at the age of 14. And then, I learned quite a few! But, unknowingly, I was praying from the heart all those years without specific words. Just watching beloved Archbishop Sheen waaaay back in black and white and glued to the TV.

Just the other day on EWTN, I heard the prayer you typed but sung. Very lovely!