Teaching Prayer?

I’m paging through Michael Casey’s fine book, Toward God. The Australian Trappist considers this thought from Saint John Climacus:

Just as it is impossible to learn to see by word of mouth, because seeing depends on one’s own natural sight, so it is impossible to learn the beauty of prayer from the teaching of others.

How true do you find this to be?

Is it like talking to people of the opposite sex? Some are nervous chatting with an attractive person and need coaching. Some find it comes naturally. Some never get it.

As for prayer, John Climacus and Fr Casey suggest it is as natural a part of the human state as opening one’s eyes and seeing. Is it then just a matter of knowing where to look?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Teaching Prayer?

  1. John Donaghy says:

    When I taught the class on prayer for Catholicism 101 at St. Thomas I began with this statement: “I cannot teach you how to pray by a lecture anymore than someone can teach you how to dance by talking about it. You learn to pray by praying!”
    I think it is my variation on a remark by the Gandhian Lanza del Vasto, though I cannot at this point find the original quote.
    I think one of the problems is that we something think prayer has to be a certain type of praying and don’t realize the wide variations of prayer that we do. And so it may be that we just don’t get what praying is and think we’re not praying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s