Lent Day 14 – Where is Your Mountain?

by Bishop Robert Barron


As we continue our meditations, especially focusing on the Transfiguration, I would like to reflect on prayer. Studies show that prayer is a very common, popular activity. Even many people who profess no belief in God still pray!

But what precisely is prayer—or better, what ought it to be? The Transfiguration is extremely instructive. We hear that Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him “up the mountain to pray.” Now, as we’ve said before, mountains are standard Biblical places of encounter with God. The idea was that the higher you go, the closer you come to God.

We don’t have to be literal about this, but we should unpack its symbolic sense. In order to commune with God, you have to step out of your every day, workaday world. The mountain symbolizes transcendence, otherness, the realm of God. If people say, “I pray on the go” or “my work is my prayer,” they’re not really people of prayer.

Your mountain could be church, a special room in your house, the car, or a corner of the natural world. But it has to be someplace where you have stepped out of your ordinary business. And you have to take the time to do it. Jesus and his friends literally stepped away in order to pray.

The text then says, “While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white” (Matthew 17:2). The reference here is to Moses whose face was transfigured after he communed with God on Mt. Sinai. But the luminosity is meant in general to signal the invasion of God.

In the depths of prayer, when you have achieved a communion with the Lord, the light of God’s presence is kindled deep inside of you, at the very core of your existence. And then it begins to radiate out through the whole of your being. That’s why it is so important that Luke mentions the clothing of Jesus becoming dazzling white. Clothes evoke one’s contact with the outside world.

The God discovered in prayer should radiate out through you to the world, so that you become a source of illumination.


   

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  • denis

    I believe that The Kingdom of God is within . So you can turn to God in your inner self at any time , any place….a heartfelt whisper going up the stairs to the bathroom is as real as kneeling down in a church ….

    • Lori Bisser

      Exactly. “To pray without ceasing” means prayer has become a part of you, and is experienced on mountains as well as the in your work and on the go. Judging that a person is not “a person of prayer,” based on location of said prayer, is limiting and doesn’t take into account the individual and the big picture journey.

      • Elizabeth

        The majority of Catholics are prayerful in the manner you state, Lori Bisser. However, when we have a tragedy such as 9ll or loss of a spouse, we go deeper into prayer because of the unforeseen situation. It is this deeper prayer Bishop Barren is referring to. With secularism overtaking our society today, the idea of deeper prayer, such a going into a quiet room and pray, a weekend retreat, is to reaffirm to ones self God can be of help to us for courage to recognize where in our “Little world” we can show God’s love by our words, deeds and actions.

        • Lori Bisser

          Agreed. But I think the judging of someone else’s prayer life is a sticking point here and can alienate and send people more toward secularism. Invitation to depth is helpful. Labeling is not.

          • Geraldine (Gerry) Novotny

            Prayer. What is prayer? I’m a senior citizen and still cannot pray without my mind wandering almost right from the start…to my dismay all these years. Ejaculations: For the young, these are short prayers: My Jesus I love you, thank you Jesus, help me Jesus, I’m sorry Jesus, heal me Jesus, and on and on. I spontaneously say dozens every day and one may lead me to deeper prayer. My habit of such prayer… I believe God hears me, too.

          • http://www.irishmike.org/ Michael Lee Cornwell

            Hi Gerri,

            The key word you use is spontanious ! Think of it this way.
            When you burst out in prayer, it is very likely the Holy Spoirit is prompting you, because someone is in need at that moment!

            With me, those out burst come when I hear a siren. I ask the July Angels to protect and help those firemen, police and EMT’s and those they are going to help!

            You may not feel you are praying enough, sometimes, but more important you are praying when it is needed at that moment.

            Peace and prayers,

            Michael
            The Prayer Warrior

      • Andrew Gorski

        Perhaps the bishop’s message involves an “along with,” rather than an “instead of” message?

        It is possible that, along with praying without ceasing in our day-to-day spaces, Bp Baron invites us to find a prayer space that is physically apart from our normal routine.

        By dedicating and gifting to ourselves such a physical space, we would have a sort of formal place apart from the typical day-to-day worldly concerns – the “consumers of our attention.” (and we can even use our car, if we have no better place available to us!)

        It is true that we can turn to God, any time and any place, and invite Him into our heart. However, as Bp Baron reminds us, the Bible is replete with examples in which a person at times leaves their normal physical space in order to pray, and recently Bp Baron has been focusing especially on examples that involve mountains.

        But mountains do not possess exclusivity:

        For example, before the crucifixion and while he was in the garden, it is arguable that, rather that going off to a separate place in the garden (or going to a mountain!), Jesus could just as easily have prayed while reclining with his Apostles as they drifted off to sleep. But He didn’t.

        Why?

        Possibly because their snoring was a distraction (and if so, then the benefit of Bp Baron’s advice is further supported!), but it is also possible that Jesus already knew the lesson that Bp Baron seems to be trying to impart: that is, in order to get closer to God, at times we benefit the process by formally interrupting our day-to-day concerns – even to the point of physically moving from the spaces we typically occupy – so that we can focus on, and only on, the Trinity.

        Finally, praying can be a personal event, but it also can be a group event (Mt 18:20). In our efforts to pray without ceasing, perhaps we would do well to remember that we not only benefit from praying in our normal spaces while we are listening one-on-one to our Lord, but also while we are listening to our Lord while we are in groups. If so, then the benefit available to us as we pray in church should not be overlooked.

        • Dude_Abides

          “Possibly because their snoring was a distraction…” too funny!

        • concerned citizen

          Andrew, actually Jesus told them once or twice, Can you not watch with me even for an Hour? He was hoping I think, that they too would be inspired by Him and also take time to pray. He was inviting them to pray just as He is now inviting all of us to go to the Adoration Chapel and do a Holy Hour with Him.

    • Elizabeth

      What I hear is a prayerful walk with God in our everyday life. This comes from our belief, God is with us always.

      • Lori Bisser

        Always. On the mountain and in the dishes. It is both. Not either/ or.

    • Dude_Abides

      Amen brother!

  • clusterdreamer

    Wow! Once again I must say – this is strong, this is good, this is true. Thank you, fr. Robert.

  • ber

    Prayer somthing private and something public so many ways to describe it but to me its when draws me to himself and allowed my heart to open to heavenly conversations I never thought of Jesus going trough us before so something to ponder when Jesus draws you into this conversation work becomes a burden because your mind is caught up in heavenly delights when this union is lacking we return to vocal prayers to keep the channel open for further encounters if we knew what was at the top of the mountain we would not tire so much of the climb but that’s fait I guess it requires a lot of discipline which I sadly lack good morning to all may you have a blessed day with such an encounter

  • Pabladro

    Fr. Baron. I love your meditations and reflections but I must say this one hits on something very personal to me in the wrong way. To say someone who makes their work a prayer are not really people of prayer is not just untrue but verifiably so. Perhaps you should read some of the writings of St. Josemaria Escriva. He taught us that if you can’t encounter Jesus in your everyday life of work and family than you never will and that as men and women of the world we must be contemplatives in ordinary life. Every member of Opus Dei is living contrary to your statement. While it is important to have some time away to focus and recharge, every person living in the world – not being a priest or religious – must strive to be people of prayer through making their work and ordinary life prayer.

    • Anniloh

      Jesus who was united with God in everything he did still had to withdraw to pray. I think what the Bishop is saying here is that we pray best when we are not distracted – when we withdraw from the business of everyday life. We must withdraw from time to time in order to bring the awareness of God into our interactions with others. I do question the car as a place of prayer however – unless he means sitting in the car in a traffic jam. When I am driving, the only prayer I offer is “Help me to drive safely!” I have to focus on my driving.

      • Lori Bisser

        Yes, but I think you’ll agree -it is both types of prayer that are necessary, not just the drawing away. People learn depth through practice and everyone is different in their journey.

      • Susanrose

        Or being parked in your car at a beach or park, we can encounter our Lord on the mountain
        JMJ
        Peace

      • Florence Ouzts

        I think you make an excellent point here in your words, ” We pray best when we are not distracted”. Mother Teresa said, “The first requirement for prayer is Silence. People of prayer are people of silence.” (taken from her book: MOTHER TERESA -IN MY OWN WORDS). I remember a particularly difficult time in my life when I was spiritually dry. I found a book called, “AN APPOINTMENT WITH GOD”, written by a priest whose
        name, I regret, I can’t recall at the moment. He made a statement in the book that really has stuck with me. He said, ” The way you live, is the way you pray”. As I examined my hectic,dysfunctional life, I then realized how unbalanced my life was – filling my day with to many things and leaving no time for God. Now, I have a regular morning devotional time with God in the morning, before I do anything secular. And on
        the days when there is something unexpected that occurs, and I have to postpone it, I discover that things don’t go as well for me when I am in the ” driver’s seat of life” alone. And while I do agree that the car is probably not the best place for prayerful reflection, a short prayer as one cranks the car, asking God to help you drive safely, and guide you on your journey, is pleasing to God. Prayer does not demand that we have to be meditating all the time. What matters that we recognize that Life is Grace, and that His presence is with us always. Praise be to God! To Him give the Glory!

        • Dude_Abides

          Amen, I agree Florence & Lori. Couple of thoughts on this.
          One quote that when I read it has always stuck with me is from the great 17th century French mathematician, philosopher Blaise Pascal:
          “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

          In this crazy idiotic world in which we find ourselves in, that is running at 1000 mi per hour, we need to crave out some time, find a sanctuary, a place where we can slow down our thought’s, focus on our Creator and have that one-on-one conversation with him. Geez, was that a run-on sentence!
          Don’t mean to get into the political realm here but one of the candidates said something to that effect. He said we need to slow down, look around us and perhaps reach out and give a hug to our fellow man. Something that seems so obvious but when this candidate spoke these words during the town-hall chat I was struck dumbfounded it came from one of the politicians running for our Presidency. In the hustle n bustle of everyday life we don’t take the time to give a smile to somebody, who maybe needs it, and many of us don’t take time to sit quietly and offer up 10-20 mins to our Lord. What a shame.
          Lastly, the other hit that I had when I read this meditation from Bishop Barron was that there is one religion in the world that prays five times a day – the Muslim faith. They practice what is called the ‘salah’ which is the second most important of their five pillars of faith. In one of the daily news blogs that I read there was a quote from a young Muslim student living in Atlanta on the salah:
          “It reminds you about God throughout your day,” he says. “At fixed intervals, no matter how busy you are, all of a sudden you have to take out a few minutes and you’re remembering, OK, why am I really here?”
          “And while I was doing whatever I was doing, was I doing it in a manner pleasing to God?”
          Couldn’t have said it better; ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD
          God bless you all this day.

          • Anniloh

            We Catholics have the Liturgy of the Hours and the Angelus to pray throughout the day. Beautiful prayers!

          • Dude_Abides

            Ah yes, wonderful prayers, thanks for sharing and amen to you Anniloh

          • concerned citizen

            Dude, there was a time, when everyone stopped what he was doing when the Angelus bell rang. I remember seeing a painting of two farm hands with their hand tools at rest and looking at a church tower where bells were in a swinging position. And the Angelus was prayed three times a day. If we include our morning and evening prayers, that could already be five times. Then if you have the three o’clock habit and of course the Mass and the Rosary, that would be eight times.

          • Sara

            Loved that quote…Will be the focus of the following weeks of Lent for me.

        • Sara

          I am 56…have tried many times to have a prayer time. I always seem to let life get in the way(or sad to say TV). It is gentle reminders like this that help me get back on track….Thank you!

          • Susanrose

            This pass weekend I had the privilege to go on a day retreat hoping to strengthen my prayer life. A Holy priest say at this retreat, I can give you the tools in how to pray but you need too have the desire to pray and this has been the 2nd time that this was said in my presence. So he went on to say, ask our Holy Mother for the desire to pray with the heart. It seem that he was speaking only to me. So ever since I been asking our beautiful Lady, let me receive the gift to pray with the heart. The desire to deepen my prayer life for the Glory of God..

            Peace,
            JMJ

          • Sara

            Thank you also Susanrose…read my reply to Florence( which by the way is my grandmother’s name😀)

          • Susanrose

            Yes, I should have read the complete of your reply. How did I miss that. Sorry! Nice to know that ur grandmother and I have the same name 😊 God Bless you on this glorious season
            Peace
            JMJ

        • Sara

          I did finally put all the men in my life…in care of Mary. I have never had a strong devotion to her…but I humbly asked her for help. Thank you again Florence for your kind words.

      • john t.

        I know people who pray the rosary while driving in lieu of listening to the radio — I’ve done that myself many times. If that was the only time I prayed it could be problematic as far as spiritual growth is concerned. But I, and I suspect many other people who share this practice, also wake up praying, take the time at the start of the day to read books or go online to sites like this to gain wisdom . . . and then on to daily Mass, maybe even a rosary before Mass with others from the parish. Even if I’m not praying the rosary while driving, I most often tend to pray some formulated prayer. I haven’t had a ticket or accident in decades, suggesting that for some people, it’s possible to do both. Maybe what I’m saying is: It’s possible to pray well in multiple locations. If you’re praying throughout the day, that’s almost a necessity I would think.

        • Anniloh

          Yes, I’ve heard of that – and people who pray the rosary while jogging. On a few rare occasions while driving, I have drifted into deep thought and suddenly realized I was driving 60 miles an hour down the highway and had no idea where I was or where I was going. Scary. People’s minds work differently, I guess. I have great admiration for people who can do two things at once. I’m not one of them. I’m afraid that if I tried to pray the rosary while driving I would have to give the steering wheel to my guardian angel. And that might be considered tempting God. But It is a comforting thought that there are people out there on the highway praying who can do it safely!

          • Dude_Abides

            Sometimes during my morning runs, 5 to 8 mi depending on the route I take, when the hills get a little steep and the bodily pain sets in I will pray – usually the rosary but sometimes other prayers. Before I know it I have gotten through the tough parts and am coasting towards home!

          • john t.

            Dude, the rosary is also helpful for falling asleep when the mind is racing and not as tired as the body. It seems to be helpful in many ways. Maybe that’s why the devil despises it so much.

          • Dude_Abides

            LOL yes sir, amen to that!

          • concerned citizen

            John, I actually do that when I can’t sleep. Either the Rosary or the Chaplet. I tell myself, if I can’t sleep I may as well pray. If I fall asleep well and good. If I don’t, at least I did not waste my time.

          • john t.

            Exactly.

          • concerned citizen

            Anniloh, when I pray the Holy Rosary while driving, it is mostly intercessory and not meditative in nature. And I can do it even without holding a rosary. You group your intentions per mystery and make specific intentions for every one to three Hail Mary’s. For instance if you are praying for the poor souls in purgatory, you can devote the first mystery to family members if there any that have passed away like your parents, spouse or children. Second mystery to your relatives. Third mystery to your in laws. fourth mystery to your former classmates or officemates and fifth mystery to your neighbors and others.

            Don’t use a tape recording of the Holy Rosary while driving. Because you may have to pause many times when maneuvering.

            I can do the same while I am in the airplane, waiting for the doctor, walking, etc..

            But like the others here, I feel this should not take the place of your prayer in solitude especially if you can visit the Church or the Adoration Chapel or an altar in your house.

            As I mentioned yesterday, nothing beats praying before the Blessed Sacrament. It enhances your personal relationship with Jesus.

          • john t.

            Well stated concerned citizen.

          • john t.

            I know a priest who walked the perimeter of the parish’s parking lot, rosary dangling from his hand, as he completed lap after lap. He also loved to walk in nature. Near Tucson, there’s an area in the foothills of the eastern mountain ranges where a person can hike up into a canyon in which there are seven falls. I think he made that hike whenever he had a day off and the weather permitted. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he prayed the rosary on those hikes too. He’s retired now for fifteen years and has lost nearly all short term memory — he could use our prayers. His name is Fr. Ron.

          • Dude_Abides

            will do john t. Will include Fr. Ron in my men’s group prayer list.

          • john t.

            Much appreciated.

    • Anthony Ekene Onyeahialam

      Pabladro, I think Bishop Barron is refering to people who use th idea of working as prayer as an excuse not to have a special period of time dedicated to prayer.I met a few Opus Dei members during my University days and they had 30mins each of their mornings and evenings set aside for mental prayer.Also, if I may use myself as an example, I try do the same everyday in addition to offering up my work at the beginning of any task I engage in.So, In my opinion, I don’t think Bishop Barron is against the idea of turning work into contemplative prayer.It is likely he is trying to encourage us to dedicate a portion or portions of our day to meditation.

    • ber

      Pabladro your right work is your prayer a very important one even a regilous has a balance in work rest and recreation mother Teresa didn’t spend her time in the clouds I don’t think anyone would say work is not a prayer the reference is to a type of prayer where the mind is engaged elsewhere

    • Adam

      Pabladro-I appreciate your thoughts being familiar with Opus Dei myself. I took Bishop Barron’s words to mean people who don’t have time to pray because they are “too busy.” They may say, “I’m working hard to provide for my family. That is my prayer.” But this is not prayer in the sense of it being intentional. We can’t look back on our day and devote time already spent to prayer. We have to be intentional, saying, “Lord, this day will be busy and hard, but I will do it well for you.” This is one kind of prayer, but it is not the only kind. I think the meaning of Bishop Barron’s meditation is that Jesus himself took time to go away and pray. Jesus is always our first teacher and I think St Josemaria would agree. If the Lord took time out of his day to pray, then so should we.

      I can appreciate your thought process and can see your passion for St Josemaria. Rest assured, Bishop Barron is not attacking The Work.

    • john t.

      I’m using Fr. Francis Fernandez’s “In Conversation With God” Daily meditations, Volume Two: Lent and Eastertide, along with Bishop Baron’s offerings, and a local spiritual director’s meditations . . . to guide me this lenten season. I know what you’re saying about making one’s vocation a living prayer. I’m guessing however, you take, or better yet, make the time to have conversations with God. It’s possible the bishop was referring to people who don’t communicate with God throughout the day and consider doing a good job at work, sufficient in this regard. I’d be surprised if you didn’t wake up early in order to have at least a little time for just you and God, to become energized before you shared Him with the world you inhabit . . . that includes your immediate family, your place of work and your circle of friends.

      • concerned citizen

        John, I also like Fr. Fernandez’s “In conversation with God”. I also like his book, Lukewarmness, a Devil in Disguise. Well, I like most of the books written by Opus Dei priests as they are very well thought out and inspiring.

        • john t.

          Agreed, c c.

    • concerned citizen

      Pabladro, I am sure Bishop Barron will have no quarrels with St. Josemaria Escriva on what you have mentioned. Because you see even St. Escriva took time to pray at the Blessed Sacrament for an hour or more everyday. All saints do actually. What Bishop Barron is saying is that there are some people who do not take time to pray at all and when they are asked why, they say, my work is my prayer already. I know what Bishop Barron means because I met a lot of people in our parish, when I was recruiting for Adorers for the Adoration Chapel, who would tell me exactly that, that their work is already their prayer.

      While this is true in one sense, still, there is a necessity for everyone to take time out for prayer in solitude. If Jesus had to do it, then the more we should be doing it. The Jesuits call it contemplatives in action. They pray before they work. Then they work and offer it to God. Then they take a rest again and pray and reflect on whether their work brought them closer to God, and pray for guidance to help them in their work. Then they go back to work. And the cycle goes on.

      Blessed Mother Teresa always prayed for hours, first alone in the wee hours of the morning and then as a group with her sisters before the Mass. When asked how she could work with the poorest of the poor. She would say her key was the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In fact she attributed the rapid expansion of her congregation to this daily Holy Hour of the sisters when they meditated on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament.

      • Dude_Abides

        Excellent CC!

  • Becky

    In my Prayer is where I place myself in the presence of God. So that through my Prayer he may continue to transform me. each time I prepare to recieve Him in Holy Communion I pray that he transform me a little bit more. The closeness of Prayer and the reception of Holy Communion is where I feel closest to him. I must remove myself from the world to be able to seek him without distraction.
    God Bless You All

    • EiNap

      Becky, I just read your sharing and I agree with your lovely sentiment about transformation and receiving of Holy Communion. It can be in solace or community.

  • Susanrose

    This should be a way of living, praying, finding that place with the Father, so we can be one with him, so that the transfiguration can take place within us and allowing the Father to conform us. This is what we see throughout Jesus ministry, leaving his disciple and crowd to the place where he needed to be one with the Father..

    JMJ
    Peace,

  • BeccaBean

    I love these reflections, but can also say that saying a person is not a person of prayer if they they say they pray on the go or within their lives is problematic at best for me. I have five children, one of which is a nursing infant- and I homeschool. There isn’t a whole lot of withdrawing to the Mountain- or even the bathroom happening here! Of course my prayer comes within my family life- I pray while washing dishes, while changing diapers, when I fall into bed at night- am I to take it then that if this is all I manage…I am not worthy to be called a person of prayer? In that case it would seem that those prayers are wasted and I should simply stop until such a time as when I can physically withdrawal from my ordinary circumstances and therefore make them worthy.

    • Anthony Ekene Onyeahialam

      BeccaBean, maybe Bishop Barron didn’t really mean that line as such.There are many people like you who are active contemplatives – turning all that work of caring for the children to prayer and I doubt if anyone would consciously demean that.

    • Andrew Gorski

      Becca,

      I join you in recognizing difficulty in some of these words from the bishop. But surely we can all find a moment and a separate place for prayer?

      Perhaps for you that formal place will be the bathroom; perhaps that formal place will be your bed before you fall asleep at night; perhaps…

      To be a serious person of prayer, perhaps you don’t need to have a formal place. Instead, perhaps your prayer life would simply be enhanced if you were to dedicate such a place – even if you only have a minute or two in your busy day to go there?

      -Andy

      • concerned citizen

        I had said yesterday that when I am able to do an hour of praying devotedly, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, I actually end up accomplishing more things. I am more energetic, more focused, more efficient after I do the hour. I am more composed. I have a happier disposition. And my labor bear more fruits because God blesses them. You can never outdo God in His generosity.

    • nannette

      I understand completely!

    • Lori Bisser

      Amen! -And you are on your own particular journey right where you should be. It is a season and you’ve found ways to connect to God in prayer right where you are. I really think it was not the best turn of phrase. Bishop Barron never means to alienate or discourage in my experience of his books and videos.

    • Debra Johnson

      I’m sure the Bishop was not discounting people as you! I’m reminded of St. Therese’s “Little Way”–every little thing that we do during the day is offered to God as a form of prayer. So the diapers and the laundry and the nursing are what you can focus on and offer to Him. Formal or informal, He hears.

  • Anthony Ekene Onyeahialam

    “If people say, “I pray on the go” or “my work is my prayer,” they’re not really people of prayer.”
    I am not holding brief for Bishop Barron but I don’t think he meant to undermine the efforts of very busy Christians and members of this community who as much as possible try to turn their busy hours into prayer.I guess if we are all chanced, we would easily dedicate adequate periods of our day to meditation. Also, some might say if you really want to pray, you will definitely find the time.However, it must be understood that our situations and states in life vary hence what works for a priest may not work for a nursing mother and what works for a business executive may not work for a nurse.Our lives are very different but we are still called to devote time to prayer.

    At certain points in my life, my “mountain” or favourite place to pray has varied from the desk in my room(I had an understanding roommate.He was even Muslim), the chapel in the University chaplaincy, a park bench to a quiet spot in a carpark.I guess any decent place where we can recollect ourselves and be focused on Him will do.All that is necessary is that we are present to him who wants to transform us into himself.

    • Paul Diemert

      While visiting a Byzantine monastery book store, I asked and received a book that was recommended to help one’s prayer life. The book was, “The Way of a Pilgrim”. This lead me to St. Symeon the New Theologian and others to learn the “Jesus Prayer” and pray without ceasing. I set a goal to pray for one whole day without ceasing. After working for more than two weeks, I was spiritually lifted to a mountain top to receive a Biblical message in a most efficacious manner. Immediately and continually I have been advised that there is nothing we can do to produce a union like this. There may be truth to this advice as I have not tried praying in such a Herculean manner since. St. Symeon received the same counsel, and was thrown out of a monastery only to go down the road to become the abbot in a location of his own making. St. John Paul II encouraged us to breathe with both lungs, and I think he was referring to the treasures to be found in the Eastern Church. Pray brothers.

  • jesspinosa

    I am retired and can plan my day the way I want to. Lately, I have arranged my schedule around a church visit, different every day if I want to, for Mass and Holy Hour, before I do anything else. But for various reasons, there are days when I cannot be in a church, and my refuge is my little prayer corner in my bedroom. Just behind the wall is a busy street with busy pedestrian and vehicular activity, but the moment I sit at my chair, all sounds vanish – I am with my Lord. Aside from the crucifix on the wall, some statues, my Liturgy of the Hour, Bible and rosary, I have a miniature (6-1/2″ tall) Tabernacle. I do not have a consecrated host there (I wish I did) but it serves as a reminder of the Presence of my Lord right here in my home.

    P.S. The miniature tabernacle was a serendipitous find in a small shop in Malta during a recent trip. I have not seen it in any Catholic shops here. The wooden platform was another find in a thrift shop, whose intended purpose I am not aware of. With some paint and glue, this is the result. I believe Someone who cares brought this all together. What do you think?

    • Anthony Ekene Onyeahialam

      Jesspinosa, If it helps you to pray, I guess it’s fine.

      • jesspinosa

        It’s my mountain top, Anthony, where I pray my Morning and Evening Prayers and everything in between. Highly recommended.

    • Anthony Ekene Onyeahialam

      Now, that’s a personal sanctuary.

    • john t.

      Beautiful!

  • Nancy Rynders

    Another great reflection today. I do get lazy, and just think that prayer is thinking of God…..I do need to remove myself, and find that place/time that is my mountain.

  • Bobbie Paxton

    My place of prayer can be anywhere, whether with one of my hospice patients I see a a volunteer, or out on a walk while looking at the beauties of creation, whether a flower, or a brilliant sunset, or full moon, My best place is in bed at night as I read Scripture and meditations, think about the day that’s nearly over, and talk to God about my hopes, fears, what I did that was good and the things that I did that were sinful and displeasing to God. When I receiver Holy Communion, I close my eyes and think of Jesus within me, part of me, ready to guide me where I need to go.

  • Jackie

    You definitely have to step out of your comfort zone. Prayer is a step into the unknown. One never knows what God has to share with us. Individually and collectively. A personal message can’t be kept to ourselves and the more “dazzling” the message the more one wants to go forth and share but be diligent because not everyone is ready to accept the great love that you through God have to offer. You have to take baby steps not to overwhelm others and yet you can’t stay in your cocoon.,”Love is like a butterfly. If you chase after it, it will fly away. But if you are patient, and wait long enough, it will land in your hands.”

  • john t.

    I’ve just read all the comments to the Bishop’s offering on prayer and the mountain — I doubt there is a single person among this group who isn’t devoting time to prayer, probably large amounts, maybe even throughout the day. For me, the irony is that the people most in need of reading his words and taking them to heart, aren’t taking the time to read his daily meditations or any others. The Bishop has thrown some ideas out there — if they don’t apply, they don’t apply. If they do cause any of us to reconsider our prayer life and the value of the mountain — good. I’m confident the Bishop is on our side.

    • Gary

      John I like your reply. I sometimes say that you can tell how committed a Christian by the amount of time he spends on his knees.

      • john t.

        Happy Lent!

  • Joseph T. Garcia

    Centering Prayer

  • Patrick Cassidy

    Prayer is essentially a conversation with the Lord. What would happen if you went months without talking to your friend? The friendship may be weaker, and distant. How true this is for our conversations with God. We need to oray everyday, all day!

    But, taking the time, especially at the end of the day, to pray and reflect is a great way to talk to the Lord. Thank Him for your blessings, recognizs your shortfalls of the day, and confess your love to Him always!

  • Màire Ní Bhroin

    I wrote a short poem once which involved the metaphor of an orchid being as a cathedral. I tried to express that we can enter into a God moment via a meditation on the exquisite beauty of His creation, in this form. Now, it could also be found in the cloud formations in the sky, a sunrise or sunset, a favorite landscape, a waterfall, a tree in summer, a flower in bloom, a resting butterfly, wherever you may find a connection to the great Artist who is our Creator. For me, there is the window to a “mountaintop” experience.

  • Anton D

    My mountain is the cool quiet beautiful early morning at sunrise to pray.

    But, sometimes in my case, as I heard someone once say:
    ‘We want to start a revolution in the morning and then by evening we break a resolution.’

  • Wanda Gresko

    I do make time for one on one time with Jesus, however, I also pray in crowds of people. I pray in the car and it helps with the stupdity of other drivers so they don’t bother me too much. Also when waiting in lines I pray and it keeps me calm and not bothered by others. Prayer can be at any time. It’s amazing how it helps me.

  • that florida lady

    I like what you said about a special room. It is red and white, my two fav colors. Everything matches. I have one of those, given to me by my hub. What a cool guy I married. This helps prayer because there is a couch in there to sit and read the word in morning before beginning most of my days. :)

  • ChrisM10

    “If people say, “I pray on the go” or “my work is my prayer,” they’re not really people of prayer.” I have a very busy job managing a medical centre, with long hours, in service to others. I pray on the go, as well as at home because if it were just the latter, it would be relatively minimal. I have huge respect for Bishop Barron, but on this point, the front line takes a toll that can’t be at the expense of prayer even if it is on the go!

  • that florida lady

    I also read divineoffice.org to listen to the morning office in the morning. And thank your Bishop buddies for all that money that they spent to get the readings for the day. It is well spent.

  • Gary

    It is good to hear that so many people are praying. We all have to pray for those that have no prayer life. I try to center my life by what the scriptures say “pray without ceasing.” I find myself praying all day long for various things and various people. Most of the time it is spontaneous prayer, simply talking with God. When it comes time for personal prayer, I have set aside a time and place to pray. Most of the time I go 15 to 30 minutes or more depending on how much I have to discuss with God. I start by reading the daily scriptures, then meditate on what I read asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the word of God for me. Then I read at least one chapter in scripture, and again meditate on what I read. I need to be in a place without distractions. I call it Quiet time. Most often the Holy Spirit points out to me the things in my life that have to be changed or improved on, such as patience, humility, and love. The toughest part of my personal prayer life is waiting for Jesus as he speaks to my heart. Personal prayer is all about God and you, and notice I put God first. I thank God that all of you are praying.

  • anonymous

    i ask, i pray, and sometimes most lately beg for communion with God, i say, even if it’s just for a moment. I know I don’t know how to pray. It is such feeling of inadequacy. I do talk to Him about that. i have little conversations with God all day, but i do most of the talking, so i’m not a very good listener. if i had to choose, my best and most favorite mountain is silence. Exteriorly and interiorly. I have to close my eyes. Too much distraction. (unless i’m in Adoration) Right now, the comfort(?) is void, empty, nothingness. That is most saddening to me. It has been when i see a person hurting in some way that the overwhelming feeling comes. Of course, the feeling varies in intensity, but It can even be the most slightest or smallest thing i observe. it’s pretty rare if it doesn’t come. i’ve had that since i was very, very young. My mom used to have to explain it to people. weirdo

  • Corine Richenelle

    Today`s reflection of Bishop Barron bring me back, when I was younger and was on the motherland, Mauritius. I remember, one morning, I woke up earlier than usual, went on my house`s roof and started talking to God. It was so beautiful as I remembered that my prayer was only giving him Praise. Thanking our Creator King. It was peaceful and calm, on that day, I was amazed just looking at the mountains, trees and even the houses with a new eyes and thanking God how great he is. At that time, I did not know why I went on the roof but now I realise…I needed to be closer to our Lord.

    Thank you Bishop for return me back…it was hidden somewhere in my brain. But I agree too that our mountains can be anywhere in our house,like a room “a sanctuary” for our Lovely God. He is so Great and will never cease to worship and Praise him- HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKLQ1td3MbE

  • Linda

    I disagree that I need to go somewhere to pray….to step away from my everyday world. I carry Jesus in my heart always, in the car, at home at work, not just to a quiet corner. Since He is always with me, I can thank him for the beautiful day or quickly ask for patience while listening to a talkative co-worker, Just as I wouldn’t feel a need to bring my mother to a special place in order to talk, the same is true of my Father, who is with me always.

  • P. Taylor

    I love my prayer time, usually in the morning. I read a little prayer for just that day and then I say My Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother, followed by the Rosary, followed by the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, then to St. Peregrine for all my friends with cancer, and then to St. Dymphna for my grand son, who is a troubled young man who needs prayers. Well, I could go on and on, but those are my main ones. It’s a wonderful way to get in touch with Jesus and His Blessed Mother and His saints. Some days things happen and I don’t get to say my prayers until much later and sometimes it’s bedtime and I realize I haven’t been able to say my prayers at all and I know that God understands and that I will be back with Him in the morning. Throughout the day, whenever anything happens. no ,matter how small or how big, I always say, “Thank you, Jesus.” God is so Good and we are so blessed!

  • kayeloney@cox.net

    Prayer is that which you give freely to the Most Holy Trinity for all Soul’s past, present and future. You ask Jesus that Father’s Will be always done on Earth as in Heaven because they are one. Jesus said each Soul is important to The Holy Trinity, so we have to pray for each other for those who have gone before us, and the future soul’s to come. Even those soul’s that can not see the truth yet, with Jesus even they deserve prayer too, they can change and repent. With Jesus Love we can do anything, but we can do nothing without faith, hope, and Love. We are nothing without Jesus with us every second, minute and Hour of each day. Give us your Divine Will to pray in unity with you for all souls past, present and future.

  • http://www.irishmike.org/ Michael Lee Cornwell

    There are allot of beautiful reflections today on how others encounter God. Each depicts their personal “conversation” with the Lord according to their call and daily duties of each day.
    Prayer is conversation with the Lord and taking time out, as the Bishop said, is key!

    Priests and rigorous are required to say the office each day and they too must take the time out in their busy schedules.

    Prayer is not only our encounter with the Lord, but His encounter with us!

    I had an encounter with Jesus in a dramatic way that superceeded all others in my 70 years. Of all the times in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, (my farvorite place to pray when I can) this event took place “only once” but had such a profound effect on me that have never forgotten that moment to this day.

    While at a Catholic Charismatic “Life in the Spirit” senminar, we had new candidates who wanted to be baptized in the Spirit. After prayer, song and praise, scrilture reading and sharing, it came time to pray over the candidates. So each candidate had three people praying over them. Being the odd man out, so to speak, I felt “left out” and asked the Lord what do You ask me to do! Then a soft voice saying, ” Go upstairs to the altar and pray for the prayer warriors who are praying over the canidates”.
    So I went to the altar and the tabernacle was then, on the side altar. As I approached, I felt a voice telling me to take off your shoes, you are on Holy ground! At first, I ignored it telling myself I know it’s Holy grind but never took off my shoes as an altar
    Boy, seminarian, Lector, Eucharistic minister and so on.

    So as I was about to take another step the Lord prompted me once more. I then took off my shoes. Ugly such a presence of the Lord that it brought tears take my eyes and joy to my soul. I was so overwhelmed I told the Lord that if I cliff choose a place to die, this is where it wild be.

    After some period in prayer, I turned around an one of the other prayer part was was in the front pew, my dear friend Neva.

    As I left the altar and we both returned till the basement for cookies and coffee, Neva “told me” this, “God told you to take off ylour shoes, didn’t He”! I told her yes.

    Why that day, why that way, I am not sure but I know it only increased my faith of Jesus RealPresence in the Tabernacle

    • concerned citizen

      Michael, thanks for sharing with us your testimonial and wonderful experience at the Blessed Sacrament. Some people ask me. Why do I need to go to the Adoration Chapel, when I can just stay at home and pray?

      And my answer to him is: Because He is really there! Waiting for you 24 / 7 to listen to you, to talk to you, and to love you. Don’t you feel lonely when you are all alone in the house waiting for your loved ones to come and visit you and no one comes? Visiting Him by itself is already an apostolate over and above the praying. So when you make the sacrifice and go out of your way to visit Him, that by itself is already an apostolate. Saints and popes call the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as the Apostolate of apostolates. It is a perfect complement to the Mass. The Mass is communal while the Adoration is personal. Both have its own purposes.

      You are very blessed Michael to have had such an encounter with the Lord.

      • http://www.irishmike.org/ Michael Lee Cornwell

        Hi CC,

        Thank you for your kind words. There is so much wisdom in what you have said, truth that is a result of hearing Our Lord in your encounters at home or in the chapel during Adoration or personal visits just to say hello.

        You and others here who take time to visit Our Lord in the tabernacle whether once a week or monthly Adoration or when ever the opportunity arises, makes Jesus so happy! . cannot describe the love you feel when the Lord tells you, “Thank you for comong”!

        Many of you may feel this love in your heart but have no words to express it.
        The Lord is every where but more so in the tabernacle. So when you stop by for a moment and you see that lonely flickering light, say hello to the One Who is so happy you stopped by!

        Peace a day prayers,

        Michael

  • EDWARD JACHIMOWSKI

    Father Barron —I just enjoy your flow of parts and the parts as they lead to—- form —-involve to the WHOLE—– the whole means a million items—- just as the WORD—- TOOK A MILLION-PLUS BREATHES—- GOD LOVE YOU TODAY//NOW….AMEN—-

  • concerned citizen

    Like so many comments I have read below, some people also ask me. Why do I need to go to the Adoration Chapel, when I can just stay at home and pray?

    And my answer to them is: Because He is really there! Let me repeat that. HE IS REALLY THERE!!! The King of Kings, our Lord and Savior, is really there.

    Waiting for you 24 / 7 to listen to you, to talk to you, and to love you. Don’t you feel lonely when you are all alone in the house waiting for your loved ones to come and visit you and no one comes? Visiting Him by itself is already an apostolate over and above the praying. So when you make the sacrifice and go out of your way to visit Him, that by itself is already an apostolate. Saints and popes call the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as the Apostolate of apostolates. It is a perfect complement to the Mass. The Mass is communal while the Adoration is personal. Both have its own purposes.

    Please read Michael’s comment at the bottom of this blog. Michael tells of his encounter with the Lord at the Blessed Sacrament.

  • Mary Jane Madeline

    Prayer has been a part of my life for a long time. I am 74 yrs of age- married 53 years in April, with four children ,13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. It has become more meaningful to praise God, give thanks for blessings, and examine my conscience with resolution, and each day. My “mountain:” is sitting with my Pauline prayer book first thing in the morning at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee. Later afternoon or evening sitting in the bedroom and praying the rosary- meditate on the mysteries. prayer requests for family, friends and sometimes strangers. Prayer keeps me anchored to our Lord, Jesus Christ. – never let me be separated from Him.

  • rtclovesmac

    Lord, wash me in Your Spirit , cleanse me in the light of Your love, let the gift of Your grace be a beckon to to the source of all light!

  • Linda Dokey

    Amen Amen ♡ LORD GRANT TO ME A LOVE FOR OTHERS AS YOU LOVE, THAT WOULD MAKE THEM DESIRE ONLY YOU. AMEN

  • Penelope

    I take time alone in a small room, upstairs, apart from the rest of the house; I close the door and I feel like I am all alone in the world. It is such a blessing to sit in the quiet with the Lord. My heart calms and all my worries & concerns about my children and grandchildren fade into the background, different…there is hope and peace.

    It also happens when a group gathers in our living room for prayer and Bible study, that the the Lord makes Himself known to us. The air around us becomes sweet and heavy with his Presence, and no one wants to move, we feel so enveloped in His Love and Peace. One group I met with regularly for four years always refers to these times as “when the Lord came to visit”.

    These are times when the Lord can strengthen us, equip us, prepare us for what is ahead. Look at what Jesus had before him. And the three disciples as well.

    When my daughter-in-law Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer, my routine of daily morning prayer went out the window. Now quiet moments for my husband and myself were scattered throughout the day, as we drove back and forth to my son’s home, to get the children up, give them breakfast, get them ready for school and out the door for the bus, grab laundry on the way out and return later to meet them at the bus stop. There were hospital visits and drives, meals to prepare, etc etc. Thanks to the Lord, I had the stamina and strength I needed to walk with Sarah and the family during this time. It was Grace, pure Grace.

    The proof is in the pudding. Today I need a nap before I go out to dinner with my husband.

    I have learned that the quiet times of prayer with the Lord are important, yes, because this is a place where the Lord strengthens me and prepares me for what is ahead. But I have also learned that my prayer times can be ‘seasonal’, depending on what is happening in my life. And now, I try not to be so hard on myself.

    At Mass this morning, Father Francis was speaking to us during the homily about the Lenten season, asking us how we were doing. We will fall, he told us. “But” he said, “the important thing is that you are on the journey.”
    Thanks be to God!

  • mtt

    In the depths of prayer, when you have achieved a communion with the Lord, the light of God’s presence is kindled deep inside of you, at the very core of your existence. And then it begins to radiate out through the whole of your being. That’s why it is so important that Luke mentions the clothing of Jesus becoming dazzling white. Clothes evoke one’s contact with the outside world.
    Nice reflection for the presence of religious who wear the holy habit!

    • Susanrose

      Matt
      Wow! Awesome and well said, I felt that in my heart, it brought tears of joy as I read ur beautiful comment.
      Well said! Amen
      God Bless you

      Peace
      JMJ