Called by name

Father Nick Adam

It’s not often an Alabama alumnus uses an LSU football analogy, so be sure to read this:

If we don’t make time for prayer as a Catholic community, then we will continue to struggle bring forth men and women for priesthood and religious life. Young people must be taught not just how to pray, but how to build a habit of prayer. This way they can discern the things of the world and discover amongst the noise what God is calling them to do, not just what they think would bring about the most security.

Now for my LSU football analogy to drive this point home: The best quarterbacks do not always make the safe throw. The best quarterbacks push the ball down the field, recognizing that sometimes the defense could get the better of them, but they make throws that win games. Joe Burrow is a great example. Last year, he sought the safe throws, and LSU was mediocre. This year, he trusted his coaches and his gifts and took risks, and LSU morphed into an historically great team.

Prayer brings forth greatness, not in the eyes of the culture, but in the eyes of God. Jesus Christ made choices that were impossible to comprehend to the outside observer, but because he was rooted in relationship with his heavenly Father, his choices led to triumph.

Our screens are loud. Talking heads are loud. They are convincing. So how much time are we spending away from those sources and listening to the Lord in the silence of prayer? I know the arguments, because I present them to my own spiritual director all the time! “I am too busy right now to pray, it is impossible.” For busy families, silence is at even more of a premium. But we make time for other pursuits, and we simply must make time for prayer. And it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming amount. So much of our life is built on the habits that we have. It is easy to make time for youth sporting events and other activities, because we are in the habit of doing them. They are what everyone does. So why isn’t prayer one of these habits for many families? Why does it seem so abnormal?

So, if you have not been praying – start. And you don’t have to pray a crazy amount. Just start by reading one chapter of the gospel per day and spend as much time as you can in silence as you read. Consider your life in light of Jesus’ words and actions, and close it with a Glory be to the Father. The more you build up the habit, the more you will be attracted to silence and reflection and conversation with the Lord, and the more you will make time for it. And don’t strive just for security and comfort. Listen to what God wants you to do, he created you, you can trust Him.