Posted December 04, 2012:
The Beginning of Prayer

by Catherine Doherty.

We should start realizing what true poverty is. First and foremost, it is a realization of who we are. We are created by God; we are creatures of God who are totally dependent on him.

We are the anawim, the poor people of God, the little people who know that they are totally dependent, the little people who lean on God, knowing that without him they can do nothing.

This is the first step to prayer—to know who we are: saved sinners, entirely dependent on God. We are dependent.

To the proud, this is anathema. We look at ourselves and we say, "I depend on no one," and suddenly, in the very saying, we realize that we do.

This is the beginning of prayer: that we become beggars before God, knowing that even the steps we take are given to us by God.

To begin to pray, then, is to first cleanse our souls of arrogance and pride. In grave humility and as beggars, we come to him who alone can make us princes and kings and queens, not of earthly kingdoms, but of the kingdom of God.

When we are thus poor and realize our total poverty, then we can go to Bethlehem and meet the Child who became poor for us.

—Adapted from Donkey Bells, p. 23, available from MH Publications


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