The more and more we progress in any skill or work, the more it becomes second nature to us. Whether it’s learning to throw a baseball, play an instrument, or work in a spreadsheet. We move out of the beginner’s stage, and we don’t have to focus so hard on the task at hand.
At a certain point, muscle memory takes over. We don’t need to think as much, we just do. For most things, that’s amazing. But, specifically for prayer, we can’t afford to forget the basics.
Those basics might vary a little for each of us, but I think there’s one foundational part of every prayer that we must actively remember: a prayer of Recollection.
Whether it’s offering our morning prayer, attending Mass, praying the Rosary, even just saying Grace, we must begin by recalling the very presence of God within us. If the purpose of prayer is to draw closer to God, we can’t gloss over the act of placing ourselves in His presence. It is this recollection that transforms our words from recitation or mental offloading into real prayer directed at God.
How do we do this? It can be as simple as it sounds. Calm our mind. Push out all other thoughts. And, in that quiet, remember that the Creator of the Universe dwells in the temple of our souls.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:23
Recalling this truth can be a prayer in itself. One that we make many times during the day.