Today’s gospel tells us that, “Jesus was praying in solitude and the disciples were with Him,” (v. 18). We often see Him in the Gospel rising early in the morning or spending entire nights in prayer. Let us observe that: 1) Though Christ had much work to do, yet He found some time to be alone in private with his Father and with His disciples. 2) When Christ was alone He was praying. It is good for us to improve our solitude for devotion, that, when we are alone, we may not be alone because God the Father is with us. 3. There are times when Christ was alone praying, His disciples were with Him, to join with Him in His prayer; so that this was a family-prayer. Parents ought to pray with their children, masters with their servants, teachers and tutors with their students and pupils. 4. Christ prayed with them before He examined them. That they might be directed and encouraged to answer His question of ‘who do people say that I am’ and ‘who do you say that I am,’ by His prayers for them.
But this gospel passage does not tell us that they were praying together with Christ. Only that He was praying. Let us just presume that they prayed together. Yet who needed more prayer? Christ or we who understand so little about God. We are presumptuous to slacken in our prayer commitments or to think we do not need prayer. If in His human nature Jesus felt the need for prayer, how much more do we need an intense, regular and disciplined life of prayer?
In relation to this, Carlo Carretto, a well-known hermit and spiritual writer, had a testimony, in his letter to his sister (Letters to Dolcidia 1954-1983), as quoted by the 365 Days with the Lord 2007. He said: “You see I have done a lot of work for the Church. I’m here of it. It has been my only thought, my only care. I have raced and covered as many miles as the most committed missionary. At a certain point it occurred to me that what the Church lacked was not work, activity, the building of projects to bring in souls. What was missing or at least was scarce, was the element of prayer, meditation, self-giving, intimacy with God, fidelity to the Holy Spirit and the conviction that he was the real builder of the Church: in a word, the supernatural element. Let me make myself clear: people of action are needed in the Church but we have to be very careful that their action does not smother the more delicate but much more important element of prayer.”
Prayer, as we all know, is a conversation with God. So we don’t have any reason not to pray at all. It is because if we don’t pray we miss out on the richness of prayer with the Three Persons of the Trinity.
So at the end let us also reflect what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2601) says. The Catechism says, “In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to pray. By contemplating and hearing the Son, the master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father.”
OPTION 01, 02, 03,