Upon reflecting on the readings, what stood out to me most was their common theme of words. Isaiah 55 highlights the importance of the words that we speak: “so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will. . .” From this, we can learn that we should be careful when choosing our words. We want our words to be ones of love and respect for others, as well as words that share the Truth of God. Psalm 34 tells us that the Lord hears the just who cry out—that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for God’s help. Although our cry to God may not be spoken aloud, He still hears us. In fact, sometimes it is better for us to internalize our words to the Lord as Matthew 6 tells us: “in praying, do not babble like the pagans. . . Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” We shouldn’t pray aloud for all to hear just so that others see us as faithful. God knows our faith and that’s what’s important. That is not to say that praying aloud is not a powerful way to speak to God.
Sometimes saying things out loud bring another level of awareness for your connection with God. For me personally, I enjoy quiet prayer and reflection because I am able to look deeper into myself and disconnect from the outside world. However, I also think that group prayer has great value. For example, singing the Our Father at mass as a parish community is truly a beautiful and unifying experience. God gave us the ability to use our spoken word and internal word to share His Word; let’s practice our gift this Lent.
College of Nursing, Class of 2017