7 February, Sunday — To Pray in Quietude and Solitude

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Job 7:1-4,6-7
1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23

Mk 1:29-39

“In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.”

If you were to ask me what I miss the most during the quarantine periods, one thing comes to mind immediately. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I really enjoyed going to one of the local churches in the morning. Sometimes attending the exposition of the Eucharist, but mostly sitting alone in the quiet church. This was very peaceful and spiritually fulfilling for me. My relationship with God had become more intimate; there is a deeper bond and communion with God in my heart, my mind and my soul. I felt very much at peace in quiet solitude, even if I walked in the church filled with anxiety, anger or disquiet, I walked out with peace, if not joy.  

That is not to say that praying with family, friends or a faith community is not fruitful. We need family and community. Like in any relationship, in order to develop our personal connection, we need to take the time to really know each other. Prayer, especially in quietude, is very conducive to developing our relationship with God.

During prayer, we often feel the need to be verbose, bombarding God with words, requests, etc. I find that what gives me a sense of peace is reading a passage from the word of God, then reflecting on the words in quietude. Letting His words flow through and over me, and finally engulfing me. Often times, I find that He speaks to me directly and answers the questions in my heart and addresses what is troubling my soul. If you sit in quietude, you too could be in communion with the Lord. Such a sense of peace that you cannot experience will come over you. We don’t need to be always speaking or controlling the conversation; we can just be in the presence of the Lord and simply worship in silence, in our hearts and minds, being attentive to what He has to say.  

In any relationship, being attentive is often indicative of that person’s importance to us. Ever speak to people who are inattentive or who tend to monopolize the conversation? I would get the message that they are not too interested in me and I would move on. Do we want to give God the same message of disinterest? Or do we want to give Him our undivided attention, telling Him how important He is to us?

(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)

Prayer:  Dear Lord, teach us to pray earnestly and attentively. We understand that prayer is not for God’s benefit but for ours. We need the communion, the peace that comes with prayer.   

Thanksgiving:  Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the Church, the Adoration Chapel, where we can find You most readily. Thank you for giving us the gift of prayer, where You can be heard if we listen attentively, and where we can speak to You from our hearts and minds as well.


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