Life is to live, and life is to give, and talents are to use for good— if you choose. Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be strong. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks, then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life, which has come to you by the grace of God. But everyone needs someone, knowing that somewhere someone is thinking of you.
The Father Solanus Guild, the organization responsible for the saintly cause of Blessed Solanus Casey, notes that Solanus often prayed these words that had been adapted from a poem written by Phillips Brooks. In doing so, I surmise that he was drawn to the life-giving reality present within them: giving, talents, powers, miracles, wonder, richness, grace, and prayer. Why so? Because they characterize the life of a person in tune with the life of God.
For Blessed Solanus Casey, the Divine tune, if you will, means that our lives should always be focused upon God. It follows, therefore, that a person focused upon God will live a life that is centered in prayer. And through that life of prayer, a great relationship develops. Things once thought to be impossible suddenly become possible. And while, on occasion, our prayers might move mountains, they mostly center us upon God so that we might have “eyes to see” Him move the smaller hills and obstacles surrounding our lives.
I once had the “fortune” of hearing a priest’s testimony of a “bad week” he had encountered, one that included a series of events that nearly led him to despair. As one never eager to hear about the misfortune of others, I nonetheless found his story enlightening. For him, a litany of weeklong problems continued through late Friday morning when suddenly a knock on the door of the rectory brought a different insight.
It was a soft knock. When he opened the door, standing on his doorstep was a mother, father, and their teenage daughter. After inviting them inside, the mother explained that she had found him through the diocesan website and that he was the priest who, many years ago, baptized their infant daughter now standing before him. The mother went on to describe how, from the time she was able, her daughter had always included him in her evening prayers.
When it was the daughter’s turn to speak, she smiled and thanked him for baptizing her and revealed that during her prayers, she always asked God to grant him happiness and safety.
And as they left, with a lump in his throat, the priest not only thanked them, but thanked God, too.
Despite the hills and obstacles of life, the power of prayer and God’s love really does cut through. How good indeed it is to know that someone is praying for you.