June 13 Feast of St. Anthony who said, "He prays best who does not know that he is praying."
St. Anthony on Prayer: StAnthonyPadua-young-232x300 Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony wrote those words about prayer. It might seem confusing at first, but if you think about it, sometimes we can work too hard at our prayer. Our prayer should come from the center of our innermost self and be almost like breathing. If we are trying to keep in the presence of God throughout our day then our prayer can simply become a constant part of our being. The Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Conrad live a contemplative life in addition to a life of service. The friars pray the Liturgy of the Hours in common each day besides daily Mass and two periods of meditation. When asked what is at the heart of the Capuchin Franciscan life, provincial minister Fr. Christopher Popravak said, “Prayer, simply prayer”. And reflecting on his brother Capuchins he said, “Over the years, living in many friaries with so many brothers, I am still in amazement at the deep prayer life of these men.” These Capuchin Franciscan friars pray each day for vocations and for those who support them with their prayers, sacrifices and donations. As you look at the depiction of a young Anthony of Padua, remember those in formation, especially our novice who makes first profession, our four postulants who enter novitiate, and our eight candidates who enter postulancy. The life of the friars is indeed sustained by prayerful supporters. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit prays for us when we can’t find the words (Romans 8:26). It actually says that the Spirit “groans” for us in our weakness – and if you have ever been in that place of not knowing what or how to pray, you know how appropriate that is! Today allow the Holy Spirit to pray for you…acknowledge God’s presence within you and ask for your day to become your prayer as you pray with the Capuchin Franciscans. St. Anthony, pray for us!