I often speak of the vocation to Carmel as a vocation to prayer and love. But what is prayer? Many of us view prayer as asking God for what we want. We think that by asking God for something, we can change his mind. But this is not the case with prayer. God our Father dispenseses many graces to us daily, some of which we do not even notice. But, our good Lord often withholds certain graces from us until we ask for them. By doing this, our Lord is his own infinate wisdom, is teaching us to rely on him as children rely on their parents. By making us ask for our needs and wants, God humbles us and makes us more aware of our weak and sinful nature as humans. Only an infinatly merciful and loving God would do this for us and he does each and every day. Of course no prayer, no matter how beautiful or eloquent, or even humble and simple can match that prayer that isssued forth from the mouth of God himself incarnated in the flesh:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our tresspasses,
as we forgive those who tresspass against us,
and lead us not into tempation,
but deliver us from evil.
God in his all-knowing way, taught us this prayer because in it is contained everything that we can possibly ask or need of God. It shows our reliance on our good God. Should one fall into the temptation that he has found a prayer more beautiful or powerful than the Lord's Prayer, he will never become humble or truely be able to love with his whole heart.