He worships while he grooves,
she prays and barely moves,
but they’re both reflecting pure devotion.
– Strong Love by the Newsboys
I was a sophomore in college in 1992, the year the Newsboys released their Not Ashamed album. I loved the techno-pop, Jesus Jones feel of their music, and the lyrics of many of the songs resonated deeply with me as I was deepening and broadening my faith. This particular stanza sent shivers down my spine when I heard it then, and now, twenty-four years later, it still evokes a smile from me, as it speaks to me of one of the great mysteries of life – the many and varied ways that we respond to the Creator’s presence.
In Catholicism, for example, you can find people praying in all sorts of ways: we can celebrate Mass in our native language or in Latin; we can celebrate Mass with chanting and organ, with choir and piano, or with drums and guitar (and trumpet!); we can pray in the style of the Taize Community or in the style of the Charismatic renewal; we can pray through building a home for Habitat for Humanity or by feeding the hungry in our community; we can pray through a rosary or through lectio divina; we can pray in the style of different Religious communities or with the words and prayers of the saints; we can pray in the timeless words of our Traditional Catholic prayers (Our Father, Hail, Mary, Glory Be, etc.) or in our own heartfelt words; we can pray together or alone; we can pray through the wonder of creation or through the intellectual stimulation of reading a good book; we can pray through the sacraments we celebrate or through the loving embrace of a spouse. And every single one of those prayer forms is a part of the grand universal faith we call the Catholic Church.
Apart from Catholicism, once we start looking at the way our religious impulse manifests itself in all of the world’s religions, we start to see the many and varied ways that our body, mind, soul and spirit call out to the One that created us. And we find that God delights in the variety of ways we use to reach out and listen to the still, small voice of the Divine within and around and above us.
May our devotion to our God deepen this Lenten with whatever ways of prayer we choose to practice.
Blessings & Peace,