Prayer: Communion of Souls
In the last few years, I have started to spend more time in prayer on a regular basis. I now spend five minutes in prayer three times a day, and find this a most worthwhile activity. This is on top of my hour of Yoga first thing each morning.
I suspect we all feel awkward and embarrassed about praying. I certainly used to, but I worry less these days about appearing silly. The real reason I pray is that I have found that it works, in two ways: in the first place, it focuses your mind on your needs, obligations and requirements – more importantly, I am increasingly convinced that it works! The more I pray, the better my life works out.
I pray out loud, repeating the Lord’s Prayer that I learned as a child, as well as the ‘Hail Mary’s and ‘Glory Be’s that I learned from my lovely Catholic ex-wife Adrienne. I usually say my prayers in front of family portraits – parents, grandparents – and I tend to address different prayers to individual relatives in turn, bringing them into my consciousness and memory. In this way, I return to the beloved home of my youth when we were all young together. While saying my prayers, I maintain a telepathic communication with my ancestors, which helps me and, I believe, helps them too – sort of a non-verbal conversation. I call it the Communion of Souls. Through our ancestors we have access to the Communion of Saints, and can draw on their power and influence. We are all part of God.
I have a very practical arrangement with God. My God does deals – if I play by the rules, I am rewarded. If I say my prayers, they are answered. For me, it’s that simple – good people are rewarded, go to Heaven. However unfashionable, being a good person, as my mother was, is a good long-term survival strategy – in this life and the next.
I don’t say this to make myself look virtuous – you already know that – I say it because I strongly recommend this to my friends. I find it an incredibly helpful and supportive activity.