Study and prayer PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 11:30




“AN hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer.” That’s what one saint, Opus Dei founder St. Josemaria Escriva, said in one of his books. We have to acknowledge the divine wisdom of these words and exert the effort to live by them.

We should always be studying and learning, because our human and Christian formation is actually an endless and lifelong affair. In fact, it is a duty, because it is always a necessity for us. There is always something to know, to understand better, etc.

And we have to understand that our effort to study is always an encounter with Christ, an offering to God, an act of faith, hope and love. In this way, study is actually prayer. It should not just be a technical exercise, with purely intellectual and practical purposes only.

The duty to take care of formation is coterminous with life itself, which will always give us lessons. And that’s because the basics and essentials, the absolute, old and the permanent truths, which we may already know, will always have to cope and somehow need to get enriched by the incidentals in life, by the relative, innovative and changing things.

This will always be the case in our earthly life. There are things that will always remain the same and permanent, and things that are changing in the course of time. And we need to adapt ourselves to these new developments.

Somehow we are reminded of this point in the second letter of St. Peter where he urged us to go on with our formation: “Strive diligently to supply your faith with virtue, your virtue with knowledge, your knowledge with self-control, your self-control with patience, your patience with piety, your piety with fraternal love, your fraternal love with charity.” (1,5-7)

And as we all know, charity is a never-ending affair, ever making new demands on us, and introducing us to more aspects, dimensions and challenges in life. It will always push us to do more, to give more, to be more.

Besides, given the rapid pace of developments in the worldm today, can we think that we can afford to sit pretty and rely simply on what we have learned so far? Not only that. If we realize moredeeply that our ultimate goal is communion with God and with others, can we ever think that we already have enough formation to reach that goal?

We have to be wary of our tendency to be complacent and to think that as far as our knowledge is concerned, we already know enough. There’s nothing more to know. This tendency is usually more pronounced in the elder ones and the more gifted people.

Without noticing it, they can fall into playing the role of the hare in that fable of the race between the hare and the tortoise. The hare’s sense of superiority and overconfidence turned out to be his own undoing, his own downfall.

We should deepen our sense of humility such that we understand that the more we know, we immediately realize that there are more things that we still need to know.