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Sr. Rita Cavaretta on Prayer

by Sr. Pat McGraw, icm

With over 60 years of her life lived as a religious-missionary, Sr. Rita speaks from the wisdom of her years.  She says, “As ICM missionaries we spend the day so ‘busy’ serving others that we need time to return to the Source of Love that inflames us for this service.  A true missionary cannot live without deep moments of solitude or her ‘busy actions’ will soon turn into the ‘noisy gong and clanging cymbal’ that St. Paul described in his ode to love.” 

“We hear so many other voices during the course of a day -- time to hear the Divine MUST be there also!” she emphasized!  She shares with us two special prayers that she uses to enter into this special moment of listening to the Divine.  

The first is “Blessing Prayer Upon

tucson sunsetEntering Solitude” which she says she uses when she is alone and quiet.  “I use this prayer to open my mind, heart, spirit to the action of the Holy Spirit, in union with the Indwelling Trinity.   It leads me into prayer, into the presence of God.”  She says she prays  mainly in her bedroom, in the quiet of the very early morning hours.  

 She prays this prayer again in the evening as part of her preparation for the night -- mainly as surrender into the hands of our Loving Abba and to express gratitude for the day almost past - not only for herself but for all those she met and thought of during the day. “I cannot enter into the Heart of God without finding there all whom God loves, without exception.”

The second prayer is on “Leaving a Place of Solitude.”  She emphasizes still more that there cannot be a “Call to Prayer” without a corresponding “Call to Mission.”  “This prayer indicates very clearly that time with God must lead to a renewed participation in the Mission of Jesus.  Prayer is never a “static repose,” but a stimulus to action that continually makes visible God’s love for ALL.”

The concepts in these two prayers cover many important and vital points about life and prayer and demonstrate a way of finding 'solitude' anywhere. She shares, “For me after many years of prayer, solitude has become:  an entering into, an openness, more an 'attitude' or wordless 'disposition' of joy, surrender, openness, awareness of weakness and dependence....of concern for others....shared with and nourished by God.”

falling leave

The testament of Sr. Rita’s prayer life invites all of us to participate in God’s mission through prayer and the accompanying good works that follow true prayer. “I share these two prayers with the hope that they will help others as they help me to find my ‘desert’ anywhere, and place myself in the presence of God, without forgetting the needs of others.”

 Note:  Her prayers are featured in another page of our website:  "Teach Us How to Pray"

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