During the days I was there, my little brother (well he is 15 years old, but still my little brother) was participating in the Friendship Tournament (this is a sports tournament in which the different schools of the Movement from Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador gather to compete in different sports).
What is amazing about this event, other than forming beautiful friendships and competing against each other in a healthy way (which requires a lot of virtue), is that in the midst of the more than 10,000 people coming and going, music, soccer, basketball and volleyball games, you can always find a place of rest in the adoration chapel that is put in a central point of the tournament venue.
One day I was praying in the chapel. I was exhausted, many things were on my mind, plus the loud music that was being played outside made it difficult to focus and pray. Feeling very restless, I started to get discouraged about my praying. Suddenly, I saw a cute-five-year old entering the chapel. His name, Max, was written on the back of his team’s soccer jersey. He walked all the way to the first row of the chapel, knelt down, closed his eyes, and started to move his lips. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I could tell He was praying. He was probably asking God to help him in his next game or asking Him to protect his family, simple things, but He was praying.
After a very well-done genuflection (not bad for a five year old!) Max left the chapel. I found myself alone in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the words of Jesus found in the gospel of Matthew came to my mind: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” “That’s it,” I said to myself. I need to become like a little child when I pray. That’s what prayer is all about: simplicity. It is presenting all that I am to God; it is telling Him whatever is in my heart, as stupid and foolish as it can be! Prayer is closing my eyes, like Max did, and resting in the arms of my Father.
It is true that sometimes the heart feels dry and there are no words that can describe what is going on inside. Sometimes a little child does not know how to speak, does not know what to say, or how to express himself. He just feels secure in the presence of that someone who He knows loves him and protects him always. Praying many times is like that. It is being in the presence of God, saying NOTHING! It is just being there in silence in His presence, knowing that even though we cannot feel His grace, He is pouring His abundant mercy over us.
So what do I think about prayer? I guess I can repeat what Saint Teresa said: “Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God”. Prayer is having the time of your life with your best friend, Jesus, who knows how to listen, to comfort, to console, to encourage, and to fill us with His joy.