Blogging for the Catholic SIP helps me see some ordinary moments in my life as prayer, and gives me an outlet to reflect and share my prayer with others who are also trying to stay in prayer. I’ve heard prayer described as not so much something that you do, but more so something that you allow to be done unto you.
Imagine my surprise when I found myself caught up in a prayer of gratitude as I was watching Joseph Gordon Levitt’s “Hit Record on TV” on Netflix the other day. First of all, the concept of “Hit Record on TV” is incredibly unique, to say the least. Everything seen on the show is made collaboratively by a community of hundreds of thousands of artists from all over the world, and each episode revolves around a different theme. The first episode of season 1 was based around the theme “One.”
What struck me in this first episode was a short collaborative film titled “First Stars I See Tonight. It was based on a true story written by a young lady with a condition that made her night blind. This beautiful short film had 1,440 contributions from various “recorders,” ranging from voice-overs, artwork, animation, music, audio, and production. The result was one stunning tapestry woven together by the minds, hearts and talents of several different people from around the world.
If you want to pause right now to watch the short 3-minute film it might actually paint a better picture of what inspired the sudden prayer in the middle of my day. Here’s the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX5iuHnLlX8
As I watched the film, so many memories surrounding the stars flooded my mind. There is a line in the film where the girl says, “My dad had done what all good fathers promised their children they would do. He gave me the stars.” I couldn’t help but think of my mom and my dad, and the special memories I have with them looking up at the stars in silence.
As a little girl, I sometimes asked my mom if she would “take me to the stars.” That’s what I would call the times she invited me to sit with her on a stool by the window to look at the stars in silence. There were other times when I would look outside and see my dad laying on the hood of his car looking up at the stars. On those nights, I would crawl onto the car and lay next to him without saying a word. The funny thing is, anyone who knew me as a little girl knew that silence did not come naturally to me. For some reason, I was silenced underneath the stars, sharing my smallness with my parents.
Remembering those moments always meant so much to me. But, as I watched the film I realized I’d fell silent as a little girl looking up at the stars with my parents because deep down inside I knew I was being given a glimpse of my parent’s view of the universe. As I came to this realization, a smile came over my face and I thanked God for parents who’ve shared their hearts with me in a way that made the world bigger and brighter than I would have been able to see it on my own.
I believe the same can be true about prayer, whether it’s shared in silence, in reflection, or in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. We can stay in prayer when we unite our prayers to the prayers of others. In that way, the prayer goes on as far as the stars.
There are many times in my life when I find it difficult to stay in prayer. Sometimes, for me, it takes finding God in the faith or story of another that brings me back into communion with Him.
“I am grateful for God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. I yearn to see you again, recalling you in tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you.”
- 2 Timothy 3-5