“Let Us Pray”
The Church at Prayer in the Eucharistic Celebration – Ready, Set, GO!
our parish begins this “Year of Prayer” and we settle into the routine of
Ordinary Time, it is advantageous to take a more detailed look at our spiritual
life. How does Christ live in us and we in him?
disciples were called while at their ordinary work. They changed their lives immediately and
followed Jesus. We have also been called
by God to change our lives, follow Him and thus change our world. Yet, some are content to sit back and let "someone else" do the work of
proclaiming the Good News. Our Sunday
Liturgy is a good example of this mentality.
This highest form of communal prayer is often attended and not fully
experienced. In fact, Vatican II
addresses this issues in the Constitution on
the Sacred Liturgy calling each and every one of us
to Full, Conscious and Active participation.
expresses in ritual what we believe to be the very heart of our existence, the
Paschal Mystery. Eucharist is the most
visible of all our liturgical celebrations.
It is a radical call to faith and a means for renewing our bond with one
another in Christ.
The word liturgy comes from the
Greek term meaning "public work or work done on behalf of the people." All worshippers are expected to participate
actively in each liturgy, for this is holy "work", not entertainment or a
participate actively in the Mass, we need to resist a tendency to passivity
when gathered in an audience-like setting.
At Mass, we are an assembly of believers called to be a community joined
in the praise and worship of God. We do this in the singing of hymns, psalms,
recitation of prayers and responses, especially in our “Yes” to God in the
first disciples in this weekend’s Gospel, WE have been assigned the task of
‘catching’ as many people as possible by sharing what we know about God and
giving positive witness to our faith.
Our communal prayer ends with the mission to “Go in peace to love and
serve the Lord and one another.” What
is stopping you?
Jesus, We are your disciples. Help us
choose with a confident faith to follow you always. Amen.
“Let Us Pray”
Gospel from Mark shows Jesus teaching with authority. He has a message to tell as well as a crowd
of people who were astonished to hear his instruction. Teaching does not take place if the message
is given, but no one hears it. It is the
same with prayer. Prayer is more than
talking to God, it involves listening as well.
wonderful thing about prayer is that it is the relationship where you can share all of yourself and know
that you are loved. God wants to be in
relationship with you in every aspect of your life – in all your concerns, gifts, faults,
and feelings. This gives rise to
different forms of prayer – blessings (and adoration), petition, intercession,
thanksgiving, and praise – that connect to different times and situations in
your life. God is always ready to listen
to our pleas. Are we ready to listen to
His response and boldly accept the message given to us?
to carry out the mission of the Church are lessened if they are not rooted in
prayer. Pope Francis addresses this in
The Joy of the Gospel # 262. “What is
needed is the ability to cultivate and interior space which can give a
Christian meaning to commitment and activity.
Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the
word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes
meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our
fervor dies out. The Church urgently needs
the deep breath of prayer and to my great joy, groups devoted to prayer and
intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration
of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life.”
Jesus, as you speak with authority, help us to open our hearts and listen. May we become the “deep breath of prayer”
needed renew our church. Through you, we
will learn the way of goodness and truth.
“Let Us Pray”
the three previous bulletins we spoke of forms of prayer that are quite
familiar to us: the communal prayer of the Mass, what is prayer and devotional prayer.
They are ways that we “talk” to God.
In the coming weeks we will be introducing our community to prayer that
will help us learn how to “listen” to God.
week we enter in to the season of Lent.
It is a time of spiritual renewal, a time of almsgiving, prayer, fasting
and sacrifice. This year, we invite you
to consider fasting from your normal
schedule, sacrificing some of the
time you spend sleeping, watching tv or checking your facebook page and giving some time to the Lord in
One of the best ways to begin
to listen to the voice of God within is an exercise written by St. Ignatius of
Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. It
is a prayerful review with God of the last 24 hours. It can be done for 10-15 minutes any time of
the day. It is meant to help us grow in the ability to recognize the movements
of the Holy Spirit in our lives and discern the influences that are not of God.
The Daily Faith
1. Act of Presence and Thanksgiving
Settle into a comfortable
quiet space in your body, mind and heart.
Begin to bring your attention to God.
Recall that God is ever present and attentive to us. Give thanks to God for your life –for this
day as well as the people and events
that made it what it came to be. Offer
yourself back to God.
2. Asking for Light, Wisdom and
Ask the Holy Spirit of
The light to see clearly
what God wants you to notice from your day.
Also to see what in you is in harmony with God’s Holy Spirit as well as
what undermines faith awareness, trust and love. The wisdom to understand what God shows you
from your day to help you understand it in light of the values of Jesus. The gift of accepting myself as I am and
trusting that the Holy Spirit is present and active in both the graced parts
and the sinful parts; that God loves you and works in you in and through both
3. Finding God in All Things with
Thanksgiving and/or Sorrow
Review the events
of the last 24 hours and recall the people who were part of it. Let the Lord, as if He were walking with you,
show you where He was present and active in you and in others. Let God show you where the Spirit was
blessing you with gifts: existence,
work, relationships, food, challenges, through
a book or article that you read or music you enjoyed, physical exercise, or in
some event that made you sad or in the experience of failure, discouragement or
feelings that surface~ both positive and negative, the painful and the
pleasant, are clear signals of where God’s action and the other Spirit’s action
were during the previous 24 hours. The
feelings that are significant are those that tend to draw me closer to
God, (spiritual consolations - like faith, hope and love) and those that
tend to lead me away from God (spiritual desolations – like guilt, mistrust,
discouragement, poor self-image, envy).
Choose the feeling
that most catches your attention (a sign that something important to my life
and relationship with God is going on).
Now move to a friend-to-friend, heart to heart conversation with God as
you notice the source of the feeling.
If any experiences
of a lack of inner peace, uncharitable actions or self-centered habits for
thinking, judging or acting surface during your review of the day, ask God to
enlighten you as to what attitude underlies the experience. Such attitudes and attachments will block
your freedom in trying to experience God during your day. Ask Jesus whether there is any one place in
your heart or any one attitude that He is calling for conversion. Is there an area in your spirit you are being
called to pray over more attentively and to take action on? If so, ask for the help that only Jesus can
Toward the Next 24 Hours
Ask the Lord Jesus
for the favor of His presence, support, guidance and protection in the events
and meetings with people that you anticipate in the upcoming day. Ask for the openness and childlike spirit
that lets the Lord surprise you, whether through an enjoyable event or in
something that is difficult - so that you are open to God in the way or in the
person who comes to you unexpectedly.
You may also need
to ask the Lord for the strength to:
overcome something you fear or dread; persevere in something; to be more
sensitive to Gods activity in your life; to let go of something or someone; to
love more; to be converted in some relationship; to accept the thorn in your
flesh. Ask God for help and guidance,
deeper love and care, trust and courage, or whatever you need. Conclude with an “Our Father”.
p.s. Next week, we
will learn how to begin to pray with scripture.