I am always amazed at how few of us really know how to pray with one another. Here is a short article about how to pray with teens, but it really works with anyone.
If I was still teaching the Life and Teaching of Jesus I might use this. Insightful in a fun way.
An interesting explanation for the origins of Halloween. Trick or treat!
There was an interview in the Compass a few weeks back about Bishop Morneau as he retires from active ministry as a bishop. During the interview, Bp. Morneau is asked which of the many books he had written is his favorite. He names one of my favorite books: Spiritual Direction: A Path to Spiritual Maturity. Sadly this book is now out of print so here are ten principles of prayer explored in the first chapter:
- Prayer is essentially loving attention (see Jn. 17; Rm. 11:33-36).
- Prayer is proportionate to the quality of one’s love (see 1 Jn. 2:9-11; Lk 4:42-44).
- Genuine prayer demands some control over body and spirit (see Gal. 5:16-23; Mt. 4:1-17).
- In prayer, I must bring this me into the living and true God (see Judges 6:13; Rom. 7:14-25).
- Prayer’s primary focus is on God, not on self or on events (see Ps. 23; Gal. 2:17-21).
- Silence, solitude, and surrender are conditions for prayer (see Lk. 22:39-46; Mt. 6:5-6).
- The tone of prayer is one of reverence, wonder, and awe (see Is. 6:1-9; Ps. 118:5-7).
- God’s activity in prayer is more important than our activity (see Ps. 138; Jn. 6:44).
- There is no one way of prayer; pluralism in prayer must be carefully guarded and encouraged (see Col. 3:12-17; Lk. 4:42-44).
- Prayer leads to intimacy with God and to solidarity with all creation (see Ps. 139; Jer. 31:31-34).
These sound principles can form the basis of a lifetime of prayer. Thank you Bishop Morneau!
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
A helpful article putting Pope Francis “controversial” statements in context.
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
“Can you help me with my math?”
It was about 9pm. I had just finished cleaning up after our family meal (it was that kind of day). I walked into the living room, plopped down in the recliner with a long sigh. I was hoping to zone out in front of something on netflix for a bit before going to bed. And the question came. “Can you help me with my math?”
I was weary. Physically weary. My feet and back ached. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get out of the chair!
I was mentally weary. I had crunched numbers in the morning and had meetings through the afternoon and evening.
I was emotionally weary. Part of the day had been spent listening to and praying with people who were suffering. I was drained.
But I had barely talked with my son all day. I had been running from one thing to the next. He had been running too. Even at supper I was in my own little world. The better part of me knew that I had to get up and try to help him. My son was important, even though I wasn’t sure I could be very helpful (I love math but its been a while since I’ve done algebra!) I knew that simply standing beside him and supporting him as he did his math would make a difference. He needed me to be there to ask a few questions to keep him focused. The relationship was what was important, not my math skills.
Sometimes my prayer life is like that too. After a long day I often feel too tired to pray. Sometimes I’m physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. But I know it is important to spend time with God. It is the time spent in relationship that matters.
I think that one reason Jesus urges us to “pray always without becoming weary” is so that we spend time with him every day. Its not always about what we bring to our prayer. Sometimes it is simply about showing up, even if we are weary.
Lincoln A. Wood