Friday, March 15, 2013

Pope Francis - A Humble Begining


"Now I would like to give my blessing. But first, I will ask a favor. Before the bishop blesses his people, he asks that you pray to the Lord to bless me, the prayer of the people for the blessing of their bishop. Let's pray for me in silence."

When I first heard this request for prayer I had trouble understanding it.  The pope is supposed to bless us and then get on with all of his popely duties.

He asked us to pray for HIM? WOW!!!

It all began to make sense as I soaked in the event. I was watching the events unfold at work - in my boss' office.  I am pretty sure this was not the scene in every business office in Western North Carolina, but I work in a Catholic parish. Not you typical Catholic parish, but a Catholic parish run by Jesuits.  Jesuits are a special breed and in the presence of two of these men, Pope Francis' request began to seem very typical.  The Jesuits are very spiritual men. This request was very Jesuit - or rather very Ignatian. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) was founded by St Ignatius of Loyola.

Keep an eye on this blog for much more about Francis and Ignatian Spirituality.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Five Ps of Prayer

I suppose there is no absolute wrong way to pray, but if you want to be sure to hit all of the key areas of prayer...

I present the five Ps of prayer as defined by Father Michael Denk.

Prepare: Know ahead of time what you are going to pray with. Look at it early in the morning, meditate upon it throughout the day.
Posture: We are human beings and we pray with our bodies. Find a posture that you can be relaxed and comfortable so your body is not a distraction during prayer.
Presence: Take a moment before prayer to realize that you are in the Presence of God. Invite the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and teach you how to pray.
Passage: Go to the Word, Icon, or nature. Become familiar with it and rest with whatever word, image, phrase, sense God speaks to you. Be still.
Place: Find a place that is good for prayer. A place of silence where you will not be disturbed. Make a place significant for praying – i.e. candle, crucifix, bible.

Spur of the moment prayer is still effective, but we truly have a personal relationship with God. Sure, you can have a quick conversation with a friend or write a quick note/text, but if you have something very important to say you will at least think about what you need to say before you say it or write it. If you are writing a love letter (are they still written?) there will likely be a couple of versions. If you are writing a grant for funding of an important project, there will be many revisions.

Make time for God and the benefits will shine forth.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back at it

Has it really been three years since my last post? Wow!
The prolonged absence has not been an indication of my prayer life. In fact, far from it. My prayer life has blossomed, and I will try to share with you my experiences you. I am confident that the sharing of the past few years will be a benefit to me and I hope you can find the right inspiration for an increase in the amount and quality of your own prayer life.

I stumbled upon this blog again because I was searching for an online prayer journal. I still have not found what I am looking for but finding this blog again has given me inspiration to get back into sharing my journey with others. It turns out that over the past few years I have traveled quite far on my prayer journey.

A year ago I completed the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. Before I started I thought I had a decent spirituality (whatever that means) and knew how to pray. Boy, I was wrong. I was directed through the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life. This is a once a week direction through the exercises as opposed to the intended 30 day retreat. The Exercises were fruitful and I have since begun training to become a Spiritual Director. I feel I have a lot to share as a result of the past couple of years and what lies ahead.

Stay tuned!