Prayer and Spirituality
Growing in the Life of Prayer and Spiritual Practices
Prayer is a way to connect with the Divine. The Catholic Faith is rich in spiritual practices including many different types of individual prayer, community prayer, and practices of caring. There are prayer forms that will be fruitful for anyone from the most traditional Catholic to someone who is spiritual but not religious. We invite you to learn about different prayer forms and spiritual practices. Try the ones that attract you. If you are not drawn to a practice, enjoy the fact that some others in the world-wide Catholic community enter into their faith this way.
O Holy Night - Josh Groban
Set to scenes from The Nativity Story
Matt Maher - What a Friend (Official Lyric Video)
Matthew Guion Maher (born November 10, 1974) is a Canadian contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist, songwriter, and worship leader from Newfoundland, Canada, who lives in the United States. He has written and produced nine solo albums to date. Three of his albums have reached the Top 25 Christian Albums Billboard chart and four of his singles have reached the Top 25 Christian Songs chart. He is a practicing Catholic. Maher has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards in his career and was awarded the Songwriter of the Year for an artist, at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards.
Prayer for Friendship
Dear Lord, teach me to love others the way you first loved me. As I build relationships with others, let them see you in the extent of my generosity, the authenticity of my kindness, and the depths of my love. All of those things are only possible through you, the God who abides with me and calls me friend. Amen.
Click here to learn some simple ideas to help you transform a mere acquaintance into a true friend. The content of the blog post was taken from“What You Need to Know about Making New Friends” by Kelly O’Dell Stanley. You can read that piece in full here.
Prayer for Friendship
by Vienna Cobb Anderson
You have blessed us, O God,
with the gift of friendship,
the bonding of persons
in a circle of love.
We thank you for such a blessing:
for friends who love us,
who share our sorrows,
who laugh with us in celebration,
who bear our pain,
who need us as we need them,
who weep as we weep,
who hold us when words fail,
and who give us the freedom
to be ourselves.
Bless our friends with health,
wholeness, life, and love.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/multifaith/gratitude/prayer-for-friendship.aspx#3ADAhbU8equgY9My.99
Prayer of Thanks for Friends
I want to thank you, Gracious Lord,
for the good friends you give me;
they are for me a priceless bounty.
Thanks to them, friendship is neither an abstraction,
nor a distant, almost impossible, dream.
I owe to your providence, Lord,
the possibiltiy of counting on
the constant help of friends.
Between me and them you have formed a solid bridge,
which can withstand all threats of destruction.
The happiness with which you have blessed us
enables us to enrich one another.
Lord, there was something astonishing,
in the way I met my friends;
it was always outside the expected pattern.
But you alone know the reasons
that drew us closer together.
This surprise and joy are refreshing,
and I experience them anew
at every step of my life.
Not all proved to be steadfast friends,
but I have to thank you
for the faithful ones.
I promise to do everything in my power
to deserve this precious gift
that you have reserved for me.
I ask you, Gracious Lord, to keep them safe in your hands,
for they are yours above all.
The Daily Examen
In the Examen, we review our recent past to find God and God’s blessings in life. We also look back to find moments in the day when things didn’t go so well—when we were hurt by something that happened to us, or when we sinned or made a mistake. We give praise and thanksgiving for the blessed moments. We ask forgiveness and healing for the difficult and painful moments. Having reflected on this past day, we then turn to the day yet to come and ask God to show us the potential challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. We try to anticipate which moments might go one way or the other for us: toward God’s plan or away from it. We ask for insight into what graces we might need to live this next day well; patience, wisdom, fortitude, self-knowledge, peace, optimism. We ask God for that grace, and we trust that he wants us to succeed in our day even more than we do.
Click here to learn more.
Does your prayer change you?
Does your prayer change you? If you’ve been praying the Daily Examen for a few months or even a few weeks, you may have started to notice a few ways that God is active in your life. You might have a better sense of where God is during your day. But here’s a question: Is this making a difference in your life? One of the aims of prayer is to change you, to move you to conversion—what the Gospels call a “metanoia,” a change of mind and heart. Think about it this way: an encounter with Jesus always changed people in the Gospels. Our prayer should make us open to these kinds of changes, of metanoias.
Evening meditation: "Does your prayer change you?" by Father James Martin. And here's where you can find, and sign up for, the Daily Examen podcast, a guided meditation that will help you find God in your daily life. (Free for downloading and subscribing.)
How to Walk a Prayer Labyrinth
Labyrinths are used across Christian traditions as a vehicle for spiritual formation. In three stages you journey towards the center, arrive, and go back into your day. The process leads to a deeper awareness of God’s presence with you.
Liturgy of the Hours
The early Christians continued the Jewish practice of reciting prayers at certain hours of the day and night, culminating in the Liturgy of the Hours (also called the Divine Office or Breviary) that we have today, the single richest prayer resource of the Church. With prayers, psalms, and readings for each of the Hours, changing daily and seasonally, it's a beautiful way for lay people to join the liturgical prayer of the Catholic Church.
The Liturgy of the Hours, is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer. At times the dialogue is between the Church or individual soul and God; at times it is a dialogue among the members of the Church; and at times it is even between the Church and the world. The dialogue is always held, however, in the presence of God and using the words and wisdom of God.
Each of the five canonical Hours includes selections from the Psalms that culminate in a scriptural proclamation. The two most important or hinge Hours are Morning and Evening Prayer. These each include a Gospel canticle: the Canticle of Zechariah from Luke 1:68-79 for Morning Prayer, and the Canticle of Mary from Luke 1:46-55 for Evening Prayer. The Gospel canticle acts as a kind of meditative extension of the scriptural proclamation in light of the Christ event. Morning and Evening Prayer also include intercessions that flow from the scriptural proclamation just as the Psalms prepare for it.
This paperback is the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying. The author has recast all 150 Psalms in poetic form and sees them as a companion to use with those in the Hebrew Scripture. Merrill hopes that these prayers will also be used to awaken us to love, silence, peace, wholeness, and acts of justice, mercy, and compassion.
-Book Review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Merrill has reworked the Psalms in a loving, contemplative manner, which betrays none of the book's original vigor or essence. Rather, in a mode that is fresh and eloquent, Merrill's psalms evoke that deep sense of reverence and soul-stirring dialogue with the divine that is often eclipsed by the fear of the divine. Highly recommended for all libraries.—Library Journal
The very liveliness of the Psalms causes us to want to say them in our own language. Nan Merrill has doen this marvelously, and I'm grateful for this labor of imagination and love.—Madeleine L'Engle