Gift of Prayer

Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.
(St. Teresa of Calcutta)

We must speak to God as a friend speaks to his friend, servant to his master; now asking some favor, now acknowledging our faults, and communicating to Him all that concerns us, our thoughts, our fears, our projects, our desires, and in all things seeking His counsel
(St. Ignatius of Loyola).

Prayer is the foundation and essence of our spiritual life. It is an opportunity to come into God’s presence and spend time with Him, to ask Him for whatever we need, and to just be with Him. It is only through prayer and study that we can grow and mature in our faith; it is only through a loving, active relationship with God that we can turn our hearts outward to the whole of humanity.

At St. Mary Parish, we offer many opportunities for you to come before God in either solitary or communal prayer. Please visit our Event Calendar for upcoming prayer and retreat opportunities.

Can we pray for you? Please contact Janice at receptionist@stmarylittleton.org if you or a loved one are in need of prayers.

Gift of Prayer 2019: An Encounter with God in Love

For our Gift of Prayer this year, we will explore different ways to strengthen our practices of prayer. The next eight weeks will be an invitation to go deeper in our personal relationship with the living and true God. This personal relationship is the essence of prayer: “Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him” (CCC 2558–60).

Each week, we will deliver a new meditation on prayer via Flocknote*, including a link to the latest Sunday homily, a brief inspirational lesson on prayer, and a technique to put into practice.

*Subscribe to Flocknote at stmarylittleton.flocknote.com. You can also find current and previous meditations here on this page.

Week 5: June 16-22

Review & Reflect 
You Are a Temple of God
In the scripture readings from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, St. Paul reminds his listeners that “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” And the psalm also speaks of God’s love for us: “You have made him [mankind] little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.”

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for Most Holy Trinity (link)

  • Proverbs 8:22-31
  • Psalm 8:4-9
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • John 16:12-15

Catechism of the Catholic Church: #260 (link)

Putting it Into Practice

  • Recognize that you are Abba’s child; you are loved by the Father. He gave His Son for you.
  • Recognize Jesus as the Son of God, who came down from Heaven for you and for your salvation, to teach you the love of the Father, so you can become as He is: a son of God. Look to Him in His passion on the cross and see how much He loves you.
  • Recognize that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and Son. He is God, your Sanctifier, the One who gives you life, love, and grace.

Prayer
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, o my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action (St. Elizabeth of the Trinity).

Week 5: June 9-15

Review & Reflect
The Advocate
The Holy Spirit has many names and titles. In the Gospel for Pentecost Sunday, we hear Jesus say, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (Jn. 14:26).

The Catechism gives us the names, titles, and symbols of the Holy Spirit: The Sanctifier, the Artisan of Love, and Sweet Guest of the Soul. He is the soul of all apostolate and evangelization (CCC 691-701).

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for Pentecost

  • Acts 2:1-11
  • Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
  • John 20:19-23 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: 691-701

Putting it Into Practice

  • Pray slowly, and with recollection, the sequence of Pentecost, acknowledging that He is the sweet Guest of your soul.
  • Invoke the Holy Spirit. Pray with Mary for his coming to your heart, asking for a new Pentecost.
  • Recognize that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit; praise and adore Him

Prayer
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the Earth. Amen.

Week 4: June 2-8

Review & Reflect
Who Art in Heaven 
In Sunday’s Gospel reading, we hear the account of the Ascension of the Lord: “As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven” (Lk. 24:51).

Where is Heaven? The Catechism teaches us that Heaven “does not mean a place (‘space’), but a way of being; it does not mean that God is distant, but majestic. Our Father is not ‘elsewhere’; he transcends everything we can conceive of his holiness” (CCC 2794).

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for the Ascension (link)

  • Acts 1:1-11
  • Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
  • Ephesians 1:17-23
  • Luke 24:46-53 

Catechism of the Catholic Church
2794 (link)

Putting it Into Practice

  • In prayer, make Heaven your desire; find happiness in seeking union with God.
  • Ask yourself how much you actually desire Heaven, how much you desire to see Jesus, the Father, and Mary. 
  • Try to understand your life as a pilgrimage. These scriptures can guide your meditation: Hebrews 11 and Psalms 84, 122, and 137.

Prayer
Begin by asking for a humble and trusting heart and then pray the Our Father, slowly, moving your will to desire God to dwell within you.

Week 3: May 26-June 1

Review & Reflect
Action of the Holy Spirit
In the Gospel for May 26, Jesus says, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (Jn. 14:25-26).

The catechism teaches us that the Holy Spirit “is the interior Master of Christian Prayer. He is the artisan of the living tradition of prayer. To be sure, there are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray, but it is the same Spirit acting in all and with all” (CCC 2672).

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for May 26 (link)

  • Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
  • Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 
  • Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
  • John 14:23-29 

Catechism of the Catholic Church
2672 (link)

Putting it Into Practice

  • When you pray, try to remember that it is about the action of the Holy Spirit in your soul. Teach this to your children: we don’t pray to just say words but to allow God to pour His graces into our hearts.
  • Begin your prayer by invoking the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray the Hail Mary. Say the words “full of grace” slowly, realizing God wants to fill you with His grace, as He did for Mary.

Prayer
The simplest and most direct prayer is “Come, Holy Spirit!” Repeat it throughout the day, opening your heart to His peace.

Week 2: May 19-25

Review & Reflect
In the first reading from Sunday, May 19, St. Paul encourages us to persevere in the Faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-27).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us on this idea of praying without ceasing: “This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love (CCC 2742). You love God when you love your neighbor.

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for May 19 (link)

  • Acts 14:21-27
  • Psalm 145:8-13 
  • Revelation 21:1-5
  • John 13:31-33a, 34-35 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2742 (link)

Listen to the Homily: Dcn Tim 5/19/19 (link)

Putting it Into Practice
Here are some helpful actions you can take to help you persevere in love:

  • Try to make an act of love to God by loving your husband or wife, and by giving time to your children.
  • Try to pay attention to someone who is homeless and love that person. If possible, give him something (a snack, bottle of water). Ask him to pray for you.
  • Try to do something in service to others that no one else will know about; don’t say anything about it. 
  • Make some sacrifice, such as denying yourself something, which no one knows about, and offer it to Jesus.
  • Ask your children to acknowledge something good about their siblings or other people. 

Pray slowly, and with intention, the Prayer of St. Francis: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”

Week 1: May 12-18

Review & Reflect
Today in the Gospel, we hear, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. No one can take them out of my hand” (Jn. 10:27-30). And so this week we learn about
contemplative prayer, which at its root begins with silence and listening, “taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us” (CCC 2709-2719).

Homily: link

Reading
Mass readings for May 12 (link)

  • Acts 13:14, 43-52
  • Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
  • Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
  • John 10:27-30

Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2709-2719 (link)

Listen to the Homily: Fr. Armando 5/12/19 (link)

Putting it Into Practice
Begin by making short moments of silence during the day, acknowledging God’s presence within you. Help your children to contemplate, teaching them that God is in the present moment, here and now. God loves you now. Try to let Him to guide this moment in His power and wisdom.

A short prayer to start with is, ‘Jesus I believe in you within me. Jesus my hope is in you providing everything for my holiness. Jesus I love you within me. Jesus I adore you within me.”

For parents: Pray Psalm 23, then go over this beloved scripture with your children. Remember that your mission as parents is to open your children to the power, mystery, and love of God.

More Resources

To learn even more about prayer and intimacy with our Lord, check out the video from our Way of Fire series!