Encountering God's Presence

“ I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”     Pope Francis: EVANGELII GAUDIUM

December's Focus: Encountering God's Presence through Prayer

“To pray is to enter into a relationship with God and to have that relationship make a difference in my life.” Kenneth Leech, True Prayer

Prayer…

  • Is our response to the desire of God who is constantly seeking us
  • Is the work of the Holy Spirit within us
  • “Is the raising for one’s mind and heart to God” (CCC2559).
  • Is confidently placing our needs before God
  • Is a dialogue that requires listening as well as speaking.
  • Is more sincere when we are willing to work for what we have prayed.
  • Can happen anywhere, anytime.
  • Can be as simple as “God help me” or as quiet as two lovers gazing at each other.
  • Does not change God’s mind, but is for the purpose of changing ours

Ways to encounter God through prayer

We can pray using the traditional prayers of our church:

  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • The Rosary
  • The Divine Chaplet
  • Prayers of the various saints
  • Liturgy of the Hours

We can pray using our own words:

  • Speaking from our own needs and petitioning God for help
  • Giving thanks and praise to God
  • Interceding for others
  • Asking for forgiveness

We can pray mediating and dialoguing with God:

  • By reading scripture
  • Through various writings of the Saints and other spiritual writers
  • Using religious images

We can pray without words letting God do all the work

  • “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
  • “I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap so is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2)
  • “The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with in expressible groanings” (Romans 8:26

Resources and practical suggestions for Encountering God through Prayer

  • Find a time and space to pray and a place with the least amount of distractions.
  • Pick up a Little Blue Book for Advent and take 7 minutes out of your day to remember God’s presence and be open to the reflections offered. (While supplies last)
  • Take time and sit before the Blessed Sacrament. (Adoration at Ascension- 1st Friday of every month.)
  • Check out these two on-line resources for prayer:
  • Download https://catholicapps.com/laudate/ to your phone and listen to the readings of the day in your car on your way to work or running errands.
  • Learn more about prayer through the 8 week adult formation program: Oremus being offered at Ascension; Mondays at 7pm or Wed at 10am starting the week of Jan. 8. Register with Kathy Ahearn