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
- 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