JULY 23, 2017
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.”
What to do during a time of prayer
There are many ways to pray. We are probably most familiar with vocal prayers (like the Our Father and Hail Mary). Other kinds of prayer include liturgical prayer (like the Mass), meditation (usually with Scripture), and contemplative prayer (just being present in God’s love).
Most of us probably find it easy to do vocal prayers, which we learned as children, and which we usually think of when we “say our prayers”. The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, etc. are all very beautiful and wonderful prayers, and we should get in the habit of saying these prayers at least every morning and every evening.
In addition to vocal prayers, I want to encourage you to go deeper and try to spend some time daily, or at least weekly to begin with, in meditative prayer. We can begin this kind of prayer very simply by reading a paragraph from Scripture (the daily readings for Mass are a great place to start). We shouldn’t rush through reading it just to “get it done”, but with the thought “what is God trying to say to me in this passage?” It is often helpful to read the passage two or three times slowly, and pay special attention to any words or phrases that stand out to us or catch our attention. Then, just start talking to God about the passage. Something like, “God, I want to do your will, what are you trying to say to me today through this reading? How can this scripture passage help me love you more?”
It’s as simple as having a conversation with God while reading scripture. We ask God to speak to us, and we listen to the small quiet promptings he puts on our hearts.
St. John Damascene said that prayer is as simple as the “raising of one’s mind and heart to God”.
Please take some time this week for meditative prayer. If you don’t know where to begin, try Matthew 4:17-22, or Mark 4:35-41, or the readings for the daily Mass (which you can easily find online, just Google “daily readings”).
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke