Dear Friends in Christ,
Praying with Scripture
We have begun Ordinary Time in the Church which is a blessed time to walk with Jesus during his public ministry. It is a grace to sit with the Holy Scriptures each day and reflect on the deep meaning of the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage you all to spend a little time daily with Scripture if only to just be with Jesus in your heart every day. It is time spent that you will never regret. Less news, more Jesus in 2021!
Today in the Gospel we have the call of Andrew and Peter. It is a Gospel passage I would often use during my time as vocation director for the Archdiocese when encouraging men to consider a call to the priesthood. But this passage is for all Christians who should hear the invitation from Christ to come see where He lives. As I just mentioned, we can be with Jesus each day and walk with him on our daily journey to holiness. We only have to spend time with Him, who loves us so much. In order to help with our ability to meditate with Scripture, I would recommend two books by Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV. The first is a more detail explanation of how to pray with scripture (it is really a mini-course in prayer), and the second gives a number of scripture passages to pray with and deepen your relationship with Christ (something to bring with you during your time of prayer each day). I hope you find these resources fruitful.
Meditation and Contemplation, an Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture
The cornerstones of Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual practice—meditation and contemplation—are clearly explained in this simple guide to the Ignatian method with examples from the experience of practitioners and quotations from Catholic spiritual teachers. In the process, the deeper structure of the spiritual practice is illuminated, and advice about adapting it to individual needs is offered. Topics include methods of praying, struggles and growth, and the importance and role of grace.
Individuals who desire to pray with scripture, spiritual directors, and all who teach prayer with scripture will benefit from the counsel in this resource. www.amazon.com/Meditation-Contemplation-Ignatian-Scripture-Crossroad/dp/0824524888/
An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer, Scriptural Reflections According to the Spiritual Exercises
This is a book for those who desire to pray with Sacred Scripture. Following the spiritual itinerary of the Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius of Loyola, forty reflections offer a great resource for those beginning to pray with Scripture. They provide accompaniment in the first, tentative steps of such blessed prayer. For those who already practice prayer with Scripture, and who seek new depth in that prayer, these emotionally rich reflections can provide an opportunity for such growth. They are also useful for spiritual directors, retreat directors, small groups in parishes, and in the home. www.amazon.com/Ignatian-Introduction-Prayer-Scriptural-Reflections/dp/082452487X
In these troubled times in our country I encourage you to do two things to help heal our country and society: Pray the Rosary and Fast on Wednesdays on Fridays. The Holy Rosary is the most powerful prayer of intercession we have. Pray it every day, or multiple times a day and ask our Lady to intercede before our Lord to bring healing and peace. The Devil seeks to divide and Jesus will always unite in love. A Fast is a small sacrifice that we give to our Lord as a means of reparation and conversion of heart for all the hatred, anger and discontent that is evident today. It can be a powerful tool in spiritual warfare. You can try to fast through the day, or give up a meal, or something you normally love to have during the day. Something where you say, “I give you this suffering Lord for peace in our hearts, homes, country and world.” We have included a copy of the "Prayer for Our Government" by Archbishop Carroll (the Country’s first Bishop) as an insert to the Bulletin. This has been making its way around the internet. God Bless you all and God bless America (literally - we really need His blessing).
St. John Neumann Parish