Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Visiting Our Eucharistic Lord

July 11, 2017

In every Catholic church around the world, Jesus sits within the tabernacle like a king upon his throne, waiting to receive anyone who would approach him with their praises, thanksgivings, and requests. Whether they stop inside for a just few minutes or spend a full “holy hour” in his presence, our Lord delights in the companionship of those who lovingly seek his audience.

St. Josemaria Escriva said, “When you approach the tabernacle, remember that He has been waiting for you for twenty centuries.” Escriva’s contemporary, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, remarked, “People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’ My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in holy hours of prayer.

In order to facilitate more of these beautiful and powerful encounters with Christ, St. Paul’s Church has begun keeping its church doors open until 7:00 PM daily. Come by to visit the Lord after work or school, or amidst your errands around town. (Please contact Father if you are willing to keylessly lock the church during the seven o’clock hour on particular evenings each week.)

St. Faustina Kowalska records Jesus telling her, “Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth — the tabernacle — and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and I desire to grant you grace.” He waits for you. So come, let us adore him.

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Jesus’ Questions

February 3, 2017

Jesus Christ    By one count, Jesus asks 307 questions in the Gospels. Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical (asked to demonstrate a point) but other questions insist on a personal response. Below are some of his shorter questions. As you read this list, sense which questions Jesus is asking you today. What is your reply to him?

Why are you anxious about clothes?  — Matthew 6:28

Why are you terrified?  — Matthew 8:26

Do you believe I can do this?  — Matthew 9:28

Why did you doubt?  — Matthew 14:31

But who do you say that I am?  — Matthew 16:15

What do you want me to do for you?  — Matthew 20:32

Why are you testing me?  — Matthew 22:18

Could you not watch for me one brief hour?   — Matthew 26:40

Why this commotion and weeping?  — Mark 5:39

Why does this generation seek a sign?  — Mark 8:12

What were you arguing about on the way?   — Mark 9:33

Where is your faith?  — Luke 8:25

What is your name?  — Luke 8:30

Who touched me?  — Luke 8:45

Will you be exalted to heaven?  — Luke 10:15

Why are you sleeping?  — Luke 22:46

Have you anything here to eat?  — Luke 24:41

What are you looking for?  — John 1:38

Do you want to be well?  — John 5:6

Does this teaching shock you?  — John 6:61

Do you also want to leave me?  — John 6:67

Why do you not understand what I am saying?  — John 8:43

Do you believe this?  — John 11:26

Do you realize what I have done for you?  — John 13:12

Whom are you looking for?  — John 18:4

Shall I not drink the cup the Father gave me?  — John 18:11

Do you love me?  — John 21:16


For more of Jesus’ questions, check out this list.

St. Ignatius’ 14 Rules for Spiritual Discernment & The Lord of the Rings

January 26, 2017

Please enjoy, and freely Like and Share this video.
My special thanks goes to Mary Walker for lending her voice to this project.

A Litany for the Souls in Purgatory

November 2, 2016

O Jesus, Thou suffered and died that all mankind might be saved and brought to eternal happiness. Hear our pleas for further mercy on the souls of:

My dear parents & grandparents,

            [Response: “My Jesus, Have Mercy”]

My brothers & sisters & other near relatives,

My godparents & sponsors of Confirmation,

My spiritual & temporal benefactors,

My friends & neighbors,

All for whom love or duty bids me pray,

Those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me,

Those who have offended me,

Those whose release is near at hand,

Those who desire most to be united to Thee,

Those who endure the greatest sufferings,

Those whose release is most remote,

Those who are least remembered.

Those who are most deserving on account of their services to the Church,

The rich, who are now the most destitute,

The mighty, who are now powerless,

The once spiritually blind, who now see their folly,

The frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,

The poor who did not seek the treasures of heaven,

The tepid who devoted little time to prayer,

The indolent who neglected to perform good works,

Those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the Sacraments,

The habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,

Parents who failed to watch over their children,

Superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of those entrusted to them,

Those who strove for worldly riches & pleasures,

The worldly minded, who failed to use their wealth & talent for the service of God,

Those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own,

Those who did not provide for the life hereafter,

Those whose sentence is severe because of the great things entrusted to them,

The popes, kings, & rulers,

The bishops & their counselors,

My teachers & spiritual advisors,

The priests & religious of the Catholic Church,

The defenders of the Holy Faith,

Those who died on the battlefield,

Those who fought for their country,

Those who were buried in the sea,

Those who died of stokes,

Those who died of heart attacks,

Those who suffered & died of cancer,

Those who died suddenly in accidents,

Those who died without the last rites of the Church,

Those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,

My own poor soul when I shall have to appear before Thy judgment seat,

        Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them: For evermore with Thy Saints, because Thou art gracious. May the prayer of Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, benefit the souls of Thy departed servants and handmaids: that Thou mayest both deliver them from all their sins, and make them to be partakers of Thy redemption. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine on them. Amen. May their souls & the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

“The Rosary Is…”

October 21, 2016

    “My favorite prayer.” ~ Pope St. John Paul II

     “The Bible on a string.” ~ Fr. Ronan Murphy

     “A school for learning true Christian perfection.” ~ Pope St. John XXIII

     “A prayer both so humble and simple and theologically rich in Biblical content.” ~ Pope St. John Paul II

     “A treasure of graces.” ~ Pope Paul V

     “A priceless treasure inspired by God.” ~ St. Louis De Monfort

     “A powerful weapon.” ~ St. Josemaria Escriva

     “The weapon for these times.” ~ St. Padre Pio

     “The scourge [against] the devil.” ~ Pope Adrian VI

     “A powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin.” ~ Pope Pius XI

     “The most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life.” ~ Pope St. Leo XIII

     “A magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations and the entire world.” ~ Pope St. John XXIII

     “The most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God.” ~ Pope St. Saint Pius X

    “Of the greatest value, not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history.” ~ Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima

     “The book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next.” ~ Venerable Fulton Sheen

The Blessed Virgin Mary at Prayer

The Value of Humility: Living in the Truth Before God

December 14, 2015

“Some [spiritual beginners] make little of their faults, and at other times become over-sad when they see themselves fall into them, thinking themselves to have been saints already; and thus they become angry and impatient with themselves, which is another imperfection. Often they beseech God, with great yearnings, that He will take from them their imperfections and faults, but they do this that they may find themselves at peace, and may not be troubled by them, rather than for God’s sake; not realizing that, if He should take their imperfections from them, they would probably become prouder An Ancient-Style Oil Lampand more presumptuous still. They dislike praising others and love to be praised themselves; sometimes they seek out such praise. Herein they are like the foolish virgins, who, when their lamps could not be lit, sought oil from others.”

—St. John of the Cross in The Dark Night of the Soul

Our Holy Conspiracy & the End of the World — 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time—Year B

November 16, 2015

C.S. Lewis, 1898-1963A new liturgical Church year will begin in a couple of weeks with the first Sunday of Advent. As this Church year ends, our Mass readings (like today’s Sunday readings) focus on the Last Things and the end of the world as we know it. This weekend’s news reports, especially the terrible events in France, remind us that though the Kingdom of God is among us, we pray “thy Kingdom come” because it is not yet fully here in total, unveiled power. This weekend’s readings and news events remind me of passages from C.S. Lewis in excellent book Mere Christianity:

“Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless [radio] from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going.”

Why does Lewis say that our king has landed “in disguise?” Well, where would you expect a king to be born? The Magi sought the newborn king of the Jews in the palace at Jerusalem, but Jesus was born in a barn—a cave in Bethlehem—to a pair of poor parents. How would one expect the Jewish Messiah to enter into Jerusalem to claim his throne? Probably riding on a warhorse, but Jesus came meekly riding on a donkey, just as had been prophesied about him. Who would have thought that God would become a man, and then suffer and die as he did? After the vindication of the resurrection, one would have thought he would appear to the high priest and Governor Pilate, or to the Emperor Tiberius in Rome, to declare that he was indeed who he claimed to be. Instead, Jesus appeared discretely, to his disciples.

Lewis writes that God has landed in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and has started “a sort of secret society” to undermine the devil. This secret society he speaks of is the Church. But what is so secret about the Church? We have a sign in front with our Mass times. We don’t check ID’s at the door. And if anyone wants to know about what we do or what we believe, we will gladly inform them. But, in a sense, the Church is a secret society—for the world and even many Catholics do not recognize who and what we really are. We are a holy conspiracy. We are fighting the propaganda of the world and the devil with the truth of God. We are recruiting others to the side of the Lord. We are his special forces sabotaging evil with the weapons of love in preparation for the king’s arrival.

From where do we receive our power for this mission? The source of our power is the Holy Mass. Today’s second reading says that the Old Testament’s priests offered many sacrifices because those  could not truly achieve their purpose, but Jesus our High Priest offers his sacrifice once for all. At Mass we transcend space and time to personally encounter that sacrifice, and it’s power is applied to us here and now, providing all the graces we need to fulfill his will.

Lewis asks, “Why is [God] not [yet] landing in [total unveiled] force, invading [our world]? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; [but] we do not know when.”

Indeed, as Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “of that day or hour, no one knows… but only the Father.”

We do not know when the Lord is going to land in force. “But,” Lewis continues, “we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman [during World War II] who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade.”

Why has God not yet invaded our world with his full, unveiled force? Why does he allow the wicked to use their freedom for evil, like the terrorism we saw in Paris?

Lewis writes, “I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else—something it never entered your head to conceive—comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?”

I think “the whole natural universe melting away” is an excellent reflection on today’s gospel. Jesus tells us that at the end:

“the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken…”

In the ancient world, the sun and moon, stars and planets, were considered the most stable and eternal things in the cosmos (and you can understand why.) But when even these things are passing, you know the universe as we know it is melting away. After this, the Lord Jesus comes with judgment. “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory… (and his angels, like St. Michael from our first reading, along with him…)”

Sprouting Fig Tree in SpringtimePerhaps we may find it surprising that Jesus describes these events as a good thing to his disciples. He says:

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that [the Son of Man] is near, at the gates.”

We usually associate the end of things with the fall. Youth is called the springtime of life, while old age is the fall. In the Northern Hemisphere, every Church year ends in the fall. Yet Jesus presents an analogy for the end of the world as one of spring becoming summer: ‘When the tender branch sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.’ A small thing, the branch, points to the arrival of a much greater reality, the summer. Why would we cling to the branch when the whole world is being renewed in glory? For friends of God, what is to come is better than what we see. The life we live now in this world is the winter. What is still to come for us is the spring and summer. Let us not hesitate to hope for it, envision it, and rejoice in it.

When the last day comes, “it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. … That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give [people] that chance. [But it] will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”

How long will it be until the Lord comes again? Jesus says in today’s gospel that, “This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” But he said this a long time ago. Was Jesus wrong? No, for when you read these passages from Mark in full context, Jesus is responding to his disciples questions about two things side-by-side: the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world. The Romans destroyed the great city and its temple in 70 A.D., during the lifespan of some of Jesus’ hearers, and to many Jews it felt like the end of the world. This event prefigured the passing away of all things. Like other prophesies in the Bible, Jesus’ prophesy has a near and distant fulfillment, one after a forty-year opportunity for conversion, and another at the end of time.

So when will the Lord come again? The answer for every generation before us has been “not yet.” If this world endures to the year 10,000 A.D., the Christians of that time will probably regard us as the early Christians. I personally think it will still be awhile before he comes, for it is still legal to be a Christian in too many places on earth. Yet, in a sense, it doesn’t matter when Jesus is coming, for the end of our individual lives is equivalent to the end of the world for us. If you’re ready for one, you’re ready for the other. But if you, or people that you know, are not ready for either, then now is the time for conversion.

The Lord our King has recruited us into his holy conspiracy, arming us with the weapons of truth and love. You and I are his advanced forces and, among other tasks, he is sending us on rescue missions to bring others to himself. Who do you know that is far from Christ? We are to draw on the power of this Mass for them. We are called to pray, fast, and sacrifice for them, and even to be so bold as to talk with them—inviting them to come to Jesus Christ and his Church. Seize this opportunity and do not let it pass away, for whether the Lord first comes to us or we go forth to him, each and all will encounter him soon, face-to-face, in his full, unveiled glory.

Preventable Tragedies

September 12, 2015

A Bolivian Family Riding a Bicycle, 1991

While studying for the priesthood, I spent a summer at our diocese’s mission in Bolivia. There I learned that South America’s poorest country has a death rate from tuberculosis 222-times higher than here. I was told the Bolivian government offers free TB medicine, but that many who take the pills start to feel better and quit before they’ve finished the prescription. Tragically, this allows the disease to resurge, and the patients are lost. Their half-measured approach to what would save them invites their death.

As our children soon return to CCD, I wish to emphasize the obvious truth that CCD alone is not enough to form a child into a mature Christian adult. Religious education must be paired with daily family prayer (beyond simply before meals) and family Mass attendance each week. Without these, children learn from their parents’ silent instruction that their Catholic faith may be carelessly discarded once their “last hoop” of Confirmation is cleared. This must not be so!

If you are already attending Mass and sharing family prayers, please keep it up. If not, please follow this powerful prescription of prayer and Sunday worship. Embrace it for your children’s sake and for your own. Our Catholic faith is not mere “fire insurance.” It is the path to abundant life for this life and the next. As Jesus says, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Holy Aphorisms — August 4 — St. John Vianney

August 4, 2015

        St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars and patron saint of priests, is well known as a confessor who could see into peoples’ souls and who took great penances upon himself for the conversion of sinners. Less known, though, is his wisdom. St. John Vianney may have had difficulties learning Latin and passing his seminary exams, but he preached beautiful spiritual insights such as these:

“To approach God you should go straight to Him, like a bullet from a gun.”

“Prayer is the conversation of a child with his Father.  Of a subject with his King.  Of a servant with his Lord.  Of a friend with the Friend to whom he confides all his troubles and difficulties.”

“A pure soul is with God, as a child with its mother.  The child caresses and embraces her, and its mother returns all its endearments.”

“God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.”

“You must accept your cross.  If you bear it courageously it will carry you to heaven.”

However, “Our Lord takes pleasure in doing the will of those who love him.”

“Just as a mother holds her child in her hands to cover it with kisses, so does God hold the devout person.”

“Here is a rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God.”

And as we approach the Eucharist, let us recall this final thought: “To content his love, God must give Himself to us separately, one by one.”

(Originally published August 4, 2010;
edited & republished August 4, 2015)

The Priest’s “Secret” Prayers at Mass

July 22, 2015

Offering the Mystical and Holy Mass     Did you know that the Church gives priests celebrating the Mass several prayers to say in a low voice such that few (if any) in the church hear them? These are called the “secret” prayers (from the Latin word for “hidden.”) May the great beauty of these prayers inform and inspire your own devotion at Holy Mass.

The priest, before proclaiming the Gospel, pauses in front of the altar to bow and pray:

“Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.”

 At the end of the Gospel, the priest (or proclaiming deacon) kisses the book and prays:

“Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.”

During the Offertory, the priest (or assisting deacon) pours a little water into the chalice of unconsecrated wine and prays:

By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

After thanking God for the gifts of bread and wine He has given us to offer (“Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation…”) the priest bows behind the altar and prays:

“With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.”

While the priest washes his hands, he prays:

“Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

During the “Lamb of God,” the priest places a small piece of the Host into the chalice, praying:

“May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.”

At the end of the “Lamb of God,” the priest joins his hands and prays one of these two prayers:

1. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.”

2. “May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.”

Before consuming the Body of Christ, the priest prays:

May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Before consuming the Blood of Christ from the chalice, the priest prays:

May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Finally, while purifying the sacred vessels following the distribution of Communion, the priest prays:

“What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.”

June Scripture Suggestions for Prayer

June 1, 2015

June 1              Exodus 24:3-8

June 2              Psalm 116:1-9

June 3              Psalm 116:10-18

June 4              Hebrews 9:11-15

June 5              Mark 14:12-16

June 6              Mark 14:22-26

June 7              (Corpus Christi Sunday)

June 8              Ezekiel 17:22-24

June 9              Psalm 92:2-10

June 10            Psalm 92:11-16

June 11             2nd Corinthians 5:6-10

June 12             Mark 4:26-29

June 13             Mark 4:30-34

June 14             (11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

June 15             Job 38:1, 8-11

June 16             Psalm 107:1-22

June 17             Psalm 107:23-43

June 18             2nd Corinthians 5:11-15

June 19             2nd Corinthians 5:16-21

June 20             Mark 4:35-41

June 21             (12th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

June 22             Wisdom 1:13-2:11

June 23             Wisdom 2:12-24

June 24             Psalm 30

June 25             2nd Corinthians 8:7-15

June 26             Mark 5:21-34

June 27             Mark 5:35-43

June 28             (13th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

June 29             Ezekiel 2:1-10

June 30             Ezekiel 3:1-15

July 1                Psalm 123

July 2                2nd Corinthians 12:1-6

July 3                2nd Corinthians 12:7-10

July 4                Mark 6:1-6

July 5                (14th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

A Holy Spirit Novena

May 14, 2015

All novenas are inspired by the nine days during which Mary, the apostles, and the other disciples prayed in the upper room for the coming of the Spirit with power. To pray a novena to the Holy Spirit preceding this Pentecost yourself, begin this Friday, May 15th. Many Pentecost novenas are available online, but your daily prayer could simply be this:

 “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit & they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”

Scripture Suggestions for Prayer

May 2, 2015

May 4              Acts 10:9-33

May 5              Acts 10:34-49

May 6              Psalm 98:1-4

May 7              1st John 4:7-10

May 8              John 15:9-12

May 9              John 15:13-17

May 10            (6th Sunday of Easter)

May 11             John 20:11-18

May 12             Acts 1:1-11

May 13             Psalm 27:2-9

May 14             Ephesians 1:27-33

May 15             Ephesians 4:1-13

May 16             Mark 16:15-20

May 17             (Ascension, 7th Sunday of Easter)

May 18             John 15:18-27

May 19             John 16:12-15

May 20             John 20:19-23

May 21             Acts 2:1-11

May 22             1st Corinthians 12:3-13

May 23             Galatians 5:16-25

May 24             (Pentecost Sunday)

Passages for Prayer

April 18, 2015

Praying with the Bible can make both Scripture reading and times of prayer more fruitful. Inspired by our upcoming Sunday Mass readings, below is a schedule of suggested passages you can use in your daily prayer.

April 20          Acts 3:1-10

April 21          Acts 4:8-12

April 22          Psalm 118

April 23          1st John 3:1-2

April 24          John 10:1-11

April 25          John 10:11-18

April 26          (4th Sunday of Easter)

April 27          Acts 9:1-9

April 28          Acts 9:10-19

April 29          Acts 9:26-31

April 30          1st John 3:18-24

May 1             John 15:1-8

May 2             Repeat a Previous Passage

May 3             (5th Sunday of Easter)

(Note that “1st John” refers to the first letter of John, while simply “John” denotes the Gospel of John.)

5 Fresh Ways to Pray the Psalms

April 3, 2015

Daily prayer is essential to the Christian life and the psalms are prayers  inspired for us by God. They were prayed in the Old Testament Jewish Temple and within the New Covenant Christian Church up to our day. Here are five fresh ways to pray the psalms:

Mount Calvary's Cross - Sacred Heart Catholic Church -  Wauzeka WI1.  Pray Jesus’ Passion Psalms

For thousands of years, Jews have ritually prayed Psalms 113–118 at their Passover meals. These are psalms of joy and thanksgiving at God delivering his people. At the Last Supper, Jesus and his apostles chanted these psalms: “Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26, Matthew 26:30)

Later, hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” This is the opening line of Psalm 22, which describes the anguish of someone suffering just like Jesus. For example, it says, “They have pierced my hands and my feet…” The psalm, however, ends in hope: “I will live for the LORD.”

Praying these psalms (113-118 & 22) can connect us more to Jesus and his Passion.

2.  Pray the Psalms Through Jesus or Mary

Fleur-De-Lis - Sacred Heart Catholic Church -  Wauzeka WIWould you like to read Jesus and Mary’s prayer book? This is what we have in the psalms. Being faithful Jews, Jesus and his mother would have known them well and prayed them often. A fresh way to approach the psalms is to open yourself to sharing in Jesus or Mary’s thoughts and emotions. Praying with their minds and hearts helps us to experience the psalms with new insights and depths.

3.  Pray the Psalms to Jesus

Jesus said, “The Father and I are one,” and St. Paul wrote, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” (John 10:30, Philippians 2:11) Therefore, wherever the psalms mention “(the) Lord,” substituting “Jesus” usually applies just as truly. Here, for example, is a converted passage from Psalm 27:

Hear my voice, Jesus, when I call;
have mercy on me and answer me.
“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;
your face, Jesus, do I seek!

Praying the psalms’ to Jesus in this way brings us personally closer to him. Here are a few suggested Jesus Psalms: 3, 27, 86, 100, 103, & 138.

4.  Pray Repeating Each Line of the Psalm

Burning Incense - Sacred Heart Catholic Church -  Wauzeka WIAs you read through a psalm, pray each line twice, meditating on the profound, absolute truth of each statement. Praying in this way helps to make the prayer “yours” and yields greater focus and personal conviction.

5.  Pray the Psalms for Others

Some people do not, or cannot, pray the psalms. Some lack belief in God and prayer. Others feel too overwhelmed by their pains, anxieties, or other burdens to offer these prayers themselves. Among the 150 psalms there are prayers for the vast range of human experience. Not everyone will resonate with your personal situation on a particular day, but each one is exactly the prayer that, somewhere, someone else desperately needs. Pray it for them to help them go through their darkness into the light.