A summary of last week’s homily and parish prayer challenge:
The celebration of a parish feast day is a good day to think what the life of our patroness can teach us. When I reflect on the life of St. Monica I see that she was exceedingly prayerful and that she embraced a vocation as a wife and a mother and that she evangelized. I would like these three themes: prayer, vocation, and evangelization to be our parish focus over the next three years.
This year we will look at prayer and specifically personal prayer. I would like to invite us to two commitments that we will at least try to make for the year. I realize that there are all sorts of questions around what it means to pray, and I hope to focus on helping us answer this question over the next few months providing homilies and reflections on this subject. However what prayer ultimately means is to give intentional and specific time to being with God who loves you. What I am asking for as your pastor is a commitment to time with God and I would like that commitment to be at least 15 minutes daily. It doesn’t have to be complicated just intentional and at least tried every day.
A second commitment I would like us to try is to form Sunday Scripture prayer groups. Ideally, you could meet once a week but at least once a month. I would like you to try to gather as a family, a group of friends, in a parish meeting groups, maybe with co-workers, and pray with the Scriptures for the following Sunday. I leave it to your creativity as to how you might do that but a simple way is to find the Scriptures for the following Sunday (they are often listed in the bulletin) and read them together as a group. Have a 5 minute moment of meditation and then share some thoughts about them. Conclude by offering prayers and petitions for people in your life and then prayer Our Father together. This could take 15 minutes or 2 hours depending on how much time you wish to spend, the important thing is trying to hear and understand God’s Word together.
I invite you to try these two things with me this year and let’s spend some time seeking to pray as fervently as the patroness of our parish, St. Monica.