Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
A couple Sunday's ago I preached on the necessity of developing a good and fulfilling prayer life. Everybody needs both, a private prayer life and a communal one, especially if you are trying to fulfill the command to "pray without ceasing" Now for most Catholics mass is at the heart of their communal prayer life. In fact, for most Catholics that is the only communal prayer they do, and unfortunately for some, it is the only prayer they do. St. Alphonsus Liguori was always praying the simple prayer, "Lord, help me to pray."
As Christians, and especially as Catholics, we have a very rich prayer tradition. Through the ages, people have prayed in all sorts of ways and in all forms of manner, from silent meditation to dancing & shouting. Some pray the same words over & over, and others simply pray the words the Spirit places upon their tongue. Some like to pray the same prayers each day, and others like to experiment with new styles. Some prefer to pray by themselves, and others like to pray with family and friends. There are prayers like: the rosary, novenas like the one to Our Mother of Perpetual Help (which began right here in our church), There's the Liturgy of the Hours and Taizé, you can pray the Scriptures or simply have a conversation with Jesus.
I would like to encourage you to examine your own prayer life and ask yourself if you should be praying more often? If so, I would invite you to look at some of the different prayer styles that we offer at The Rock. We have a men's & women's prayer group. We have seasonal bible study, which is academic in nature, but can be used as prayer as well, by reflecting on various passages and meditating on what they are saying to you personally. Being in one of our choirs can be prayerful, as St. Francis said, "Singing is praying twice." We have our dance team LLIM. There is the OMPH Novena, which we also pray on first Saturdays. There is the weekly rosary intention and the two rosary groups. We have a Legion of Mary group that is in need of new members (if interested, speak to Maudelle Fite). And of course, we are always open to forming new groups and praying in new ways, if there is a genuine interest.
It's not how you pray that is important, it's that you pray. If you've never quite found something that fits your style, I urge you to keep searching. As I said a couple Sundays ago, prayer is not just about getting things from God, prayer is the way we develop our relationship to God. It binds us to our God. The more we pray, the more confident we become, and the greater our understanding of God and the ways of our Lord. And so, my prayer is that our Lord gives each of you the grace to be a person of prayer.
In the Redeemer,