Tag Archives: Communion

Happy, Faith-filled Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 8, 2019

prayer hands

Happy, Faith-filled Prayer

What a wonderful experience, to have happy, faith-filled prayer! That is what St. Ignatius intends for us to have, as we enter into the part of his prayer practice called meditation.

As Father Gallagher mentions M. and his prayer experience with the passage of the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18), “he tells us that the words were ‘alive,’ ‘almost directly touching my heart,’ and…describes an unhurried, happy, faith-filled reflection on the words of the Scripture, with profound awareness of the Lord’s presence.” [1] What an intimate experience of God.

This deep, intimate communication with God was intensely personal for M. As he went deeper and deeper into prayer, this personal kind of communication delighted him, deep down to his inmost being. He felt “spiritually happy” for days.

As I reflect on Scripture, I find it difficult to make this kind of deep connection all the time, in prayer. Certainly, difficult all the time, and even most of the time. The best I can do is make a connection like M.’s on occasion. Sometimes. Yet, when I do, I have vivid flashes when I think back on those times. For example, some years ago I had an intense experience of Jesus and the man (or, person—leaving it open to the possibility of a woman) with a withered hand whom Jesus met in the synagogue. (From Luke 6:6-11.)

I have had hundreds of prayer experiences since, yet, I revisit that one in my mind and memory. Yes, I was practicing Ignatian prayer, and it was a particularly intense experience. Similar to M., I did have a deep sense of the presence of Jesus with me, alongside of me.

St. Ignatius considers this type of meditative prayer as reflective, that “process by which we enter the richness of God’s Word and hear the Word as spoken personally to us today.” [2] As we are now in Lent, perhaps that will be my Lenten practice. Or, maybe one of my practices.

I am already reading through a Lenten devotional book, and it has some interesting ideas. However, the devotional only has one perhaps two verses of Scripture each day. I wonder whether I might find some additional prayer prompts? God willing, I suspect I will be able to find some Bible readings for each day in Lent. Help me, dear God, as I do these practices, a draw closer to You and Your heart. God. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 27.

[2] Ibid.

Communion-Colored Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 22, 2015

little lamb

Communion-Colored Prayer

I prayed through the Evening Prayer from www.dailyoffice.org on my laptop this evening. I noticed one piece of the service, in particular. In the Collect for Saturday, a portion of this prayer read as follows: “Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

This part of the Saturday prayer always seemed to just “be there.” Never particularly standing out for me. I know I come from a Reformed tradition that doesn’t ordinarily observe Communion (or, the Eucharist) on a weekly basis. The congregation I serve observes Communion on the first Sunday of the month. (I wonder whether that frequency colors the way I view the Collect for Saturday? Interesting thought. I will need to meditate on that for a while.)

However, tonight this part of the prayer—the Paschal mystery part—stood out for me. Front and center, as my dad used to say.

I was so curious I went to the Episcopal Church’s website and looked up Paschal Mystery. Here’s some of what I found. “Paschal means pertaining to Easter (the Pascha) and to its antecedent the Hebrew Passover. The Passover has the promise of redemption and the gift of freedom at the Red Sea. In the NT, the Paschal concept includes Jesus’ death and resurrection, the ascension and gift of the Holy Spirit, baptism, the calling of a new people from every nation and language, and participation in the mystery through eating and drinking with our Risen Lord.” [1]

Wow! That’s most of what I preached in my sermon tonight!

I filled the pulpit for a pastor friend who’s away on vacation this week. I preached on John 6, the bread of life come down from heaven. This statement on the Paschal Mystery from the Episcopal Church hit most of the highlights. Also, I had the opportunity to celebrate communion tonight with the congregation I visited.

I think the combination of the sermon I preached, the Scripture passage I read, and the opportunity to observe communion all contributed to my particular notice of this Collect for Saturday. All three of these factors helped me to reach more deeply in my prayers tonight. To come before God in a different way this evening.

Thanks, God, for a new appreciation of the Paschal Mystery. Truly, I had never really reflected on that particular phrase, until tonight. Dear Lord, help me to bring that appreciation and joy into my worship of You tomorrow morning. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/109399_14976_ENG_HTM.htm