Prayer

A Thanksgiving Blessing,

Good and gracious God, As we gather together this Thanksgiving, we pause from the normal routines of our daily lives to give thanks and praise for the abundant blessings you have bestowed upon us. You have entrusted us with the wonders of your creation and given us the freedoms and opportunities to creatively collaborate in your divine plan. Bless all of us who gather here in your name. Give us the grace to be good stewards of your bounty, the courage to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed; and the wisdom to claim nothing for ourselves, but return all to You with increase. Bless this food we are about to share and all those who brought it to our table. Bless our loved ones, family and friends who are not with us this day; and on those who travel, that they may reach their destinations safely. And in a special way, bless those who are less fortunate than we are today. Grant that we who are filled with Your abundance never close our hearts to those most in need of Your mercy, particularly the hungry, the homeless and the poor. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.  

Source: International Catholic Stewardship Conference, catholicstewardship.com

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Prayer

Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.

Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.

Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:

Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.

  1. Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
  2. Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
  3. Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts and reflections related to your prayer life.
 

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Scripture

Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation written in an inspired and inerrant way. Read More

Saints

The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ; they teach us how to live faithful and holy lives. Read More

Mary

Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. Read More

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