Thursday, October 16, 2014

Prayer of Praise!

Ignatius House

Today's 1st Reading
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
(Ephesians 1:3-6)

Dear Friends,

St. Paul is encouraging the people of Ephesus as well as us to realize what it means to offer a prayer of blessing to God.  As Pope Francis noted this morning in his homily, praying a prayer of blessing God is not an easy kind of prayer.  In true Ignatian format the Pope offers what the author of the Spiritual Exercises would call "three points" for meditation.  Anyone with any experience of Jesuit prayer knows Ignatius offered three points for almost every meditation he offered.

Francis offers us these three points about this rather unfamiliar kind of prayer: (1) prayer of joy, (2) prayer of remembrance, and lastly (3) prayer to the Holy Spirit to have the grace to enter into the mystery of the Eucharist.

Prayer of joy:  praising God in our prayer will bring us to a state of joy, of happiness

Prayer of remembrance:  remembering that before the creation of the world, before the coming of Adam and Eve, God knew you.  Your name was in his heart.  Believing this is the mark of a true Christian.  The Christian is a chosen one, chosen by God's heart.  This reality when considered slowly and prayerfully will bring joy and confidence to the heart.  If you knew that you held a lottery ticket in your hand that is the winning ticket, you would indeed by happy, joy filled, and perhaps a little nervous!

Prayer to Holy Spirit to enter the mystery of the Eucharist: Seeking to become be deeply aware of the mystery of the Eucharist, the very presence of Jesus Christ on the altar during a Eucharistic liturgy or during a time of adoration, the mystery of his becoming a part of who your are each time you receive the Eucharist, these should be thoughts that bring great happiness and comfort to the believer.  Likewise it should be another way of realizing that you have been chosen by God.

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Milt