Prayers versus Prayer

Most people don’t receive formation in prayer.  We don’t get taught how to pray and so it can be difficult to pray unless it is a structured activity.  So, we can tend to look to fill the time with formal prayers and journaling.  What is the difference between prayers and prayer?Most people don’t receive formation in prayer.  We don’t get taught how to pray and so it can be difficult to pray unless it is a structured activity.  So, we can tend to look to fill the time with formal prayers and journaling.  What is the difference between prayers and prayer?

Prayer isn’t just ‘caught’ it needs to be ‘taught’.  Prayer is based on the Lord’s grace and so it is a gift.  People can have a difficulty with a prayer time because we’re used to projects and don’t know how to sit still.  We can default to prayers someone else made.  Prayer is our relationship with the Lord and communicating heart to Heart with Him.

How do we do that?  A good place to start is simply being available to the Lord.  We don’t have to generate holy feelings or thoughts.  Simply being present to He who is present to us.  Being available means being ready and not preoccupied with other things.  It’s simply holding space for the Lord.

From there, we surrender our ideas and agendas, understanding the Lord wants prayer more than we do because He longs for relationship with us.  What does surrender mean?  It’s giving up our plans and our preconceived ideas of what needs to happen. He is the initiator and is all-wise and all-loving.

In His presence, we converse with Him which entails sharing with Him and listening to Him.  He can speak to our hearts by bringing certain thoughts and senses to us.  He is alive and well and is a good communicator!  We can ask Him for what He wants us to know and to lead us.  This communion leads us to union with Him.

Practically, that can look like using the Scripture or spiritual reading as jumping off points if we stop at the points where we find our spirit particularly touched and open ourselves to more of His work of grace in those areas.

So, we start by being available to the Lord, surrendering our agendas, and then moving from the words of prayers into being attentive to grace when our hearts are moved by particular notions, concepts, and images.

Ephesians 3:14 and following.

 

 

 

Testimony of Jan Tate 2005 Baton Rouge, LA

Jan Tate worked in the Ministry of Marriage Preparation with her husband, Lloyd. They published their in-home marriage preparation manual in conjunction with the Diocese of Baton Rouge.Jan Tate worked in the Ministry of Marriage Preparation with her husband, Lloyd. They published their in-home marriage preparation manual in conjunction with the Diocese of Baton Rouge. For 12 years, Jan worked with mother-daughter, father-son programs sponsored by the Family Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. She is a trained Spiritual Director and serves on the staff of Archdiocese Spirituality Center.

She has conducted numerous retreats for men, women and couples and days of reflection. Jan is also a trained facilitator for At-Home Retreat Program. She is on the circuit of speakers for the Supper and Substance program for married couples. Jan and Lloyd were married in 1972 and have 5 children and 10 grandchildren. She is a native New Orleanian and graduated from Loyola University in Communications.

Her favorite scripture verse is Hosea 11:4 I drew them with human cords with bands of love. I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks, yet though I stoop to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.

The Boat by Mary Wilson

Jesus saves and rescues us with the analogy of a boat. Stories from scripture are shared with lessons our Lord is trying to teach us in his faithfulness to us.Jesus saves and rescues us with the analogy of a boat. Stories from scripture are shared with lessons our Lord is trying to teach us in his faithfulness to us.

Mary Wilson is Secretary of the Magnificat (CST) Central Service Team, a Ministry to Catholic Women.


Magnificat ® is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, an image of the Church, and model for all Christians, especially women.

Two hundred Catholic women from all walks of life crowded into a Knights of Columbus hall on October 7, 1981, to have breakfast and to hear a woman’s personal
witness to the power of God in her life.

The women who left that hall were filled with a joy that only the Holy Spirit can give; that is, a deeper awareness of God’s loving presence in their lives and a burning desire to share this wonderful experience with more and more of their sisters in Christ.

The modest breakfast held on October 7, 1981, is today, a ministry to Catholic women known as “Magnificat” with Chapters in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.

While the Magnificat Meal is the main function of the ministry, Magnificat is much more than “putting on a meal.” It is a time of praise and worship, fellowship, and prayer.
Magnificat is a private association of the Christian faithful under the vigilance and jurisdiction of the local ordinary. The ministry is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The essence of Magnificat is the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56). Magnificat is a woman-to-woman ministry which calls forth a lively faith in God and His actions in daily life, a love for Mary and for the Church, and deep holiness. The words of Our Lady’s canticle in Luke’s gospel take on a personal significance for Magnificat women as they seek to magnify the Lord in their own lives and lead others to know His great love and goodness.

We encourage you to join us as we pray, learn, and experience what God can do in our lives if we let Him!

Visit our website at https://magnificat-ministry.net/

Digging into the Biology of Trauma

Continuing in our understanding of the biology of trauma, trauma is anything that overwhelms the person’s normal ability to cope. Continuing in our understanding of the biology of trauma, trauma is anything that overwhelms the person’s normal ability to cope.  Inherent in that definition is the fact that you and I are different people with different pasts and perspectives.  I might be traumatized by a situation that you may not feel strongly effected by.  That doesn’t make one of us right and the other wrong.  It’s actually due to a variety of factors having to do with what we perceive as threat.

When we are traumatized, the brain can encode any of the sensory stimuli (sights, sounds, smells, emotions, even our own body sensations) as signs of life-or-death threat because it associates those experiences with the trauma in which we felt so significantly in danger.  Sometimes we are aware of those associations when they are reexperienced, but we may very well be unaware of them because the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain) sits deep inside the brain and right on top of the brain stem.  The same way we are unaware of our respiration, digestion, heartbeat and the like we can be just as unaware of our emotions turning from joyous to anger due to encountering a reminder of a past trauma.  When this happens, we can respond with a vehemence and intensity that disturbs even ourselves and, if this happens often, can leave us feeling broken, vulnerable and very different from others.

With this background, we can see that we are not our emotions, rather we have emotions.  Therefore, we can respond to our emotions rather than responding out of emotions because emotions are information.  So, we can take that information into account and yet we aren’t bound to respond as though it is Gospel truth.   Rather, we can account for the fact that it may be skewed.  We have emotions.  We are not our emotions.  They are important information, but only one source of information.  We can prudently pay attention to the information and take into account other information, as well.  The greatest information we have is that we are dearly beloved children of the Omnipotent, Omniscient, All-Loving God who is madly and passionately in love with us personally.  No matter what others have done to us and no matter what we have done He will us it – Scripture tells us He uses “ALL THINGS” for our good.

May the Lord give YOU peace!

 

Key words:  trauma, information, misinformation, emotions, limbic system

 

Special Replay: Love: The Unconditional Kind

I believe that our love for God is reflected in how we love others. If that’s the case for you, what deal have you made about how that looks?I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal.

I’m like a steep roller coaster!
Loving God has been quite the journey for me.

I gave my heart to Christ when I was 5 or 6- I remember them explaining how Jesus died for my sins and that I could ask for forgiveness, and ask him to be the Lord of my life and thank him for saving me and that I would be saved.

I remember being so clear that I was saved and that I needed to obey Jesus and follow his will for my life.

Unfortunately, I felt very unsuccessful doing that.

I knew God loved me, but I acted like love was earned. Combine that with my extreme personality and if I couldn’t get it right 100% of the time, then why bother trying to get it right any of the time?

So, I would resort to selfishness, stubbornness, and frustration.

I believe that our love for God is reflected in how we love others. If that’s the case for you, what deal have you made about how that looks?

Here’s some of the deals I made:
First, Unconditional love means you have to live up to your end of the bargain loving me and all my mess regardless of how I show up, but I should be able to show love to you on a sliding scale of how much I feel like it on any given day and base my attention on that.

How’s that show up in your relationships? Huh?  That one doesn’t turn out so well.

Second, I really thought unconditional love meant that there was a basic love level and if I got on their good side by doing what they liked, then they’d like me more if I acted more like them.

But that really wasn’t love at all. It was a craving for attention.

When love is steady regardless of how I showed up if feels unconditional.

While it may seem odd at first if grand gestures are a way you show love when someone is making you happy, but you act mad when they disappoint you, then it isn’t steady.

Does this ever show up in your relationships with others?  In either your attempts to love other people- and your emotions get in the way, or in your reception of love from others.  Have you ever considered that an over the top response and attention to someone’s gift could actually be reinforcing a false pattern of belief about the love of God?

In order to truly love God, you must love others.

In order to truly love others, you must love God.

What does truly loving God look like?

Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things.

It believes all things.

It hopes all things.

It endures all things.

Love never fails.

What one next step will you take today to love someone unconditionally?