A Living Relationship

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

 

 

God’s not Dead was a popular song a few years back. And he certainly is not dead, but very much alive. As are we. How often do we think about a relationship with him? If we believe in him and love him, then a desire to have a relationship follows.

Prayer is a Living Relationship

The desire to know God and understand God and be closer to God grows as our faith does. Prayer is what we need to grow closer to God. It is spending time with him. Spending time with people is how we grow in our relationships with our friends physically with us, so why not do the same with God?

Contemplation, Ignatian Style

What is it?

  • a communion in which the Holy Trinity conforms man, the image of God, “to his likeness.”
  • the Father strengthens our inner being with power through his Spirit “that Christ may dwell in (our) hearts through faith” and we may be “grounded in love”
  • also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ; we learn the “interior knowledge of our Lord,” the more to love him and follow him. Ignatius of Loyola
  • the Holy Spirit makes the mystery of Christ come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts

What does it mean to enter into contemplative prayer?

We “gather up” the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of him who awaits us. We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to him as an offering to be purified and transformed.

How to Pray Contemplative Prayer

  1. Bless yourself and begin with a prayer; call on the Holy Spirit
  2. Sit in silence, placing yourself in the presence of God, settle your mind and soul
  3. Ask the Lord to give you a specific grace or state a prayer request
  4. Read the scripture passage once or twice to get the general sense of it, put it aside and close your eyes
  5. Place yourself in the passage; are you watching the scene or a part of it as a person who interacts with Jesus? Do not decide ahead of time, rather, wait and see what rises up in you
    1. Allow the story to unfold before you (what do you hear, see, smell, notice?)
    2. Allow your imagination freedom
    3. Pay attention to your feelings during prayer
  1. Have a conversation with God
    1. Talk about what happened
    2. Ask God what it means
    3. Listen to what He says
    4. End with the Our Father
    5. Journal your encounter; even a few sentences help to process what occurred
  2. What word or words touched you during the prayer time?
  3. What feelings did the prayer evoke in you?
  4. What do you sense God is saying to you or where is He leading you?

Scripture Passages

Luke 19:1-10;  John 15:1-11; Acts 2:1-4

Need some prayer support?

Contact me and let me know how I can help!

The Sacred Practice of Contemplation for Catholic Women

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

For Catholic women seeking to nurture their faith amidst the demands of everyday life, the art of contemplation serves as a profound pathway to spiritual enrichment and communion with the divine.Embracing Divine Connection: The Sacred Practice of Contemplation for Catholic Women

In the bustling rhythm of our modern lives, amidst the noise and distractions, finding moments of peace and connection with God can seem elusive. Yet, within the rich tapestry of Catholic spirituality lies a timeless practice that offers solace and deepens our relationship with God and the Lord Jesus: contemplation. For Catholic women seeking to nurture their faith amidst the demands of everyday life, the art of contemplation serves as a profound pathway to spiritual enrichment and communion with the divine.

What is Contemplation?

At its heart, contemplation in the Catholic tradition is a sacred invitation to encounter God’s presence in the quiet depths of our souls. It is a practice of intentional reflection, prayerful listening, and openness to the workings of the Holy Spirit. In a world filled with constant noise and distractions, the call to contemplation beckons us to carve out sacred spaces in our lives where we can quiet our minds and open our hearts to God’s loving presence.

Prayer as Contemplation

One powerful avenue for contemplation within the Catholic faith is through the rich tradition of prayer. Whether it’s participating in the Holy Mass, reciting the Rosary, or spending time in silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, these sacred practices offer moments of stillness and communion with God. For example, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, such as the Annunciation or the Crucifixion, allows Catholic women to enter into deeper contemplation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Saints, Our Friends

Furthermore, the Catholic Church offers a wealth of spiritual resources to support contemplative prayer and reflection. The lives of the saints, with their profound devotion to prayer and intimacy with God, serve as inspiring examples for Catholic women seeking to deepen their own spiritual lives. Reading the writings of mystics like St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross can provide valuable insights into the journey of contemplative prayer and the mystical union with God.

Sacraments

The sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, are powerful sources of grace and spiritual nourishment for Catholic women on their contemplative journey. Through the sacramental encounter with Christ, women can experience healing, forgiveness, and renewal, deepening their connection with God and strengthening their faith.

Incorporating contemplation into daily life as a Catholic woman doesn’t require elaborate rituals or extraordinary efforts. It’s about cultivating a spirit of openness and receptivity to God’s presence in the midst of the ordinary. Whether it’s through daily prayer, participation in the sacraments, or reflecting on the lives of the saints, Catholic women can find countless opportunities to deepen their relationship with God and the Lord Jesus.

Contemplation is a Sacred Gift

In conclusion, contemplation is a sacred gift that enriches the spiritual lives of Catholic women, offering moments of peace, connection, and intimacy with God. As women of faith journey through the joys and challenges of life, may they continue to embrace the practice of contemplation, knowing that in the silence of their hearts, they encounter the loving presence of God.

Imagine You Walked with Jesus, A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer.

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Teaching Prayer

Teaching a person to pray using Ignatian Contemplative Prayer is not an easy task. It takes time and repetition to learn. The other point to consider when teaching someone is that you want the person to enter into the prayer based on their needs, not the person teaching. In his new book, Imagine you Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer Jerry Windley-Daoust does an amazing job of guiding you to a deep experience of prayer.

In this episode, Jerry and I talk about what makes his book unique, how it leads you through Jesus’ life with 40 different scripture passages and gives you a format you can use with prompts and suggestions to enter into prayer.

Don’t skip

Jerry starts the book off with 2 important chapters, the first an introduction to imaginative prayer and a brief tour of first-century Palestine. Both will be of help to you as you begin.

I also suggest moving through the scripture passages as Jerry has organized them. That way, you will see Jesus’ life and ministry unfold as you pray with the scripture.

Learn more

Find out more about the book, find journaling resources, more scripture suggestions and other help in getting started on the Guide to Imaginative Prayer website.

Our challenge this week comes from Jerry: “Go walk with Jesus in imaginative prayer! Choose a Scripture passage that reflects your situation, and go meet Jesus there, and see what happens.”

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The Prayer of Silence

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

What is prayer?

Prayer is time with God. A conversation. A lifting of our mind and heart to him.

There are different types of prayer

We can pray with others or by ourselves. There are vocal prayers, often those we have memorized. We can pray those aloud or inside our mind, but there are words involved either way.

Contemplative prayer is quiet. There are not many words.

How to pray in silence?

Put yourself in a quiet place, free of distractions.

Close your eyes and ask the Lord to be present with you.

Breathe. In your mind, picture God looking at you or open your eyes and look at an image that focuses you.

Tell God briefly what is on your mind.

And then sit quietly, if thoughts come to mind, let them go.

When you are done, thank God for his presence.

You may come away with answers or a sense of peace. Answers may come at another time. Try not to worry if you are doing it right, know that any time we give to God like this helps us become the person he created.

Try contemplative prayer this week. Start with 10 minutes a day and see what happens.