Praying to the One who loves us

St. Therese on prayerPrayer helps us stay grounded, reminding us that we need God and that he is there, waiting to listen.

A few quotes on prayer

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Phil 4:6

For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus. St. Therese of Lisieux

What a gift prayer is! It is the real treasure of our soul, our being able to give to God the worship of perfect adoration. St. Frances Cabrini

My secret is simple–I pray. St. Teresa of Calcutta

Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.  Padre Pio

How to Pray

There are many ways to different ways to pray and each has a benefit. Common ways include praying rote prayers; praying with your faith community at Mass or a service; using scripture or music; praying in silence. Often we pray because we are restless or have a problem that needs solving. Many times, when you have many burdens, the best prayer is sitting in silence. God knows our needs before we say them. He does not want us to live in worry, confusion or discouragement. When you are overwhelmed and on input and noise overload, find a quiet spot, ask God to enter into it and sit, hands open, doing nothing. I say, “Come, Holy Spirit” and let all my thoughts go up to him. Even 5 minutes will give you peace and rest.

Pause during the day as well, whenever a decision needs to be made, and ask God what’s next. The more we approach God, the more peace we will have. As  Soren Kierkegaard said, “prayer does  not change God,  but changes him who prays.”  And what else can the point of prayer be, but to change and become more like the person God created us to be, living a life of abundance and sharing it with others.

the not lukewarm challengeOur challenge this week is to learn a new prayer. Or at least choose a new one to use regularly. I have a few links to prayer sites as well as a “Prayer” playlist on Spotify for you. I’d love to hear what new prayer you’ve used this week so leave a comment!

Prayer Sites

23 Powerful Prayers 
Catholic Prayers

 

 

An Interview with Bonnie L. Engstrom, author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle

Do you believe in miracles?

If you have read the Bible, Old Testament or New, you see miracles everywhere. God comes to his people in a burning bush, an ark, water, mud, fire, wind, rain and quiet. Jesus feeds five thousand people; heals the blind, the lame, those processed by demons and raises the dead. His apostles do the same. And here we sit, some two thousand years later and wonder, why not us? Why are there no miracles today? Do we lack faith? Are our needs to small? Has God stopped noticing us? NO!

There are miracles around us all the time, small, quiet ones and big, dramatic ones. There are miracles that change the course of people’s lives.

I was privileged to speak with Bonnie Engstrom, author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and a True Story of the Impossible, about the miracle that occurred in her life. In 2010 her son, James Fulton, was born stillborn. For 61 minutes, the family prayed while medical personnel worked on James. They asked for the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and God granted them the miracle of life fully restored to James.

The book is a testimony to faith and to God who loves us more than we can believe or imagine. In talking to Bonnie, she said a few things that really struck me about what she learned through this miracle.

  1. She was reminded that miracles of biblical proportions still take place today.
  2. That the Body of Christ is amazing. So many people came forward to pray and help in so many ways after James’ birth.
  3. That as James hit milestone after milestone at the appropriate age, she realized that not only was James brought back to life, but he was restored in the fullest way, so that his body could heal and become how it was meant to be.
  4. Miracles approved by the Vatican go through very rigorous testing and validation.

The book not only tells the story of James but also explains, in context, the details of how a person becomes a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Bonnie explains the process in a way that can be understood even if you are not familiar with saints or the Catholic Church.

I hope you enjoy our interview and know you will appreciate the book. It is a brilliant story of hope and restoration.

Prayer to Obtain a Favor through the Intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit. If it be according to your will, glorify your servant, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession, (state your intention). I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.  (from 61 Minutes to a Miracle)

You can follow Bonnie on her blog or on Instagram. 

The book, 61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and True Story of the Impossible, is available from Our Sunday Visitor.

the not lukewarm challengeThis week look for the miracles. Search out the good news of healing, restoration, kindness and caring. Post those in the comment section and share them on social media.

The Communion of Saints

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.” Hebrews 12:1

What is the communion of saints?

It is made up of all the people who are part of the Church, whether in heaven, waiting to enter heaven or on earth. It is a communion of people, meant to remind us that:

-God wants us to share in his divine life,

-we are called to pursue a common goal, holiness,

-mutual love is the bond; we are made one through the gift of Jesus’ life,

-our unity gives us strength, helps us grow in our faith, hope and love,

-we cannot obtain heaven isolated from each other,

-if one suffers, we all suffer; if one gains, we all benefit,

-The Holy Spirit leads us to share spiritual goods and material goods to a sacrificial degree.

The communion of saints is God’s holy human family. Death does not break this bond of love and sharing. The communion of saints connects us all as one body. The Church of this world is joined to the Church of the next in one Body of Christ.  We are never alone; we are united with each other in the mystical body of Christ. One way to act on that unity is to pray for we, the living, to pray for the dead, especially those who are in purgatory. We can also ask for prayer from those in heaven. This includes not only named or canonized saints, but our family and friends who are no longer with us. These souls are much closer to God, they are with him in heaven. Ask for them to intercede for you.

It is no different than asking a friend to pray for you.

Who are Saints?

In the broadest way, a saint is someone who is in a state of grace and united to God. There are also those who have led lives of exemplary example who have been declared saints by the Church. Those are canonized saints. These men and women show us that God can use each of us to point to His glory.

All have us have the potential to one day be saints. That is the goal of the Christian life, to be in heaven with God, at the eternal banquet, united with all those who love him.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

Find a saint to intercede for you. It can be someone you know and love who has died or a canonized saint. Look for a saint you can relate to You can use this site to find a saint based your name, a special date, a special interest or need, even your profession! Leave a comment and tell us who you found.