Use these prayer suggestions beginning on May 15 for the week leading up to the Solemnity of the Ascension (May 21.)
In the Latin Rite Church of the Roman Catholic Communion, the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist is a very cognitive endeavor. It requires significant preparation and serious conscious attention. The Latin Rite Liturgy can be made much more "user friendly" by giving appropriate attention daily to personal prayer with the Scriptures.
Our parish participation in the U.S. Bishops' Eucharistic renewal initiative intends to help Sunday worshipers prepare for full, active, conscious participation in the Liturgy by means of daily prayer exercises that engage the imagination and will.
Each week, this page will provide guidance for your daily prayer, along with some insight into the Scripture readings for the coming Sunday. These preparatory exercises can be used for personal prayer by individuals or shared prayer by families. You are encouraged to pray with these resources at least three or four times during the week prior to Sunday Liturgy. It is recommended that you use one of the following thoughts and reflections daily, but these prayer resources can be used in any order you choose and as often as you choose.
The daily thoughts and reflections on this page are examples of Ignatian prayer. St. Ignatius of Loyola taught his followers a three-step process of preparation for their daily prayer. First, one reminds oneself of the God's presence. Second, one prays for the spiritual freedom to hear and respond to God's Word. Third, one makes a brief examination of conscience to determine how God is leading one at this present moment. These preparatory steps allow one to hear God's Word and respond to God's call.
Try to spend about fifteen minutes a day with this prayer. If one of these prayer suggestions appeals to you, stay with it as long as you find it fruitful. If one seems to have no appeal to you, skip it and move to another. There is no right or wrong with this form of prayer; the value is found in focusing your attention on God's presence in your life.
The resources on this page are quoted from SacredSpace.ie, a website hosted by the Irish Jesuits. Over the course of a week, these resources will help you develop your attentiveness to God's presence and your ability to perceive God's will. You may use these resources in any order you choose, but you are encouraged to pray with all three preparatory steps and the Scripture passage during the week prior to Sunday Eucharist. More information about Ignatian prayer can be found at https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/what-is-ignatian-spirituality/the-ignatian-way/.
Please feel free to post your public comments or questions below.
PREPARATION FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION
THE PRESENCE OF GOD
I reflect for a moment on God's presence around me and in me. Creator of the universe, the sun and the moon, the earth, every molecule, every atom, everything that is: God is in every beat of my heart. God is with me, now.
FREEDOM OF SPIRIT
I need to close out the noise, to rise above the noise, the noise that interrupts, that separates, the noise that isolates. I need to listen to God again.
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Lord you have called me ‘the light of the world’. Let me be always conscious of those you want me to serve, the hungry and the homeless, the sick and the destitute, the stranger and the refugee.
The Scripture readings for May 21, the Solemnity of the Ascension, are available at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/052123-Ascension.cfm
It is recommended to use the Gospel reading for your prayer this week:
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
YOUR CONVERSATION WITH GOD
“Stay and watch with me.” These are your words, Lord, to the disciples before your suffering and death. I know, Lord, You will stay and watch over me all the days of my life.