Use these prayer suggestions beginning on May 1 for the week leading up to the Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 7.)
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 FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
THE PRESENCE OF GOD
God is with me, but more, God is within me, giving me existence. Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence in my body, my mind, my heart and in the whole of my life.
FREEDOM OF SPIRIT
I try to let go of any prejudices and narrow mindedness That may be clouding my vision at this present moment. I hand them over to God’s merciful care, So I can pray in freedom at this time.
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
When I return to my everyday tasks, remind me, Lord, that you are always there beside me. I need never despair.
The Scripture readings for May 7, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, are available at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/050723.cfm
It is recommended that you use the Gospel reading for your prayer this week, especially its conclusion:
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him,
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father." (Jn 14:1-12)
YOUR CONVERSATION WITH GOD
Dear Lord, help me to be always aware of the important things in life. To care for those around me. To seek your presence in all I meet.