Use these prayer suggestions beginning on May 8 for the week leading up to the Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 14.)
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 SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
THE PRESENCE OF GOD
What is present to me is what directs my life. God is always present in love, amidst the many things that vie for my attention. I pause and pray that I may let God lead me by the gift of the Spirit in this precise moment.
FREEDOM OF SPIRIT
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord, so that I may have inner freedom. Let your Spirit instill in my heart a desire to know and love you more each day.
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Conscious of your presence, Lord, I look over my recent past. Let me be honest with myself about how I’ve been and what I’ve done, Because I know you love truth in the heart and accept me just as I am.
The Scripture readings for May 14, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, are available at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051423.cfm
It is recommended that you use the Gospel reading for your prayer this week:
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
YOUR CONVERSATION WITH GOD
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.