Updated: Apr 21
Use these prayer suggestions beginning on April 17 for the week leading up to the Third Sunday of Easter (April 23.)
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. 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 THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
THE PRESENCE OF GOD
I slow myself down for a moment and try to realize that God is present. To me. Here and now. He is in present in what I do, in the people that I meet, and the situations I find myself in daily. How can I make this reality real for myself?
FREEDOM OF SPIRIT
Dear Lord, instill in my heart the desire to know and love you more. May I respond to your will for my life.
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 April 23, the Third Sunday of Easter, are available at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/042323.cfm.
It is recommended that you use the Gospel reading for your prayer this week, especially its conclusion:
"And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread." (Lk 24:25-35)
YOUR CONVERSATION WITH GOD
In these quiet moments, I respond to Jesus' invitation to learn from him and encounter him the celebration of the Eucharist. I ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to put myself fully into the parish's weekly renewal of the Baptismal Covenant.