Seattle Vocations Blog

Thoughts from priests, seminarians, and religious on discernment
and living out your vocation in the real world.

 

Discernment - 3 Ways to Pray

May 27, 2016

It’s near impossible to grow in your understanding of God’s will and vocation without a growth in prayer, when you turn over your mind and heart completely to God. I can go and speak to youth in parishes and speak about vocations and how great priesthood and religious life is, but unless a young person has a deep sense of prayer and their own conversion, they’re not going to be able to get to that level of discussion of what vocation even means.  So it’s very important that we understand these ways and methods of prayer to be able to mentor one another in prayer.

1. The Sacraments

The risen Christ sent the Holy Spirit into the life of the Church to continue his loving mission and service among us. Primarily we encounter that in the sacrament of the Eucharist; we gather every Sunday (and for many, every day) at Mass, as well as in the ongoing sacrament of confession, anointing of the sick, baptism, confirmation, marriage and ordination.  In the sacraments, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, “we become what we consume”.

The sacraments are beautiful in this way because they make the all-powerful, all-knowing God present to us in a tangible way.  Something that we can see and taste and touch. 

Christ wisely instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist around this image of the meal –the thing that we share most regularly with one another. It shows how God’s love desires to break into our lives perpetually, daily, to show us God’s healing presence, to show us that we are not alone. 

2. Eucharistic Adoration

The carryover of the Celebration of the Eucharist is found in Eucharistic adoration, when we sit in Christ’s presence.  The extension of the Eucharist is Eucharistic adoration which happens in many of our parishes around the Archdiocese. It’s an opportunity to sit before the Lord, to gaze and dwell upon the Lord, increasing our desire to receive him into our lives, and into our hearts. 

This is a great place to be alone with Christ in the Eucharist, to have some time of quiet prayer where you can really listen to where God is calling you.

3. The Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours is a prayer that's common for priests and religious to pray daily.  It’s a way for the Church to keep holy the different hours of the day. If you think about it, around the world there’s always someone praying one of the hours of the day.  The primary hours of the day are the morning and evening prayer which in general involve some psalms as well as a reading, responsory, some other prayers from the scriptures, some petitions and an Our Father.

It’s a simple nice way to structure our days so that we are praying both with God’s word in Scripture and with the entire Church. The Liturgy of the Hours is a wonderful way to be able to structure our time and provide some very clear moments of prayer throughout the course of our very full days.

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