Prayer

Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.

Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.

Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:

Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory to the Father

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women; and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. And I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter what form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.

  1. Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
  2. Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
  3. Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts, and reflections related to your prayer life.
 

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Scripture

Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation written in an inspired and inerrant way. Read More

Saints

The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ; they teach us how to live faithful and holy lives. Read More

Mary

Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. Read More

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