Our lives get busy. Yet, at the end of the day when the frenetic pace slows down, our hearts naturally gravitate toward the eternal. We find ourselves hungering for God and community.
For our Women’s Studies group, that hunger only grew through our getting acquainted with Saint Catherine of Siena during our 8-week study this past springtime. It was her inspiration that made us want to do something – a bit less demanding – over the summer months. A Prayer Practicum.
A Prayer what…?
Practicum. A practice in praying the Sacred Scriptures. This is not a Bible Study, nor is it primarily a sharing of the Scriptures themselves. The primary purpose is to give an opportunity for us to learn skills in praying over Scripture in order to grow closer to God and develop more fruitful prayer.
How does it work?
Each week a passage of Sacred Scripture will be posted to our Flocknote Prayer page the Friday prior to our meeting, along with a suggested commentary. You are free to use any commentary or supplemental preparation you may like, or just show up with your Bible without any preparation.
What’s it like?
Our first meeting, we looked at Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus sends his disciples off in a boat at the end of a long day. He meets them on the water – walking toward them in the very early hours of the morning.
First, we considered important things we should do before beginning our prayer, instead of just showing up and rushing into words and spiritual reading. There is a preparation that should be done that helps us be attentive to God’s word in a whole new way. We also looked at a brief introduction of prayer according to the Ignatian tradition of Contemplation and Meditation (which is quite different that that of Saint Teresa of Avila).
We then got to the heart of our time together – the Practice of Prayer – using the Ignatian method of contemplation. At this point, Sr Lisa Marie guided the group using the Ignatian prayer method, giving small instructions along the way to aid them in their prayer when they pray on their own.
We concluded our guided contemplation with the Lord’s Prayer.
If nothing else, it gave us all an opportunity to put the brakes on our busy lives and do something good for our hungry souls.
Who can come?
This group is designed for women of all ages. We have college students and retired women praying together. Such a beautiful testimony!
Would you like to come?
- Sign up at Flocknote. Registering on the page gives you access to the weekly notes and the closed forum for conversation about each lesson.
- Email Sr Lisa Marie and ask her to add you to the Flocknote list.
- Just show up. This is okay too, but it doesn’t provide you access to the notes of each week, but if it is all you can do, that is just fine.
Be sure to bring your Bible and something to write on/with. There is a time for personal note taking as a fruit of your time of prayer.
Who knows? With a little practice perhaps you will become an expert in prayer! At the very least, you will have the opportunity to grow closer to God.
For your reflection, a scene from the Bible Miniseries, of this week’s passage, Matthew 14:22-23. Enjoy!