Spirituality – Some Resources

What is Spirituality?

Thomas Groome. in his book, What Makes Us Catholic, holds that Catholicism does not have a spirituality. Rather, it is spirituality. Spirituality is the Catholic way of imagining reality and responding to the world with a profoundly deep sense of awe and responsibility. It is a life-giving and life-inspiring approach to life. He points to the rich metaphysical, cultural and social foundation that make up the spiritual Catholic journey. He advocates that Catholic spirituality is the essence, the very core of the religion. It’s what makes a Catholic Catholic.

And what are some of the components of Catholic spirituality? …..Catholic optimism, a lust for life, the central place of gratitude, rich imagination, celebration and at the core, a sacramental view of life.

Another key component is the Catholic incarnational view of life, centred in Jesus, that imbues all life with a sacredness, demanding respect, even awe. Life, then, is to be lived in and with a sense of thankfulness, wonder and respect.

The Catechism goes on to remind us:

2692 In prayer, the pilgrim Church is associated with that of the saints, whose intercession she asks.

2693 The different schools of Christian spirituality share in the living tradition of prayer and are precious guides for the spiritual life.

2694 The Christian family is the first place for education in prayer.

2695 Ordained ministers, the consecrated life, catechesis, prayer groups, and “spiritual direction” ensure assistance within the Church in the practice of prayer.

2696 The most appropriate places for prayer are personal or family oratories, monasteries, places of pilgrimage, and above all the church, which is the proper place for liturgical prayer for the parish community and the privileged place for Eucharistic adoration.

2720 The Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.

2721 The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart.

2722 Vocal prayer, founded on the union of body and soul in human nature, associates the body with the interior prayer of the heart, following Christ’s example of praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to his disciples.

2723 Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make our own in faith the subject considered, by confronting it with the reality of our own life.

2724 Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery.

To read the full section in the Catechism on prayer please use this link to access the complete text.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p4s1c1.htm

Video from Archdiocese of Dublin introducing “Spirituality”

Utube video    “What God means to me”

Young People at Mass

Receiving the Eucharist in a worthy manner:

At the meeting of the Chaplains support group yesterday we discussed our concern that many people approach receiving Holy Communion at Mass in a careless and sometimes disrespectful way. With so many young people not attending Mass on a regular basis many have lost touch with the reality of what they are receiving. Families often don’t practice either and so children do not get instruction at home about how to receive or that they should consume the Sacrament as soon as they receive the Host. Many carry the host back to their place where it can be dropped or worse. In this year of Faith it would be brilliant to try once more to re-train children and young people what to do and also what a wonderful Gift the Holy Eucharist is. One of the group yesterday mentioned a video they use as a school before any Class or School Eucharist. It is really and excellent instruction and well worth building into your resources for teaching the Mass and Eucharist. I am giving you the link below and hope you will try to use it throughout the school in the coming weeks. You will find some other excellent resources on the Sacraments in this series of videos as well.

Sacraments 101: Eucharist (how we receive) By bustedhalovideo| 1 video

At Mass we are nourished first of all at the table of God’s Word, then later at the Table of the Eucharist.  We receive God’s word to become the Good News for others, We receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist to become Christ’s Body for others.

The Table of the Word :

One day in an introductory Bible class one of the participants asked: “Why are there four Gospels rather than one?” Certainly things would look a lot easier if there was only one Gospel. Everything we read in that one Gospel would then be the gospel truth, pure and simple. Now that we have four Gospels that often differ significantly from one another, things can be quite confusing. When you come to think of it, however, you begin to realize that things would be a lot worse if we had only one Gospel. If we had only one Gospel we would think that there is only one way of understanding Jesus and how he relates to us. But now that we have four different Gospels, each of them telling a significantly different story of Jesus and his mission, it becomes easier for us to see that no story of Jesus can exhaust the whole truth of what Jesus is. As limited human beings we can only tell part of the story of God.

This remind us of the story of the six blind men who set out to discover what the elephant is. The first blind man feels the elephant’s side and says the elephant is like a wall. The second blind man feels the elephant’s tusk and says it is like a spear. The third feels the trunk and says it is like a snake. The fourth feels the elephant’s leg and says the elephant is like a tree. The fifth feels the ear and says it is like a fan. And the sixth blind man feels the elephant’s tail and concludes that the elephant is like a rope. You could imagine the bitter disagreement that would ensue among them if they got together to discuss the nature of the elephant. Every one of them would insist that he is right and the others wrong. But the truth of the matter is: yes, he is right, but then so also are all the others. Each of them has a valid experience of the elephant but no one of them possesses the full knowledge of the total reality of the elephant. Even when you put all the six images of the elephant together it still does not capture the full mosaic of the elephant.

After Vatican II the church’s reading of the Gospels on Sunday was revised into a three-year cycle: year A for the gospel of Matthew, year B for Mark, and year C for Luke. The gospel of John is read on certain Sundays interspersed within the three years, such as the Sundays of the Easter season. We are now in year C, the year of Luke. The question we shall be asking ourselves this year is, What aspect of the mystery of Christ does Luke highlight, as distinct from the focus of the other Gospels? A certain scholar has outlined in one word the aspect of Christ that each of the Gospels highlights. Matthew highlights the Christ of majesty (who heals by word of mouth alone, never touches people, never hungry, never angry, etc.), Mark highlights the Christ of might (who proves he is the Messiah by his acts of power and authority over natural and demonic forces), Luke highlights the Christ of mercy (who reaches out to the poor, the outcasts, foreigners and women) and John highlights the Christ of mystery (who was with the Father from all eternity and who has come into the world to reveal this hidden mystery, the truth that leads to life).

Why the New Missal ?

Year of Faith

The year will involve informing oneself about the faith, celebrating it and living it. We don’t do one without the other two. It’s not enough just to study the faith and never go to Mass or never put it into action.

.APOSTOLIC LETTER    POPE BENEDICT

What is the Year of Faith 2012

A Prayer for the Year of Faith

 

Deepening our personal prayer life:

As part of our personal journey in this special Year of Faith , teachers might consider reading the catechesis of the Holy Father regarding prayer in the life of the Christian. Pope Benedict XVI gave these teachings at his weekly audiences throughout 2011.  These are gathered here in one document for your convenience :

Pope Benedict XV1 Talks on Prayer

Blessing and Litany for Feast of St Brigid

This resource includes a newly composed Blessing of the rush cross associated with St Brigid and a specially composed Litany for use on her feast February 1st.

St Brigid Blessing and Litany 2012

Here are some shared resources on the life of St Brigid and also some of her prayers:

BRIGID

St Brigid ..her life St Brigid

Blessing Prayer

Blessing of St Brigid’s Crosses

St Brigid Blessing and Litany

ST BRIGID PRAY FOR US Pic to colour

Prayer of St Brigid