All posts tagged: devotional prayer

The Rosary: Back to the Basics

I became aware early in the year that the task of catechizing their children overwhelmed the parents of my students. They walked into my room and felt out of their depth. They were perfectly at ease criticizing the approach of the new Social Studies teacher but walked on pins and needles asking me about my curriculum. One interaction at parent-teacher conferences summed this up: a couple sat in front of me, clearly trying to find out more about the Religion class’s content than their son’s performance. “You know,” said dad, “this is really important. This class is why we come here.” After an uncomfortable pause he added, “So what are you guys talking about in Religion?” He knew it was important that they learned about their faith, he just had no idea what that looked like. This conundrum of invested but confused parents popped up again when I decided to do a day on the Rosary. It was actually our second Rosary day, and this time I told the students to bring in a rosary …

Sacramentality of Time and Pastoral Asceticism of Presence

“Time is precious.” “My time is valuable.” “Time is money.” “Do you have any free time?” We have commodified time. We “spend time,” “save time,” “make time,” “waste time,” “kill time.” Time is the water we swim in, the air we breathe, and so we take it for granted. We forget that it is granted, that it is entrusted to us as a gift that we are to steward and return to our Giver. We have forgotten that the economy of time is woven tightly together with the economy of salvation, “as if,” in the words of Henry David Thoreau, “you could kill time without injuring eternity.”[1] Pastoral ministers of the Church, of all people, should know that we are made for eternity—that, though in time, we are not ruled by time. Yet we, too, live under what Charles Hummel calls “the tyranny of the urgent.”[2] Robert J. Wicks, author of Availability: The Challenge and the Gift of Being Present, writes: Some of us are ‘too available.’ Thus, true availability becomes watered down. We become …

Daily Prayer, the Incarnation, and the Discipline of Harmony

Few would expect that recovering a traditional Catholic devotion would appeal to the imagination of teenagers. After all, making faith appealing to young people seems to require efforts to excite the senses and incite emotion. While such strategies of evangelization may have their place, praying the Angelus once daily with hundreds of high school students and another 70 college students last summer at Notre Dame Vision witnessed to the possibilities for renewing the Church through simple practices of the ancient faith. The genius of the Angelus is twofold. On the one hand, the prayer invites regular contemplation of the central mystery of our salvation: the Incarnation. On the other hand, it is incredibly brief. Within the span of two minutes or less—on one’s own or in the company of others—one interrupts the regular course of daily events to remember that all these things are contained within the action of God’s love come into the world. After a few weeks of praying this prayer once, twice, or even thrice daily, the words of Luke 1 and …

365 Days with Christina Rossetti–Day 8

Exodus 15:6; Psalm 24:8 Thy Right Hand, O Lord is become glorious in power: Thy Right Hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. O Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Mighty in battle, make I pray Thee, Thy Church militant mighty also in battle. Give her courage to attack all strongholds of infidelity and sin; arm her with patience under apparent failure, and perseverance against ever-renewed opposition. Above all kindle in her such love of souls for Thy most blessed sake, that she may toil and travail for the salvation of all men, and may always and everywhere recollect Thine Image and impart Thy consolations. Amen. Editors’ Note: Christina Rossetti wrote a devotional entitled Annus Domini: A Prayer for the Days of the Year, Founded on a Text of Holy Scripture (1874). We will be featuring one of her prayers on a regular basis on our blog.