Archbishop Jason Gordon recently compiled a series of articles on prayer, initially published in the Catholic News, in a book entitled A Little book on Christian Prayer. He has graciously allowed the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office to upload this to its website as a teaching course.
Essentially, this simple yet very profound document is geared towards “creating a routine of prayer” which will sustain daily life and help us to grow into saints.
Archbishop Gordon explains prayer is the “foundation of our life in Christ” and essential not only for our spiritual well-being, but the physical as well.
He uses a systematic framework to lead us through the various aspects of prayer i.e. why we need to pray and what prayer is.
Flowing seamlessly from this is a step-by-step analysis of the greatest prayer, the Our Father, which outlines the teachings of Jesus on prayer. Following this, we explore the challenges to prayer, drawing heavily from St Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment of Spirits.
The lessons culminate with methods and tools to help us pray.
Throughout, we are also exposed to video clips from Trinity TV Shepherd’s Corner during which Archbishop Gordon underlined key points from his articles on prayer.
According to Archbishop Gordon, prayer is the doorway to our protection, physically and spiritually. There is no substitute or alternative to this truth. Without a regular prayer routine, we will be distracted by all the enticements, materialism and temptations of our time.
Certainly, humankind has made great progress in so many areas—science, technology and medicine—to name a few. However, so many of us feel that there is no meaning or purpose to life. We constantly seek distractions that cannot satisfy our yearning for some higher truth to our existence. Consider the celebrities or wealthy who fall victim to addiction, or young people who go astray.
There is either no sense of prayer or it has not been properly nurtured.
To elaborate further, it is not about how we pray but our state of mind and being towards prayer and our relationship with God. God becomes not stern and unforgiving, but our loving Father, the ‘Daddy’ constantly mentioned in the text.
As in all things, God gives us free will. If we choose to pray, in the right way, we are moving towards a relationship with God and demonstrating our love for Him. Our generation underplays evil. Evil exists and in very horrible ways. By freely choosing this pathway to God, we can counter this, moving from darkness to light, to hope, faith and charity from despair, apathy and darkness of spirit.
This text is intended to enhance our consciousness, knowledge and understanding of prayer and in so doing, inspire us to take action with respect to our prayer life. Indeed, Archbishop Gordon revealed that writing these articles renewed his commitment to prayer.
Ultimately, we discover that prayer is a conversation with God, however we choose to do so, that helps us to realise who we are, who God is and His great love for us. Prayer is “love from beginning to end” and through prayer, “we receive, live and become love to others”.
So why not sign up today to prayerfully enter this course.
For a mere TT$200, you will not only receive a certificate upon completion but would have entered a deeper relationship with God. Call us today at 623-5139 or visit our website at www.catecheticsrc.org
—Diane Lucky, Archdiocesan Catechetical Office