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Meditative singing….a formula of calming repetition…

During Adoration of the Eucharist yesterday we sang this beautiful song of praise and worship. The first time I’ve heard it, and one that I’ll be including in my prayers in future. Eucharistic-Jesus-Adoration

Meditative singing

Singing is one of the most essential elements of worship. Short songs, repeated again and again, give it a meditative character. Using just a few words they express a basic reality of faith, quickly grasped by the mind. As the words are sung over many times, this reality gradually penetrates the whole being. Meditative singing thus becomes a way of listening to God. It allows everyone to take part in a time of prayer together and to remain together in attentive waiting on God, without having to fix the length of time too exactly.

To open the gates of trust in God, nothing can replace the beauty of human voices united in song. This beauty can give us a glimpse of “heaven’s joy on earth,” as Eastern Christians put it. And an inner life begins to blossom within us.

These songs also sustain personal prayer. Through them, little by little, our being finds an inner unity in God. They can continue in the silence of our hearts when we are at work, speaking with others or resting. In this way prayer and daily life are united. They allow us to keep on praying even when we are unaware of it, in the silence of our hearts.

The “songs of Taizé” published in different languages are simple, but preparation is required to use them in prayer. This preparation should take place before the prayer itself, so that once it begins the atmosphere remains meditative.

During the prayer it is better if no one directs the music; in this way everyone can face the cross, the icons or the altar. (In a large congregation, however, it may be necessary for someone to direct, as discreetly as possible, a small group of instruments or singers who support the rest, always remembering that they are not giving a performance for the others.) The person who begins the songs is generally up front, together with those who will read the psalm, the reading and the intercessions, not facing the others but turned like them towards the altar or the icons. If a song is begun spontaneously, the pitch is generally too low. A tuning fork or pitch pipe can help, or a musical instrument give the first note or accompany the melody. Make sure the tempo does not slow down too much, as this tends to happen when the singing goes on for some time. As the number of participants increases, it becomes necessary to use a microphone, preferably hand-held, to begin and end the songs (they can be ended by singing “Amen” on the final note). The person who begins the singing can support the others by singing into a microphone, being careful not to drown out the other voices. A good sound-system is essential if the congregation is large; if necessary check it before the prayer and try it out with those who will be using the microphones.

Songs in many different languages are appropriate for large international gatherings. In a neighborhood prayer with people of all ages present, most of the songs should be in languages actually understood by some of the participants, or in Latin. If possible, give each person a song sheet or booklet. You can also include one or two well-known local songs or hymns.

Instruments: a guitar or keyboard instrument can support the harmonic structure of the songs. They are especially helpful in keeping the correct pitch and tempo. Guitars should be played in classical, not folk style. A microphone may be necessary for them to be heard. In addition to this basic accompaniment, there are parts for other instruments.   (Taize)

“Something very interesting at Taizé is that this formula of calming repetition has been taken up in the liturgy; that is, it is not used only in personal prayer, but also in prayer together or common prayer. Some young people, who know almost nothing of mystery, are introduced to it here, and they begin to learn how to pray.”

Olivier Clément

I have put visiting the TAIZE COMMUNITY on my bucket list.

 

 

 

A moment that matters.

9780281054626 - Confirmation Prayer Book white

Tonight my beloved and I returned from our monthly  prayer group, blessed in the knowledge that our dear friends hold  us close when they pray. We felt comforted not only by the Word of God but cosseted and enfolded in His love through the reaching out of  this small group of workers in The Vineyard: our wonderful prayer group. This group has opened wide a new door of discovery and understanding for us, about the light of love that Our Lord holds over us.

Bear fruit!

Image@https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Prayer-Tree/353710384750502

Image@https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Prayer-Tree/353710384750502

An invitation to young Catholics.

Image@http://thineownservice.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/an-invitation-to-young-catholics/

Image@http://thineownservice.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/an-invitation-to-young-catholics/

Herewith detail (as copied from the Zenit of the Pope’s message to the Catholic youth on his visit to the UK in 2010:-

“In these few moments that we are together, I wish to speak to you from my own heart, and I ask you to open your hearts to what I have to say,” Benedict XVI said.

He stated: “I ask each of you, first and foremost, to look into your own heart.

“Think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and all the love it is meant to give. After all, we were made for love.”

“Every day we should thank God for the love we have already known,” the Pope asserted, “for the love that has made us who we are, the love that has shown us what is truly important in life.”

He continued, “We need to thank the Lord for the love we have received from our families, our friends, our teachers, and all those people in our lives who have helped us to realize how precious we are, in their eyes and in the eyes of God.”

Enduring

“We were also made to give love,” the Pontiff affirmed, “to make it the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives.”

“Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the great Missionary of Charity, reminded us that giving love, pure and generous love, is the fruit of a daily decision,” he noted.

“Every day we have to choose to love,” the Holy Father urged, “and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in his word, and from the grace which he bestows on us in the sacraments of his Church.”

“I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love,” he said. “Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice.”

Benedict XVI said: “Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer.

“But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day. Often it means waiting for the Lord to speak.”

“Even amid the “busy-ness” and the stress of our daily lives,” he acknowledged, “we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self.”

Hope

Hope

Hope looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst.

Hope opens doors where despair closes them.

Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot.

Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of human nature.

Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”

Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Hope sets big goals and is not frustrated by repeated difficulties or setbacks.

Hope pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit.

Hope puts up with modest gains, realizing that “the longest journey starts with one step.”

Hope accepts misunderstandings as the price for serving the greater good of others.?

Hope is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of final victory.

 

A moving reflection on hope by the late Fr. James Keller, M.M. Founder of The Christophers.

Prayer for the month of November.

Dear Lord,

Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.

Let them look up and see no longer me, but only you, O Lord! Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you do; so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Lord, will be all from you; none of it will be mine. It will be you shining on others through me.

Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best, by shining on those around me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.

Amen.

(St. John Henry Newman)

A new desktop image for the end of September.

Image@http://www.loyolapress.com/3minute-retreat-desktop-image.htm

Herewith the last screensaver from Loyola press for the month of September.

You have an invitation!

Prayer walk

On Thursday evening I met Deacon John at church for my first experience of a Prayer Walk. It was the last day of a two-week Ecumenical prayer effort.

Each church in the area was given a designated route to walk,  so that by the end of the two-week period the whole of our suburb will have been covered in prayer. Before we started walking, Deacon John shared prayer themes that can be prayed as we walk up and down the roads passing houses. This would include any pedestrians that we may come across. I thought this was a great idea. How many times have I been in need of prayer,and just maybe I was prayed for by a passing Prayer Walker?

The advice at the top of the list suggested, ‘Attempt to keep every prayer pertinent to the specific community you pass through. As you do, you will find prayers naturally progress to the nation and the world.’  We then read:-

1 Timothy 2:1-10  From the Bible Gateway

English Standard Version (ESV)

Pray for All People

2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.  For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10  but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

Footnotes:
  1. 1 Timothy 2:5men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

These are three categories of prayer I chose to prayer on the walk:

  1. Concerning Christ: Proclaim Him afresh to be the one mediator and the ransom for all. Name Him Lord of the neighbourhood and of the lives you see.
  2. Concerning Truth: Declare openly the bedrock reality that there is one God. Celebrate the faithful revelation of His Truth to all peoples through ordinary people. Pray that the eyes of minds would cease to be blinded by Satan so that they could come to a knowledge of the Truth.
  3. Concerning the Blessing of God: Thanksgivings are to be made on behalf of all people. Give God the explicit thanks that He deserves for the goodness He constantly bestows on the homes you pass by.
As we came to the end of a block we would stop to say the Our Father or a Hail Mary or a Glory Be.

The Lord’s Prayer

I enjoyed passing houses and wondering who may be inside. Looking at the gardens I made up an image of who the gardener may be, this depended on the type of flowers in the garden as well as and the state of the garden. It got me thinking about the importance of prayer in general and how I struggle to keep up with all who do need prayer. (I’ve begun to stick with the Holy Father’s prayer intention for the month as well as the parish list that is shared at the beginning of each month, and then I make a list of those closest me who need intercession. This is pretty comprehensive). Every time I walk down the street now, I will say a little prayer for one person who passes me by, or perhaps I’ll say a general prayer for pedestrians before I set off?

Yes, I will be part of the Prayer Walk again next year. It was a special time of prayer that unites all Christian churches in Christ, connecting myself and other Christians who live in close proximity with a golden thread called Prayer.

Praying a Pentecost Novena?

I signed up for Novena’s and received a reminder about the start of A Novena to the Holy Spirit. I thought perhaps some of you would like to pray this Novena as well. Follow this link for the prayers.

I prayed the Divine Mercy Novena this year and gained much from doing it: reassurance, peace and time with the Lord. I wait with baited breath for the rewards of praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit!