Easter speaks to us of union with God, a lived intimacy with the Divine Source of Life. The practice of prayer will:
- lead us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the God who dwells in each of us
- help us to remember our deepest identity as beloved children of God
- nourish us so that we might live our vocation – our life and work in the world
This Lent, consider practicing prayer:
- through nightly 5-minute “overviews of your day,” looking for where God might have been present to you or where you might have missed God’s presence
- by celebrating our Sunday liturgies (7, 8, 9:30, and 11:15 a.m., and 12:45 and 5 p.m.) or our weekday liturgies (7 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.)
- joining us for Wednesday evening Lenten Vespers (Evening Prayer) followed by some quiet time with Christ in Eucharistic Adoration (6:30 p.m. in the church)
- listening to our mid-week Lenten podcast reflection, found on our Old St. Pat’s website
- celebrating the gift, joy, and sacrament of Reconciliation on Wednesday, March 21 (6 p.m. in the church)
Check back here often for additional resources, posts and events relating to the practice of Prayer through this Lenten season.
North Lawndale Kinship Initiative
For the season of Lent, members of our community are invited to pair up with members of St. Agatha Parish to act as Prayer Partners for these 6 weeks. Please contact Beth Marek firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or would like to become a prayer partner.
A Prayer for the Fifth Week of Lent
Hear me, God.
You are the God of Life.
I feel you in the deepest places of my being.
I hear you calling me to grow, to produce great fruit in the world.
Sometimes this frightens me. Growth will not happen without risk.
You know that I don’t like this feeling of being exposed and made vulnerable.
But you are not impressed with my well-reasoned and carefully measured plan to play it safe.
Help me, then, to break down my resistance.
Send the Gardener to work the soil of my soul.
Nurture me with your love.
Give me this moment to awaken to your presence
and this day to do your will.
The Lenten Desert
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days. Mark 1:12
The night air chills.
Day brings blinding sun and searing heat.
There is nothing you touch that is not hard or sharp.
The desert is stark and unforgiving.
Water, shelter, food.
Pay attention to the essentials, if you want to live.
In the geography of spirit
the desert is a place for keen focus
and hard discernment.
Who is God?
Who am I?
Who is my neighbor?
How shall we live together?
Led by God, Moses and the Israelites forged an identity in the desert.
Driven there by the Spirit, the desert prepared Jesus for the times
when his own identity would be tested.
We, too, need the desert.
And so each year,
Christian people create a desert.
You will not find this desert on any map.
The features of this desert are neither stone nor sand.
The landscape of our Lenten desert is bounded by forty days and is shaped by ancient and trusted spiritual practices.
These Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving
are not designed to make something “spiritual” happen.
Nor are they burdens we accept to demonstrate obedience to God.
These practices create the space, the barren wilderness
where we come to revisit the core questions.
Who is God?
Who am I?
Who is my neighbor?
How shall we live together?
The long tradition of Christian wisdom tells us
that in the desert,
if we pay attention to the essentials,
we can learn to live.
~ Bob Kolatorowicz
… connecting the Sunday Gospels with the deeper currents of our lives …
Currents: A Daily Spiritual Practice for Lent 2012
We would like to offer you a practical resource for your personal prayer and reflection. We hope that this simple and prayerful method can be useful to you as a way to connect the Sunday Gospel with the deeper rhythms and currents of your life.
Each week for the first five Sundays in Lent, we will print the Sunday Gospel. Following the text are some reflective questions based on the Sunday Gospel text for each day of the week, Monday through Friday. Following the daily reflection questions, we have included a prayer to be said at the conclusion of your daily reflections. On Saturday, you are asked to reflect on the past week, and jot down a thought, prayer, reaction, or decision that was prompted by the past week’s prayer and reflection time. Here is a suggested “how-to.”
- Read the Gospel text out loud and slowly. Hear yourself reading the text.
- For 3 to 5 minutes each day, think about, contemplate, ponder, reflect or wonder about the day’s text and reflective question. Though not necessary, you might want to write out a thought or two prompted by your reflection on the question.
- Pray (aloud if you wish) the prayer for the week.
- On Saturday, begin with the Gospel, review the five questions and your reflections. Put in writing, based on the past week, a thought, prayer, reaction, or decision that you’ve reached.
It might be helpful to commit to doing this spiritual exercise in the morning before you start your day. It may help put the whole day in a new focus. But don’t worry if you cannot do the daily reflection in the morning. Just try to find a few quiet minutes, loosen your attachment from your routine and give yourself the gift of sacred time.
The Fifth Week of Lent
A Reading from the Gospel of John
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”
Philip went to Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, there also will my servant be. The father will honor whoever serves me.
I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgement on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.