Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Mary, Virgin and Mother; help us to bear radiant witness to generous faith, justice, and love of the poor; that the joy of the gospel may reach the ends of the earth.

Scripture

I am the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word. Luke 1:38

Prayer
Just as Pope Francis looks to Mary as an example of gospel living, so may I, gracious God. May she help me to bear “radiant witness” to my faith, to my practice of justice, and to my love and service for the poor. I want to say to you as Mary did: Be it done to me as you want it done. May I reflect the joy of the gospel in every aspect of my life. Amen.

Practice
I will pray often today: “I am at your service, O God; be it done to me as you will.”

I invite all of you who follow Jesus, wherever you are, to spend time every day renewing your personal relationship with him, letting him touch your hearts.

Scripture

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9

Prayer
Loving God and Father, open my mind and heart to the realization that Jesus is one of the greatest gifts in my life. You invite me through him to a new way of seeing and loving. Beginning today, I will try to be more conscious that Jesus loves me and abides with me, and I will try to renew my relationship with him in all I do today. Amen

Practice
Today I will set aside a space in my home, if only a small corner, where I can light a candle as a reminder that Jesus abides in me, here and now, and always.

Catholicism is not simply a system of beliefs; it is also a life to be lived: a life of worship, shaped by the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and a life of moral commitment and behaviour, shaped by moral values rooted in the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Catholic schools foster this way of life grounded in the love of God and values of the Reign of God proclaimed in the gospels.

Spirituality in Catholic schools consists in letting God be present in each moment of the day, becoming attuned to God”s presence in the ups and downs of the life journey of the school community. Prayer and a commitment to the moral and ethical values of the gospel provide the opening to God’s presence. The Catholic school, therefore, is a place of prayer, a place where the principals of Christian morality find expression in the interactions that take place there.

Catholic schools invite all members of the learning community into that place of prayer and moral living by modelling a prayer life in the school and by providing a learning environment characterized by relationships that are caring and nurturing.

Strategies for nurturing Spirituality in Catholic Schools:

  • Make resources for spirituality available to all members of the community
  • Provide opportunities for retreat and reflection days
  • Participate in faith development activities
  • Structure prayer into the life of the school on a daily basis
  • Celebrate Catholic identity through prayer, liturgy, and worship
  • Celebrate school events, the various passages and seasons of the year with religious rituals
  • Celebrate school patron saints, school feasts

How do Catholic schools integrate spirituality into the learning environment?

“May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” – Romans 15:13

  1. How have I been attentive to God’s voice in my life?
  2. How can we liberate each other on our journey?
  3. How does receiving the Eucharist contribute liberating grace for my journey?
  4. Freedom is wide open friendship with God – what does this mean to me today?

“Sacred One, teach us love, compassion and honour that we may heal the earth and heal each other.” – Ojibwa Prayer

By 200 C.E., Jews had developed an extensive set of laws that dealt with everything from daily prayer to the judicial system to taxation. These laws were passed on orally, not in writing, because any written version was necessarily incomplete and thus subject to misinterpretation.

However, after the Jewish rebellion in 132 C.E., the Roman rulers prohibited Jews from living in Jerusalem. Jewish leaders realized that their expulsion from Jerusalem could leave them without teachers or temple to maintain this oral tradition. To keep the laws from being lost, they decided to write them down. In around 200 C.E., Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi prepared the first written version, The Mishnah.

What are the advantages of having a teaching in written form? What are the disadvantages? What can teachers do that books cannot?

Here are some facts about Islam.

  • Has about 1.3 billion followers worldwide
  • Founded in about 610 C.E. by the prophet Muhammad
  • Five Pillars of Islam: declaration of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca
  • Monotheistic (a belief in one God, Allah)
  • Holy city is Mecca, Saudia Arabia
  • Holy book is the Qur’an (Koran)
  • Followers worship in mosques; their spiritual leaders are called imams.

Write an informational paragraph about this widespread religion.

After eleven years outside Mecca, Muhammad, Islam’s founder, experienced an Ascension, in which he journeyed to heaven.

After praying, Muhammad was approached by the angel Gabriel. They mounted a winged steed called the buraq and traveled to Jerusalem, where the spirits of many prophets appeared. Muhammad led them in prayer. Then he remounted the buraq and ascended with Gabriel to heaven.

Muhammad said that heaven was difficult to describe. He said it was a combination of lights and sounds and flowing energy.


What does the word heaven mean to you? What do you imagine heaven looks like?

During Muhammad’s Night Journey to heaven, he was led into the presence of Allah. Allah said that Muslims were to pray fifty times each day.

On Muhammad’s way back to Earth, he met with Moses, who asked, “What has Allah told your followers to do?”

Muhammad answered that Allah wanted the faithful to pray fifty times a day. Moses urged Muhammad to return to Allah and ask Him to reduce the number of prayers, as Muhammad’s followers would not be able to pray that many times.

So Muhammad went back to Allah, and Allah reduced the number of prayers to forty each day. Moses insisted that this was still too much, and sent Muhammad back to Allah.

This happened several times; each time, Allah reduced the number of prayers, until the requirement stood at five prayers a day. Moses insisted that this was still too much, as he had tried to get people to pray in the past, and they could not accomplish this.

Muhammad replied, “I have already returned to my Lord till I am ashamed. I am satisfied, and I submit.”


What do these events tell you about the prophets and their followers?

We often think of Hinduism as having many gods. However, Hindu beliefs also include the concept of Brahman, the universal spirit. Brahman permeates everything, and everything is part of Brahman. Our souls are part of Brahman and seek to be reunited with him. Brahman is infinite and eternal – and impossible to describe.

Since people think in concrete terms, most find it hard to imagine divinity on this scale, with no form or face. For this reason, some Hindus believe that Brahman is manifested in many different forms, some of which are gods. Since Brahman is in everything, including us, then Brahman is also in the different gods of Hinduism. In the Bhagavad Gita, part of a great Hindu epic, the god Krishna says, “Whatever god a man worships, it is I who answer the prayer.” Thus the thousands of minor gods of Hinduism can be seen as the different faces of the universal spirit Brahman.


Which would you find easier to think about: Brahman as a formless universal spirit that is part of everything, or as a pantheon of different gods?

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