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Monday, 6 July 2015

Two Weeks Ahead-Framing Prayer

For the next two weeks, I shall be concentrating on three themes. Enough bloggers cover the political news. Therefore, I want to revisit some different approaches to God in the various spiritualities of the saints.

These themes were covered some what in the perfection series, but I want to highlight spiritualities which saints gave to the Church, to us, in particularly trying times.

Because we are beyond the great ages of Catholic education, we all must be trained in prayer techniques which can be learned on one's own, either with or without a spiritual director. Many of us do not have spiritual directors, as there are not many priests available in some areas to direct, or there is a lack of trained directors. Those who have them should pray for those who are without. Most of my life, from the age of 22, I have had a director. Not to have one now is a great cross for me. But, one carries on, listening ever more intently to God, who speaks to us directly and through others.

As those who have followed this blog for years, I concentrate on these three approaches to God-the Benedictine way, (the Cistercian being part of this), the Ignatian way, and the way of Carmel. I have also covered the Dominican way, of course, using the great Dominican Garrigou-Lagrange for most of my commentary.

But, what I want to do in the next two weeks is break down ways for singles, couples and families to choose a spirituality for their daily lives, incorporate such approaches into their prayer, and learn to discern from those "ways". I have down this with education, and one only has to follow the tags to see how I have shared the great approaches to home education of all the great and holy saint educators.

The impetus for this intense study is that we may face lives without the sacraments, without priests. As those of us without directors know only too well, God does not stop our spiritual growth because we cannot find a director, or cannot get to weekly Adoration or daily Mass. Some of the greatest times of growth for me personally have been in such deprived months.

Having said that, one hour before the Eucharist in the monstrance is worth weeks of struggling on one's own. But, less and less do people find it possible to be in areas of rich spiritual opportunities.

Let me remind readers that one cannot become holy without a schedule. It is impossible.

Daily routines form the framework for these approaches to pray.

Those who have read this blog know the basics: Scripture read daily, meditation daily from the lives of Christ, Mary and the saints, meditation on the daily Mass readings, intercessory prayer, quiet.

The absolute minimum would be a half-hour of reading Scripture. The rosary and the chaplet also fill out daily prayer.

But, my emphasis will be on personalities, schedules, various lay vocations, and temperaments. One should choose a spirituality which fits all these categories.

Are you a father, a mother, a grandparent, a wife, a husband, a widow, a widower, a single mom, a single person, a student? Your call in life will dictate to a certain extent the manner in which you approach God.

Are you working long hours? Are you a stay-at-home mum? Are you a single person with time after work to pray? And, so on....

Are you retired? Are you a student?

Some vocations lend themselves to certain spiritualities. These two weeks will hopefully inspire some to adopt a prayer-plan, instead of picking up ideas. I compare the three manners of spirituality I have chosen for these two weeks of posting as five course meals, compared with buffets.

The name of this mini-series is Framing Prayer.

to be continued.....