Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, September 23, 2013

How Pope Francis prays

One of the things that I found interesting about the pope's interview was how he prays. He mentioned this ....

I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day .... Prayer for me is always a prayer full of memory, of recollection, even the memory of my own history or what the Lord has done in his church or in a particular parish. For me it is the memory of which St. Ignatius speaks in the First Week of the Exercises in the encounter with the merciful Christ crucified. And I ask myself: ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What should I do for Christ?’ It is the memory of which Ignatius speaks in the ‘Contemplation for Experiencing Divine Love,’ when he asks us to recall the gifts we have received. But above all, I also know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that he never, ever forgets me. Memory has a fundamental role for the heart of a Jesuit: memory of grace, the memory mentioned in Deuteronomy, the memory of God’s works that are the basis of the covenant between God and the people. It is this memory that makes me his son and that makes me a father, too.

I expected this because it's the way I learned to pray from an Ignation online retreat (the examen and the colloquy and mental prayer). But I was surprised that he also said this ...

I pray the Rosary. What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o’clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in adoration.

I don't remember ever learning in my RCIA classes or in church how to pray. I knew of the rosary from movies and novels but never even heard of eucharistic adoration until after I'd been blogging a few years. Once a priest advised me to pray the rosary but I didn't have one and didn't know how to do the prayer .... he gave me a rosary and I looked up how to do it online. I never prayed it again.

I have to admit that I don't understand why people like the rosary or eucharistic adoration - both seem to me to be ritualistic and distancing . The rosary seems like trying to communicate with someone by only always reading them the same poem or singing them the same song, and eucharistic adoration seems like trying to be with someone by spending time with their image. I know - I'm treading on heretic ground here ;) but I'm just trying to express how it feels to me. I don't doubt it's quite different for the people who like those kind of prayers. Maybe someone will explain it to me.


Blogger Goodness Reigns said...

Hello Crystal,
Someone once told me that holding a rosary is like holding Mary's hand. It also has come in handy when, for one reason or another, I can't make it to mass. THe rosary is praying the life of Jesus while walking with the woman who knows him the best, his mother. I also wondered about the rosary and why it is such a beloved way of praying. For me, it helps to read a little narrative about each mystery and also make the connection with the fruit of that mystery. For instance, the fifth sorrowful mystery is the crucifixion and the fruit of that mystery of perseverance. So I contemplate how Jesus persevered through the terrible experience because of his love for us. I also think personally what I may be having to persevere through. Something along those lines. Here is a video that talks more about the rosary--taped during WYD in Rio last summer:
Adoration is another blessing I would look into. It's the precious quiet to develop that internal relationship with Jesus. Give it a little time and you will miss not having the quiet encounter! Peace! Suzanne

7:17 PM  

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