Thank you to everyone who made the Prayer Fair a success!
Feedback from this event was overwhelmingly positive! Here are just a few of the many responses we received.
Below are many resources, including the scripts we used for the prayer fair, to help you continue to deepen your prayer life. Lent is a perfect time for this!
Jesus, truly present in the form of a consecrated host, is placed inside a gold stand called a Monstrance with a clear window for us to see Him. This is a special time of prayer before the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. Adoration is showing that we know God is truly God, our Savior, and the Creator of everything. We are able to be in the same room as our Lord, kneeling or sitting in front of our God, and praying with Him, loving Him and feeling Him love us.
See our booklet, and our parish Adoration page for more inspiration and to sign up for a specific time.
Why is Adoration important? Fr. John Bartunek of Catholic Spiritual Direction answers that question. Life Teen also offers a resource on this for teens who are just beginning this practice.
Centering Prayer is a method designed to open our hearts and minds to God. We shift our awareness, often by use of a sacred word to let go of distractions. Becoming aware of our breathing, we allow ourselves to "rest in God." This practice helps us to discern God's will in our lives.
There are 5 simple steps one usually follows for Centering Prayer. Our handout came from the Contemplative Outreach Center, which also offers an excellent video on the value and benefits of this practice.
Divine Mercy Chaplet
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a Christian devotion in response to a vision of Jesus received by St. Faustina in 1935. It is an intercessory prayer for mercy, reminding us of the endless, merciful love of God towards all people. It is a practice to trust in the divine mercy of Jesus and seek his forgiveness and to live out our call to be merciful to others. This chaplet is typically sung or recited at 3:00pm each day on the beads of a rosary. You can listen to the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Relevant Radio in the Milwaukee area. Click here to read the prayers of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
The Examen is a very old and simple form of daily prayer. St. Ignatius taught his friends this method of reviewing their day in prayer, to help them see God in their day and understand God's will for them. There are five steps to the Examen: becoming aware of God's presence, reviewing the day with gratitude, paying attention to your emotions, choosing one feature from the day and praying from it, and looking toward tomorrow.
The Ignatian Spirituality website has many resources for this prayer, including audio versions for children and youth, a video which explains both the how-to and the why of the Examen, and a prayer card to help you remember the steps. Here are examens you can read to your children or read to your teens.
Guided Meditation is a form of prayer that uses quiet reflection. It may include a Scripture passage or a scene from everyday life, and you're encouraged to enter into the scene with your imagination, using your senses to put yourself there. It is led by a guide who describes the scene and actions in the story.
Some simple guidelines and steps may help you get started. The purpose is to imagine a personal encounter with Jesus, so that you can grow closer to Him. You can hear several different guided meditations on the Ignatian Spirituality website.
What is a labyrinth? The labyrinth is a pattern for a walking meditation. When we meditate, or think deeply about God or Jesus, that is prayer. Walking the path of the labyrinth helps us meditate on God. There is a clear path to follow, both in to the center and back out. Once you enter the path, you surrender to Divine guidance. It has been used for over 4000 years, and it helps clear the mind and bring insight.
Here is an image of the pattern of the Chartres labyrinth. Here is an explanation of the labyrinth for children. Even more background information about the labyrinth can be found on the Veriditas website.
"Lectio Divina," a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. Individually or in a group, one reads or listens to a Scripture passage and reflects on a word or phrase that stood out for them. The process is repeated and the meditation on the passage deepens each time.
The Order of Carmelites is one of many Catholic sources for information on Lectio Divina. At their website you can find a video explanation for beginners as well as daily reflections to help you practice Lectio Divina with the Scripture passages for daily Mass.
The Rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. As we meditate on the Mysteries and the prayers of the Rosary, the Blessed Mother leads us to Jesus and teaches us about His life. With each Hail Mary, we also invite the Blessed Mother to pray for us; she joins her prayer to ours. The repetition of the Rosary is meant to lead us into restful and contemplative prayer related to each Mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ's spirit dwells.
Here are our handouts on the Prayers and Mysteries of the Rosary. Saint Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful Apostolic Letter on the Rosary, sharing both the history and theology of the Rosary, as well as his devotion to it. Another great resource is the iRosary app, which gives you the prayers and an interactive rosary on your device.
Vespers is one of the Liturgy of the Hours; the Church's response to St. Paul's instruction to pray always. It includes Scripture readings, psalms, songs, prayers of petition and a time of quiet. At vespers, we thank God for the day. Vespers always includes Mary's response to Elizabeth: the Magnificat. A brief explanation for children is available here.
Praise and Worship Music Many people enjoy praise and worship music as a form of prayer. The saying "He who sings, prays twice" is attributed to St. Augustine. We ended our Prayer Fair with praise and worship music led by Ben Wagner.