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‘Prayer: The Faith Prayed’ Catechetical Sunday, Sept. 18

Each year in the month of September, the Catholic Church  in the United States celebrates Catechetical Sunday, a day on which we commission the various teachers and catechists who will be serving in our parishes. The work of these professionals and volunteers is so important in fostering the life of faith in our diocese, especially as we encounter a culture that is more and more non-religious, even atheistic in its foundation.

This year’s theme, “Prayer: The Faith Prayed” is one that touches the very roots of faith in Jesus Christ, that communion that we know in Him through our communal and individual prayer. Through prayer and the sacraments, we build up that relationship with Jesus that helps us to “know Him, to love Him and to serve Him.”  Many of us desire to add more prayer to our lives because we sense it to be the deep well that quenches our thirst for God. Yet, in our busy lives we often set aside prayer as something we will get to “later in the day” but then, sadly, never do.  And that’s a shame. Because once we do take the time to really pray and listen, we, like the prophet Elijah, are able to hear the voice of God as a whisper passing by the door of our souls and we are consoled and strengthened.

                                                
 
‘Once we do take the time to really pray and listen, we, like the prophet Elijah, are able to hear the voice of God as a whisper passing by the door of our souls.’
                                                  

I recently returned to one of my favorite books on prayer, Emilie Griffin’s “Clinging: The Experience of Prayer.” I don’t know how many times I’ve read it, but it never fails to draw me in, especially with the words of the first few sentences:

“There is a moment between intending to pray and actually praying that is as dark and silent as any moment in our lives. It is the split second between thinking about prayer and really praying…. It seems, then, that the greatest obstacle to prayer is the simple matter of beginning, the simple exercise of the will, the starting, the acting, the doing.”*

 Heavenly Father, please help me to pray.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne            

Bishop of Burlington


*Griffin, Emilie.  “Clinging: The Experience of Prayer.” 1983: McCracken Press, N.Y.
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