The life of Jesus recounted in Scripture shows his prayer and his activity as one and the same. Every moment of his life expresses the fulness of a loving relationship with God and neighbour. These relationships can prove demanding and difficult. But they are also the source of a full life, within which we can increasingly reach our potential to be the best we can be. Jesus often called his disciples to spend some time apart from huge demands to address misery, sickness and hunger in every form:
‘And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.’ (Mark 6:31)
Catholics understand prayer as an action of the whole Church, living and departed. The Catholic tradition offers a vast range of resources and experiences of prayer. All of these intend simply to lead us, individually and together, into bringing heart and mind to God, at times to talk to God in our own words, and often to rest silently in God’s presence within us. Prayer thus enlivens the Church’s social action and renews its vigour.
With thanks to priests of the British Province of the Society of Jesus (CSAN member), and the use of CAFOD‘s on-site prayer room, the work of charities in the Caritas network in England and Wales is remembered at Mass by members of the national team. Any specific prayer requests may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask for your prayers for England and Wales, especially people who have no home, are on the margins of the places they live in, or who are struggling to believe in their own self-worth.
Join in now!
Here are some examples to help deepen prayer, from the Catholic tradition –
- Sacred Space – short prayers updated daily in over 20 languages. Includes a ‘3-minute retreat’.
- Prayer of the Church (The Divine Office) – includes daily Mass readings
- Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations – assembled by Don Schwager, Servants of the Word
- Pray As You Go – daily prayers from the Jesuits in Britain, including an app to download.
- Prayers from the Society of St Vincent de Paul
- Praying with art:
- Ways into prayer – a guide produced by the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark in collaboration with the Anglican Diocese of Rochester
- Stations of the Cross
- Pope Francis’s meditations at the Colosseum in Rome, Good Friday, 2019.
- Nicholas King SJ – audio recordings of scriptural meditations for each station.
- Prison Advice and Care Trust (CSAN member)
A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Giovanni Bellini, The Agony in the Garden (extract)