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. When Jesus trained his disciples, he often called them to spend some time apart, in the midst of 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. Prayer is rooted in constant reading and reflection on Scripture, especially the Gospels. Catholic tradition also offers a vast range of resources and publications on prayer. All of these intend 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 chapel, the work of CSAN’s charities is remembered weekly at Mass by members of the national team in London. 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 resources within the Catholic tradition to give a flavour of what is available –
- Sacred Space – short prayers updated daily in over 20 languages. Includes a ‘3-minute retreat’.
- Daily meditations by Pope Francis
- 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
- Art –
A Prayer of St Anselm
O Lord, we bring before you
the distress and dangers of peoples and nations,
the pleas of the imprisoned and the captive,
the sorrows of the grief-stricken,
the needs of the refugee,
the impotence of the weak,
the weariness of the despondent,
and the diminishments of the ageing.
O Lord, stay close to all of them.
[Image of St Anselm: Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP. From the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge.]
Giovanni Bellini, The Agony in the Garden (extract)