…Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:21)
For many people prayer is a difficult subject, not only a hard thing to talk about but even to do. Prayer is supposed to be easy, and even simple. Prayer is the essence of our relationship with the God who created us. So for those who are having difficulty in prayer, I offer some help, some really simple help, and that is to start with a simple prayer: “To Christ be glory forever.” This verse comes at the end of the letter to the Hebrews and is in the section called the “Benediction” It is the author’s way of concluding the letter by praying for the Hebrews (and to us) by giving us a blessing.

So how can we use this prayer “To Christ be glory forever.”? We can use is any time and any place.  It is easy to repeat throughout the day. For it is short enough to memorize with little effort. It is also worth noting that even though this is a very simple prayer is also profound. As well as being a prayer/action that we will be doing for all eternity, giving glory to God.

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The mountain. What does this mountain signify? If we read the Gospel, we find various meanings. The mountain is, above all, the place where Jesus prayed, the place where he was alone with the Father. The mountain is his word.

To go to the mountain of Jesus means, then, to wander on the majestic mountain of his words.

Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), page 316.

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My notes:  Where is your mountain? The place you go to to get away from the noise and business of the world and be alone with God.
How often do you go there? Once in a while, rarely, or on a regular basis?

I live in the Archdiocese of Detroit, there are no mountains anywhere near me. I suspect this is true for most people. So where shall we go?
To pray in an Adoration Chapel or Church, before the Most Blessed Sacrament is the highest mountain we could hope to climb. Praying before the Real Presence of Jesus is to be present with Him, in a way that is not possible anywhere else.

On days when this is not possible, some other place or time would be fine to encounter Jesus. I prefer the early morning, 5:30 am. At that time the house is quiet and still, as is the neighborhood and even the city. Find your place, your time and pray to Jesus on your mountain.

My picture above is from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina.

Our human life is spent looking at the outside of things. It is rare we look inside things.

As part of our spirituality, we need to look inside ourselves. We need to try and look at our immortal soul. So how do we “see” something that is the invisible soul? An examination of conscience. This is typically done before receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation but can be done on a daily basis also.

“Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths”.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1776, quoting “Gaudium et spes” paragraph 16)

In an examination of our conscience we pray and ask Jesus to help us see the state of our soul; it is ugly from vice/sin, or beautiful with virtue/holiness?

 

Note: I took these photos, photography is one of my hobbies.  To see all the pictures of these orchids see the following link https://goo.gl/photos/vXFCWHtKtB157tf39

I have been leading/teaching Bible Study classes for my parish since 2011. My most recent class was St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.  It was an eight-week study and the last three of my talks were recorded.  The main purpose of this talk is to teach people how to pray by looking at how St. Paul prays.  

My talk notes are here:

And the youtube video is here. It is 30 minutes.

Are you struggling to find the words to pray? Not knowing what to say or how to say it?
Prayer is a part of our spirituality, it is part of our relationship with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Just start by saying hello “Good morning God, thank you for the new day.”, tell God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), that you love Him. Prayer can be that simple.

Second, ask God for help with your prayer (pray about your prayer). Dormant does not mean dead. No matter how long it has been since the last time you prayed, today is a good time to restart a life of prayer. Start with something simple “Jesus, I love you”.

A personal note: the same principles can be applied to my dormant (six months) blog. It is time for me to restart my writing.

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his mercy endures for ever! Psalm 106:1

 

…every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always present in it:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”; 1 Thessalonians 5:18;

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”Colossians 4:2

Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), #2638.

 

My notes:  I sometimes seams like all we ever do in prayer is ask for things. Which is fine, a prayer of petition is good. We need to also include prayers of thanksgiving as part of our personal relationship with God our Father, Jesus our Brother and the Holy Spirit.

In prayer, one comes to know one’s self, one’s creatureliness and misery, and at the same time God’s immense love. If one turns the eyes of the spirit to the Heart of Christ, the soul contemplates the Word incarnate, divinity united to humanity. In this Heart of mercy, one comes to the knowledge of God and his infinite love for humanity. The cell of self-knowledge is found within the heart: the human heart and the Heart of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
“The Secret of the Heart: A Theological Study of Catherine of Siena’s Teaching on the Heart of Jesus.” Sr. Mary Jeremiah, 1995 Christendom Press, page 17