Let Us Pray!

09-17-2017Parish LifeDan Sullivan

When I was a young boy, my parents taught my five siblings and me how to pray. At dinnertime, with all eight of us around the table, we would pray, "Bless us O Lord…" for the gift of the day and the meal we were about to receive. Every night, before bedtime, we would kneel at the side of our beds and recite the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Angel of God prayers. We would end with our own special intentions, praying for our family, friends, and others less fortunate. I'm certain my parents had to pray for the strength at the end of a long day to herd six kids to this nightly ritual. But I am eternally grateful they did. God bless them! Prayer has always been an important part of my life, as it is a source of great strength and encouragement during difficult times, and it provides me with the opportunity to express my profound gratitude for the blessings in my life.

I used to think I knew all I needed to know about prayer, until I participated in a group Bible study program called Oremus - Latin for "Let us pray." The Oremus program transformed the way I practice my prayer life. It teaches an easy-to-understand approach that supports an open, trusting and loving relationship with God.

In the past, I had attended many excellent Bible study programs offered by St. Magdalen Church. One day I was asked if I would consider helping with the next Bible study program as a group facilitator. Like so many of us, I did not know where I would find the time in my busy schedule. I also was not sure what value I would add. I thought to myself, "Prayer is personal. How would I be able to guide a group of adults exploring a new approach on how to pray?" But I knew in my heart I wanted to become more involved in the parish and to give something more to God in return for all His blessings. So after thoughtful and prayerful consideration, I took a leap, answered the Lord's call, and said YES!

Participating in and facilitating the Oremus study opened my heart and mind to a new and deeper way of praying, and helped me to grow stronger in my relationship with God. I learned so much, and I realized I was not alone in trying to find new ways to open my heart and talk to God. The sense of community of the group in the study provided strength, encouragement and inspiration for our faith journey. I fondly remember about half way through the program, a number of participants saying, "We really don't want the program to end." But we realized the experience wasn't truly going to end, because we could use this new approach in our daily prayer life.

No matter where you are on your prayer journey, I invite you to come join us to discover a simple yet profound method of Catholic prayer at the next offering of Oremus in October. Watch the bulletin for registration.