A Note from Fr. Jason 11/8/20:

One of the calls to a priest is to conform themselves to
Jesus Christ. We do it through a number of ways.
Through the sacraments, our way of life, the ministry,
but especially through prayer. Prayer is the breath of
the Christian.
What is prayer? According to the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind
and heart to God” (CCC 2559). Prayer is where we
enter into communion with God. Going further, using
the image of the woman at the well, it says, “The
wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we
come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every
human being” (CCC 2560). God gives us exactly what
we need in prayer...Himself the living water.
I would like to briefly go over two ways that I pray
among many: personal prayer and the Jesus Prayer.
One of the areas that I lacked in prayer as a child was
personal prayer. I entered into prayer communally in
the sacraments, but I did not have a conversation with
God. That happened in college. I began to speak to
Jesus as a friend and listen to Him. This has to be a
daily thing for me. We are called to become friends
and followers of Jesus; and for me, personal prayer is
one of the most important ways that I do that.
The second prayer that I do is called the Jesus Prayer.
It is simply repeating over and over in the mind or
even with the mouth, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the
Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” This can be
linked to the breath. The hope is that you do this
prayer enough that it kind of works on its own and
becomes a prayer of the heart. This is to fulfill the
command by St. Paul to “pray without ceasing” (1
Thes 5:17). This is one of the most important prayers
for Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians.
A wonderful and engaging book on the Jesus Prayer is
The Way of a Pilgrim. We are also blessed to have an
Eastern Catholic monastery of men living in St.
Nazianz, Holy Resurrection Monastery. It is from
these holy men that I have drawn my spiritual director.
Fr. Jason Blahnik

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