Pastor Message - October 6, 201910/15/2019
THE YEAR OF PRAYER CONCLUSION
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:16 19).
For the past year, we have reflected together over the meaning of prayer and over a variety of different forms that prayer can take in our Catholic tradition. We have come to learn that, in essence, prayer is the raising of our hearts and minds to God. It begins with God, who reaches out to us and reveals himself to us. It is he who enables us to respond to his self-revelation, as a people through public, liturgical prayer, and individually through private, devotional prayer. Our response can be in words or in silence. It can be through formal, structured prayer, like the Stations of the Cross, or through informal, spontaneous prayer. It can be an act of praise and thanks for God’s many blessings, a cry for mercy for our many sins, or a plea for help with our many needs. It can take whatever form helps us to raise our hearts and minds to God so that he can transform us more and more into his own likeness, revealed fully in Jesus Christ.
That is the ultimate reason for prayer. God reaches out to us to share his own divine life with us, and prayer is the means by which we receive and grow in that life. It is the beating heart of our relationship with God that infuses our life with grace and flows out into Christ like actions of loving service of others, revealing God to them so that they too can share in his life.
This sharing of God’s love and life in Christ is the meaning of Christian discipleship, the next step in our spiritual journey together here at St. Boniface Parish. Having begun the journey with our Year of Prayer, we are now ready to take that next step by designating the new liturgical year the Year of Discipleship. Beginning this Advent (December 1, 2019), we will spend the next year reflecting together on the meaning of discipleship and on ways that we can all advance in our efforts, as a parish and as individual members of it, to become better, more fruitful disciples of Christ. Please stay tuned to our parish communications for more information.
Transitioning from our Year of Prayer to a Year of Discipleship of course does not mean that we stop praying. The Year of Prayer was meant to be a springboard boosting our prayer lives to new heights. I hope it has helped in some way to accomplish this purpose. Please continue to take advantage of the many opportunities we offer to pray at St. Boniface, and please let us know if we can help grow your prayer life.
Fr. Marc Stockton