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Weekly Gospel Reflection

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”   Luke 15:1-2

What a foolish and arrogant thing to say!  Jesus was merciful, welcoming, forgiving and loving to those who were sinners.  And the Pharisees and scribes complained about this as if Jesus were doing something wrong.

On one level, it is understandable that the pride-filled scribes and Pharisees would look for anything they could to condemn Jesus.  They were on a sort of “witch hunt,” so to speak, seeking to find any fault they could with our Lord.  So, out of the fullness of their malice, they attempted to make it look like Jesus was an awful sinner due to the fact that He spent time with sinners and welcomed them.

From a perspective of the pure truth, however, the jealousy, envy, manipulation and deception of the scribes and Pharisees are clear.  The “condemnation” they uttered against Jesus was no true condemnation at all.  It was a fabrication and a twisting of the truth.  The truth is that Jesus’ kindness to those who were sinners was a living out of His countless virtues.  He was understanding, merciful, compassionate, patient, forgiving and the like.  He saw troubled hearts and reached out to them in their need, especially when He could tell they were sorry, open and humble.

We may all encounter those who are religiously “self-righteous” at times.  This is an ugly sin and one that should not sit well with us.  The problem is that those who are self-righteous are often times also intimidating and oppressive.  Those who condemn others in the name of God are hard to confront.  Jesus’ initial response was to ignore them and to go about His ministry of love and compassion, telling parables and helping those in need.  But eventually He took these religious leaders on directly, condemning them for their pride and arrogance.

Reflection

Reflect, today, upon any tendency you have in your heart to judge another, especially when you try to do so in the name of God.  If you struggle with self-righteousness and pride, humble yourself now so that our Lord will not eventually be compelled to issue forth His justice on you!

Lord, please have mercy upon me and heal me of my sins.  Free me from all tendencies toward judgmentalness and help me, in imitation of You, to love and welcome the sinner in my midst so that I, as a sinner, will be welcomed by You.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Pray as you go

Pray as you go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend.  It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.

Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.

Our aim is to help you to:

  • become more aware of God’s presence in your life
  • listen to and reflect on God’s word
  • grow in your relationship with God

It is produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives, with material written by a number of Jesuits, both in Britain and further afield, and other experts in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola. Although the content is different every day, it keeps to the same basic format.

Click on the image or the button to visit Pray as you go.

A Look At Key Catholic Prayers

Catholics say many of the same prayers other religions do, with some variations. The key Catholic prayers are either part of the Mass, during which many prayers are sung, or part of praying the rosary.

Traditionally, Catholic prayers fall into four types:

  • Adoration: Praising God

  • Contrition: Asking for God’s forgiveness

  • Petition: Asking God for a favor

  • Thanksgiving: Showing God gratitude

Prayers in the Mass

The Church believes that the Mass is the highest and supreme form of prayer, so it has all four types of prayer:

  • The Gloria is a prayer of adoration. It’s sung when the Mass is held on Sunday or a holy day of obligation and recalls the singing angels who sang at Christ’s birth:

    Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

  • The Confiteor and Penitential Rite are prayers of contrition. The Confiteor, which is Latin for I confess, goes like this:

    I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

  • The Prayer of the Faithful, also known as the General Intercessions, is a prayer of petition. Here, the congregation asks for care for the Church’s people, leaders, and the larger community, is a prayer of petition.

  • A prayer of thanksgiving comes after Holy Communion. Gratitude is shown for all the graces given at Mass.

The Mass may also include a profession of faith, or creed. The text of these creeds succinctly summarize all that Catholicism regards as divinely revealed truth:

  • The Apostles’ Creed: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

  • The Nicene Creed: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayers of the Rosary

Praying the rosary means repeating three prayers several times, although you start by saying the Apostles’ Creed just once. You repeat the following prayers in each decade of the rosary:

  • The Our Father: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

  • The Our Father is also prayed during Mass.

  • The Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

  • The Glory Be: Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

Saint Teresa

HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY

Rosary beads help Catholics count their prayers. More importantly, Catholics pray the rosary as a means of entreaty to ask God for a special favor, such as helping a loved one recover from an illness, or to thank God for blessings received — a new baby, a new job, a new moon.

  1. On the crucifix, make the sign of the cross and then pray the Apostles’ Creed.

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

  2. On the next large bead, say the Our Father.

    Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

  3. On the following three small beads, pray three Hail Marys.

    Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

  4. On the chain, pray the Glory Be.

    Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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  5. On the large bead, meditate on the first mystery and pray the Our Father.

    You pray mysteries for each of the five sections (decades) of the rosary according to the day of the week:

    1. Mondays and Saturdays:

      The Joyful Mysteries remind the faithful of Christ’s birth: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26–38); The Visitation (Luke 1:39–56); The Nativity (Luke 2:1–21); The Presentation (Luke 2:22–38); The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52)

    2. Tuesdays and Fridays:

      The Sorrowful Mysteries recall Jesus’ passion and death: The Agony of Jesus in the Garden (Matthew 26:36–56); The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26); The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27–31); The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:32); The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33–56).

    3. Wednesdays and Sundays:

      The Glorious Mysteries focus on the resurrection of Jesus and the glories of heaven: The Resurrection (John 20:1–29); The Ascension (Luke 24:36–53); The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–41); The Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God, into heaven; The Coronation of Mary in heaven.

    4. Thursdays:

      Pope John Paul II added The Mysteries of Light, also known as the Luminous Mysteries, in 2002: The Baptism in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13–16); The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1–11); The Preaching of the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15); The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8); The Institution of the Holy Eucharist (Matthew 26).

  6. Skip the centerpiece medallion, and on the ten beads after that, pray a Hail Mary on each bead; on the chain, pray a Glory Be.

    Although a decade is 10, these 12 prayers form a decade of the rosary.

    Many Catholics add the Fatima Prayer after the Glory Be and before the next Our Father: O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

  7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 four more times to finish the next four decades.

  8. At the end of your Rosary, say the Hail Holy Queen.

    Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

    Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation; grant we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.