Full Contact Faith During Lent: Prayer

on Monday, 02 February 2015. Posted in Prayer, Lent, Seasons

3 PIllars of Lent

Full Contact Faith During Lent: Prayer

This is part of a 3 part series on the 3 Pillars of Lent.  Read the parts on Fasting and Almsgiving for more ideas on how to make your faith Full Contact this Lent!


While it may seem sometimes that being a Catholic Christian is a passive, primarily mental activity, the reality is that being a follower of Christ is a full-time, full-contact sport.

As Father Sergius Halvorsen points out, St. Paul often uses sports imagery when speaking about what it means to be a true disciple of Christ.

He says that he does not run aimlessly, nor does he "box as one beating the air." Rather, he "pommels" his body and subdues it. (1 Cor 9:24-7)...[he] encourages us to "run with perseverance the race that is set before us" (Heb 12:1) because our goal is a heavenly prize.

St. Paul points out that athletes exercise self-control in all things in order to be victorious (1Cor 9:25).  If athletic discipline was obvious in St. Paul’s day, then it should be even more obvious in our culture with its preoccupation with professional sports.  The athlete cannot pigeonhole his or her athletic life.  One cannot eat junk food and sit on the couch throughout the off-season and expect to make the team. Similarly, Christ challenges us to follow Him three hundred sixty five days a year, which means that we lead a life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. 

Cardio Training: Prayer

In the same way that cardio-vascular exercise strengthens our physical heart, prayer strengthens our spiritual hearts. To pray means that we take time every day to intentionally still our minds and focus on the person of Jesus.  We listen to God speaking to us in the silence, or in His Word and we talk to him.  Just like with cardio workouts, the more time we spend in prayer strenghtening our spiritual hearts, the easier it becomes to have longer sessions with greater intensity.

heart-health-prayer

Prayer opens our hearts and minds to the love of God, and allows us to be filled with the grace which God abundantly pours out upon us.

Here are a few ways to add to your prayer life this Lent:

  • Commit to 5 more mintues of daily prayer than you are doing right now
  • Attend the Stations of the Cross
  • Spend 1 Hour in Eucharistic Adoration
  • Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Take our Prayer Survey to get suggestions and resources tailored to you.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving more than just "Lenten disciplines." They are essential to our basic health and well being: they are fundamental to the Christian life.


Adapted and with quotes from "Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving: They're Not Just For Lent Anymore" by F.r Sergius Halvorsen.

 

Comments (2)

  • Frederic

    Frederic

    11 March 2015 at 13:07 |
    There is such a realness about the story of Simon Peter and the other dilpecsis going fishing. It seems as if they have gone back to their lives, as their lives had been before they first encountered Jesus. But, they do have to live I guess (Simon, at least, had a wife to support). My point is that life is back to normal, or at least somewhat back to normal, and they go fishing back to work. And it is an unproductive night at work too. Until Jesus appears. I love how impulsive Simon Peter jumps into the water to swim ashore. Was he trying to get to Jesus before the others? Did he feel the need to let the water of the Sea of Galilee wash him clean so to speak? Since the others stayed on the boat, we don't know if they heard any conversation Simon Peter had with Jesus or if he had one. But, this much is certain Peter didn't want to miss the opportunity to be in the presence of Jesus when he realized he was near. Being with Jesus should be something we all desire.

    reply

  • Mohit

    Mohit

    11 March 2015 at 13:42 |
    Ah, Father, that reminds me of a bsnuiess idea that I had but never got off the ground.It was for a fixed menu restaurant, taken to extremes. There would be no choices, and no catering for faddy diets or allergies - you would simply go in, sit down, pay a fixed price and be served that day's meal and wines.But on fast days it would be an appropriate meal; no meat, no wine, no pudding. Same price.Would that have been terribly wrong of us?

    reply

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