20140113 Pray with the Church 與教會一起祈禱

St. Francis de Sales referred to the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the Sun of all spiritual exercises, the centre of the Christian religion, the heart of devotion, and the soul of piety.     He encouraged the faithful to strive to attend Mass daily, and said if one was unavoidably prevented from participating in the Mass, he should at least join in it spiritually.

Spiritual Communion

This prayer of St. Gertrude the Great can be said daily to unite oneself spiritually to all the Masses celebrated throughout the world: “Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.”     If we cannot receive Holy Communion sacramentally, we can made an act of spiritual communion using the favourite prayer of St. Josemaria Escriva: “I wish, Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility, and devotion with which Your most holy mother received You, with the spirit and fervour of the saints.”     He said, “What a source there is in spiritual communion! Practise it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with Him in all your actions.”     St. Josemaria wrote, “Keep struggling, so that the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar really becomes the centre and the root of your interior life, and so your whole day will turn into an act of worship, an extension of the Mass you have attended and a preparation for the next.     “Your whole day will then be an act of worship that overflows in aspirations, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and the offering up of your professional work and your family life.”     Just as having an appetite for food is an indication of physical health, so our desire for Holy Communion is an indication of spiritual health. St. Josemaria wrote, “The Mass is long,’ you say, and I reply: ‘Because your love is short.'”     “Many Christians take their time and have leisure enough in their social life (no hurry here). They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities, at table and recreation (no hurry here either).     “But isn’t it strange how those same Christians find themselves in such a rush and want to hurry the priest, in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Altar?”

Liturgy of the Hours  

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church triumphant (heaven), the Church suffering (purgatory), and the Church militant (earth) are united in prayer, grace, and charity. The spirit of communion is also expressed beautifully in other official prayers and public devotions of the Church.     The praying of the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) helps to sanctify the different seasons of the year, the different days of the month, and the different hours of the day. It is a prayer that units clergy, religious, and faithful in the name of the Church to listen to the Word of God and to intercede for all people.     The daily recitation of Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours is a beautiful practice that I warmly recommend to all the faithful and families.     Regarding the Divine Office, St. Josemaria wrote, “A priest who was saying the Divine Office prepared himself for prayer in this way: ‘I will follow the rule of saying, when I start: “I want to pray as the saints pray,” and then I will invite my Guardian Angel to sing the Lord’s praises with me.'”     Try this in your own vocal prayer, and also as a way of increasing your presence of God in your work.”



















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