Monday, September 17, 2012

Mary Lead Us

We are almost one month into our seminary career! It's hard to believe how fast the time has gone by. I have really enjoyed everything so far. I have met so many great people and made some new friends. I got to all of my classes on time and have passed my first five Latin tests with A's. Overall, it has been a wonderful first month in the seminary!

One thing that I found that I have found while I have been here at St. Joseph's, is the importance of prayer. I can't remember a time that I have been so busy! As seminarians, we have many more obligations than most of the regular students on the Loyola University campus. Besides Morning prayer, Mass and Evening prayer everyday, we also have Formation meetings on Mondays, Compline (Night prayer) on our floors in the building on Tuesdays, confessions and rosary on Wednesday, Adoration and Benediction on Thursdays. All of these obligations and requirements, plus time for study and homework keep us pretty busy.

It is important during these busy moments, that we never lose sight of prayer, specifically individual prayer. After busy days, we can get grumpy or stressed out, but we must never become anxious or bored with prayer. This is exactly what the devil wants us to do. He wants us to draw away from our contact with God so that we become weak and no longer focused on His will. It is for this reason why it is so important to pray as we continue our discernment.

A wonderful model of for us to focus on is our Blessed Mother Mary. She continually intercedes for us to her son. If we want to get closer to Christ, than we must go to His mother. She knew him best and will lead us right to His heart. Why wouldn't we entrust her with our prayers? She is our help and protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. If we pray to her, she will bring our prayers to the Father and then will cover us with her mantle. So I ask for prayers, for myself and my brother seminarians, that we may never lose the urge to pray and will to run to Mary our Mother no matter how tired or stressed we may be. Please know of my prayers for all of you, that she will cover you with her mantle each and everyday.

1 comment:

  1. John, I'm blessed to be able to spent time, after mass each morning and after caring for my mom each evening, in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I accomplish my Morning and Evening Prayers then, but I think more importantly there is time for me and Him to have quiet time, mostly alone together.

    Prayer is talking to God, but also listening. Some do very well listening in quiet, but I was given an alternate view by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, when I attended one of his last public retreat weekends, at a local parish. The retreat started with Benediction, and then, with the Monstrance and Eucharist still on the altar, Fr. Benedict sat down and began his talks --- all of them that weekend were with the Eucharist on the altar nearby. He explained: "The Eucharist is a visible sign of His presence, and of His graces flowing to us and through us. I pray that He may use me this weekend to present some of those graces to you."

    I often read books (by authors such as Fr. Groeschel or Jacques Philippe) to gain spiritual insights while kneeling or sitting in the Eucharistic Presence. Does God use them to talk to me? I don't (usually) hear His voice, but I do often feel compelled to write thoughts presented to me --- all my blog posts are written in His presence. More than a few people have commented they heard His voice in reading the words I posted. Let them be "not I, but the Christ who lives in me."

    I enjoy our conversations each day, and pray you enjoy yours with the Lord also