At Catholic Social Services, we follow the call of Scripture to "pray for one another." We are guided by faith to care for each person's physical, material, mental, and spiritual well-being.
We invite you to join us in prayer for the people we are blessed to serve, including individuals and families struggling with poverty, loneliness, addictions, and hardships. There is a wonderful sense of personal connection, community, and spiritual power released when people pray together.
We reflect on the readings Mark 1:9-15, Psalm 25 as we journey through the Lenten season.
Often we speak about Lent as a desert time.
Many of us will never spend time in a physical desert, but we do know what it is like to feel that our hearts are empty or dry. During the time of the pandemic, some of these feelings may be even stronger than usual. Let's look at Jesus and listen to his experience in the desert.
At the beginning of Mark's Gospel, (Gospel means "good news") we see Jesus being baptized by his cousin, John, in the Jordan River. As He is baptized, we hear God speak these beautiful words, "You are my Son, whom I love." Do you feel you are a beloved son or daughter of God? Perhaps during Lent, you would like to spend a little time each day in silence. We are so used to having our ear buds in and music playing, that it can be a challenge to just sit quietly and listen for the gentle whisper of God in our hearts.
On Ash Wednesday we spoke about the Lenten practice of fasting. This week we will try to deepen our relationship with God through praying.
In the story about Jesus we hear that the Spirit descended upon Jesus. We received the gift of the Holy Spirit at our own baptism, so we can trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us to spend this quiet time in our personal desert, that is, our hearts. If we listen very carefully, we can hear God say to us too, "You are my beloved daughter; you are my beloved son". "Believe the "good news'."
After a few moments of silence, the following, or a similar prayer might be said:
It is so easy for me, dear God, to lose my way, to forget that you love me as the unique, special person that I am. Sometimes, my heart feels so empty, so dry, that I find it very hard to love, to forgive. During Lent, please help me to take time just to be quiet, to listen, to get to know you a little bit better. With all my heart I want to pray as the psalmist did:
To You, O God, I lift up my soul…. I put my trust in you. Make me know your ways, O God. Teach me your paths. Remember your mercy and your steadfast love…. for those who keep your covenant.
For more information about our Spiritual Care Team, email Sister MaryClare Stack at MaryClare.Stack@cssalberta.ca.