Prayer That “Fits” Current Science

In late November my daughter got married, and it was a wonderful experience. In the days leading up to the wedding, my wife was fervently praying for good weather. For several weeks before the wedding date, Chicago experienced unseasonal warmth and lots of sunshine. Forecasters, however, warned that “big changes” were coming, and the target date for those big changes turned out to be our daughter’s wedding day. Needless to say, my wife was not […]

Why Do We Pray?

Have you ever asked kids why they pray? We spend a lot of time teaching children to say their prayers, teaching them about different ways to pray, and even spend time teaching them to write their own prayers, but we don’t often talk that much about why we pray. In class this week we began by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of […]

Three Ways to Nurture a Catechist’s Prayer Life

Prayer is an essential component in the life of a catechist. Prayer helps us stay connected to Jesus Christ, the Master Catechist who works through us in our ministry, who strengthens us with the grace to do our ministry well, and who desires to be in relationship with us and with our students. How can we help our catechists maintain a life of prayer? Here are three ways. 1. Keep it simple. We often think […]

Conversing with Mary, Colloquy-Style

There is a wonderful gem hidden within the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius that has been a grace-filled gift to my prayer life. Early in the Exercises, Ignatius recommends a creative type of prayer known as the colloquy. A colloquy, as Ignatius describes, is a conversation that, “is made, properly speaking, as one friend speaks to another” (SE 54). At times this involves a series of three conversations beginning with Mary, continuing with Jesus, and […]

A Guided Reflection on Praying, Fasting, and Almsgiving

Tonight, we begin in church with a Lenten prayer service that should be about 30 minutes. With all the coming and going between the church and school buildings, I should have about 35 minutes left with my kids. Since I haven’t been able to do a guided reflection with them for a few weeks, I thought I would go right into that when we get back to the classroom. Here’s the script that I put […]

Get Back…Before it’s Too Late!

Back in 1970, the Beatles issued one of their last hits: Get Back. The song represented the Beatles’ efforts to get back to their rock and roll roots (“Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged”). They had spent the last few years in the studio crafting some incredible music (Sgt. Pepper, in particular) that saw them venturing into complex arrangements and layers of sounds. With the group now experiencing tension and […]

And a Child Shall Lead Them…

This phrase, of course, is from Isaiah 11:6, and is used from time to time in catechesis with regards to children taking leadership roles. I experimented with this concept on Monday evening by having one of my students lead the guided reflection! This was a big risk for me and I have to admit that I have a very hard time of letting go of things like this because I know how it should be […]