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Benefits of Morning Prayer | Journey with Jesus

How to Pray These Days: Expert Advice

Do you ever feel like you’re “praying wrong” or don’t know how to start praying? I can assure you from our experience at Pilgrim Center of Hope (PCH)… Don’t worry; almost everyone wonders that!

Even Jesus’ disciples wanted to know how to pray. They implored him, “Teach us to pray.” So, Jesus outlined the most fundamental prayer, known today as the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. Each line of this prayer teaches us something important about prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed (holy) be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts
as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test,
but deliver us from the evil one.
(Matthew 6:9-13)

We could meditate on what each line of this prayer means, and still would find new insights with each day.

One of the greatest treasures we have is the model of the saints, who were human just like us—with complicated lives, struggles, challenges, joys, and sorrows. Through practice, they became prayer experts. At Pilgrim Center of Hope, we mine their treasured insights like the spiritual gold and jewels that they are, especially through our monthly Socials with the Saints.

Here are some of our favorite pieces of advice:

Four Simple Attitudes

St. Anthony of Padua was known for his teaching style that would captivate the listener. Here’s what he taught about how we should pray:

  1. Open your heart confidently to God.
  2. Speak affectionately with God.
  3. Present to God your needs.
  4. Praise and thank God.
In Difficult Times

When we face challenges, prayer can become more difficult. Through a Social with the Saints at PCH, we’ve learned from someone who understands this well; St. Mary MacKillop. Like Jesus, Mary MacKillop experienced the rejection of her own religious leaders, through an unjust excommunication.

We were in awe as we read that Mary would often say, “Today, God has been so good to me.” Considering her tremendously difficult circumstances, what an insight this was for us, into maintaining a prayerful attitude. She advised,

Let us study the Heart of God and, in doing so, we shall learn many beautiful lessons of patience and love.

About prayer, she said; “Let me humbly place myself in the presence of my God, of my God who created me, my God who redeemed me, my God who sanctified me.”

When Words Fail

What about when we simply cannot express ourselves in words? St. Teresa of Avila assured us, “Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.”

Saint Paul further reminds us that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together to communicate with us, as long as we open our hearts: “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27).

Don’t worry; “the holy ones” in this context does not leave you out. “Holy” means “set apart,” and when we choose to pray, we are setting ourselves apart. Jesus encourages us: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day” (John 6:40).

Start Now

Do not be afraid; simply choose to pray. Picture Jesus in your mind. Ask for guidance. You have nothing to lose! God is eager to enter this journey with you.

Take advantage of upcoming opportunities to grow spiritually and practice prayer. We invite you to browse our Port of Hope & Events Calendar; we’re here for you, but most importantly—God is here for you.


Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.

Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, having served at the apostolate since 2010. She also serves on the PCH Speaker Team.

Mary’s Confidence | Meet Mary

 

Why Light A Candle? | Journey with Jesus

 

The Holy Spirit’s Anointing

Fr. Ed Hauf, OMI, hosts this week’s episode of Catholicism Live! on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit: what it is and how it can impact your life.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Church of Pater Noster – Jerusalem

Come along with Robert Rodriguez & Angela Sealana to a holy site on the Mount of Olives where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. During this program:

  • learn about the significance of the Mount of Olives in the public ministry of Jesus Christ
  • we will look at the Scriptural references to the moment and place our Lord taught the Apostles the Lord’s Prayer
  • you will learn about the history of the exact site, a cave grotto, where Jesus shared the Our Father, praying it in Aramaic
  • We will delve into the meaning of this beautiful prayer and how it relates to our daily lives

Mentor for Christians | Meet Mary

A Simple Way to End Our Day with God

One Sunday, a local priest gave us an Examination of Conscience with the Holy Trinity:

  • At the end of the day, thank our Heavenly Father for the day, the gift of life, the activities, lessons learned in the day, family, and so on.
  • Then go to Jesus, Son of the Father, and implore his mercy for your sins, your faults.
  • Lastly, implore the Holy Spirit to descend upon you and grant you a good night’s rest. Give him everything; your concerns, your worries, and ask him to guide you the next day to follow Christ.

Well, I wasn’t taking notes during the homily, but Father’s gift of preaching helped me remember the main points. Try it!

O Holy Trinity – guide us always to your will!

Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names, for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 233-234)


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

God’s Powerful Gift for Us

Image from Russian Icon of Pentecost, 18th century

In the Upper Room, at the Last Supper before Jesus was to begin his Passion, he said to his disciples, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)

At the Last Supper, Jesus prepares his disciples for the mission of the Church. Up until this time, everything depended upon the teaching and miracles of Jesus as he fulfilled the Father’s plan for the salvation of the world. And now Jesus is telling them that the work of salvation will continue through them and the Church, when they receive the promise of the Father; the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also said, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

It is at this same time that Jesus institutes the priesthood and the Eucharist, which are essential for the mission of the Church to bring the true presence of Christ to the whole world until the end of time. At each Mass, the Holy Spirit makes present to those in attendance the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is present in the person of the priest, in the proclamation of the Word of God, in those who are assembled to worship God, and par excellence in the Holy Eucharist. Out of love for those who believe in him, bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ so that we may be one with him.

Power Within Us!

Ever since the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost, the Church has had a powerful influence on the world. It survived persecution that tried to destroy it. The Church became a major factor in the development of education, medicine, science, social justice, the sacredness of family, and care for the poor. Of course, the Holy Spirit is not only about the institutional presence of God; it is primarily about the powerful witness of presence of the Holy Spirit in the saints through the ages and in each of us who believe.

At baptism, we became children of God and received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This reality has made it possible for us to have an intimate relationship with God that will enable us to discover the plan he has for each of us, that will fulfill our purpose for being on this earth.

How do we make the Holy Spirit active within us? We must have a humble, contrite heart.

Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of his action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvelous. – St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle within me the fire of your love.


Deacon Tom FoxK.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Silence Can Lead to Peace | Journey with Jesus