The organizations at St. Thomas More are rooted in prayer and seek to foster the prayer life in their members. Please explore these groups and inquire into those in which you find interest.
We also have a dedicated time of prayer in a Eucharistic Holy Hour every Thursday night from 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM. The Holy Hour includes a scriptural reflection, the rosary and quiet time. Confessions are also offered during the Holy Hour.
Please scroll down to see the following:
- Prayer in the Life of the Parish
- W hat is Prayer?
- How Should I Pray?
- Some Other Resources
Prayer in the Life of the Parish
Prayer must be at the heart of every parish. Indeed, prayer is the encounter with Christ Jesus, source of living water; so that prayer becomes the interior font from which all other parish activities flow. The Mass is the supreme prayer of the Church, the public work of Jesus Christ who offers Himself and His Church to God the heavenly Father. God our Father does not need our prayers, rather our offering to God from whom all good comes opens us to receive the Spirit of God (Lk. 11:13) in union with Christ Jesus Our Lord. Therefore the Gift that we receive is far surpassing our hopes and desires because it is God Himself who is received.
The Mass is transformative and should be the foundation to the way that we approach the rest of our lives. For example, whatever work we do ought to be done in the first place to give glory to God and to serve our neighbor. Daily prayer helps to sanctify the day, renew our desire to offer something pleasing to God, and bring our will into union with the Will of God. Prayer in short, makes us friends of God and is the means given to us to assist us on our way to heaven.
What is Prayer
St. Therese of Lisieux stated that “prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2558). It is the place where our hearts find the rest that they desire, the resting in God for which we have been made.
For St. Therese, it was the simple confidence and profound knowledge of God’s love and union with God that embraced every aspect of her life. Our lives are upheld and sustained according to God’s love: prayer is God’s gift so that we may live in that love always, abiding in the life of Christ Jesus. Whatever Christ has to say about resting is His teaching on prayer, although it is often hidden in obscure language. This is because He is speaking directly to the soul. The soul needs a resting place, and Christ says to the soul, “Come, all you who are thirsty, and I will give you food and water without cost” or something to this effect. “Come and drink,” He says. Therefore prayer in the first place is Christ’s invitation to us through which he nourishes and refreshes, heals and strengthens the human soul.
How Should I Pray?
In the gospel of Luke (18:1), Our Lord and Savior admonishes us to “pray always without becoming weary” and further on, to humble ourselves before the Lord. We are not only called to enjoy an intimate union with Christ when we come for formal prayer, rather we are called to remain recollected, to draw always from the well of the soul that has Christ in its center as an inexhaustible font. In prayer we seek in the first place to pray quietly, that is, to listen and enter into simple contemplation. In the world, we are called upon to continue that intimate union with Our Lord such that our actions are an overflow of His love.
When seeking the prayer of quiet, it is important not to rely on oneself. We have been given the Word of God that cuts like a two edged sword, exposing the soul and penetrating deeply within us. The Word of God is communicated to us in many ways: the church’s liturgy, common prayer, the scriptures especially when proclaimed, through friendship, through art and any way that God pleases to communicate according to Christ’s humanity. It is necessary to remain close to Christ’s humanity as He alone is the mediator of the Divine. Let us recall that the Church in her glory is called to come to the full stature of Christ, and therefore Christ’s humanity finds a myriad ways of expressing Himself that He may be all in all.
In Luke (18:9-14) we are given the image of the two men who enter the temple in order to pray. One prays “to himself” and the other lowers His eyes and begs forgiveness as “the sinner.” The soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit and within the soul, in the interior, we encounter the living God. The man who is justified is thereby made a friend of God and goes home justified. He continues to live in that friendship with the Living God who is able to transform His home into God’s temple. St. Paul exclaims to us with overflowing enthusiasm, “what can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rms 8: proclaiming that we are more than conquerors over all things high or low or of this world and even of the spiritual world. It is a proclamation of the new creation in Christ Jesus and the transformation of our lives by “putting on the mind of Christ” and “offering our bodies as our spiritual worship.” (Rms 12:1-2) It is through the continued practice of prayer, rooted in the Church’s liturgy, that every aspect of our lives becomes conformed to Christ.
There are several salutary practices that we are called to seek. In the first place, we must meditate or study. To assist in meditation, we gather as a community every Thursday evening at 7:30 PM for Eucharistic adoration, the rosary and confessions. Eucharistic adoration ought to be a regular part of our prayer life and is highly recommended. A morning offering and an evening examination of conscience are also good practices recommended by many spiritual writers and saints. Regular spiritual reading is likewise a great aid to prayer as it provides substance and spiritual content for our reflection and meditation. If you wish to talk to someone about the spiritual life, please feel free to contact one of the priests in the rectory.
Some Other Resources
Below are some resources to assist us to grow in our spiritual life and union with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Basic Catechesis on Prayer and the Our Father